When guests visit this weekend’s 38th Annual Art in the Park, they will see a full-scale arts exhibit hosted by the Nature Coast Art League. The community will also be able to take stunning samples of original NCAL artwork home with them via the purchase of a two-year pocket calendar illustrated with dazzling paintings created by league artists. This event is scheduled to take place from 10 am to 5 pm on March 11 and 12 at Tom Varn Park, 301 Darby Lane, in Brooksville.
As people purchase these miniature works of art, each individually designed with a plethora of nature-inspired covers, they’ll be donating to an equally beautiful cause: the education of up-and-coming artists. All proceeds from the purchase of NCAL calendars will go to fund the NCAL’s Art Scholarship Fund for a lucky emerging Hernando artist.
“The NCAL will be requesting a $10 donation for a two-year pocket calendar that includes original artwork created in different mediums by its members,” said Jana Winters, NCAL spokesperson. “Work is not a reproduction; it is original art. All donations will go toward the annual high school art scholarship fund to be awarded to a high school student(s) in Hernando County.”
President of Nature Coast Art League, Linda Graves, says that the NCAL scholarship is an honored league tradition, one intended to support aspiring local artists who wish to study and perfect their craft. “The Nature Coast Art League is gearing up to begin our search for the best qualified Hernando High School Student who will be awarded the Nature Coast Art League Scholarship,” she explained. “The scholarship project was started approximately 20 years ago and in part has reflected our mission which is ‘To increase public awareness of the arts, to promote the visual arts and to encourage and support artists in Hernando County and surrounding areas.’’
Through the fostering of young artists, Graves believes that the NCAL supports the Hernando County arts scene as a whole.“What better way to achieve this than to grant a scholarship to a graduating senior who plans to pursue a career in the field of visual arts at the college or school of their choice,” said Graves.
Here’s how the scholarship works. “The process begins by a letter being sent to all art teachers at each of the Hernando County High Schools. The application begins by a recommendation from the student’s art teacher along with their high school transcript and an essay addressing why the student has chosen the field of visual arts as their career path,” Graves explained. “An evaluation committee from the Nature Coast Art League will meet with the applicants during the last week of April. They will have the opportunity to talk with us about their passion for the arts and will present us with several pieces of their artwork, explaining what each piece means to them and what concept they are trying to convey to the audience viewing them. A decision will be made which student will be awarded a scholarship soon after their interview and will be presented shortly after the end of the school year.”
Graves is looking forward, once again, to empowering and inspiring a future generation of Hernando artists. “We are looking forward to working with the students who see their future career in the field of art. Many do not have the means of paying for their education, and being awarded a scholarship helps to defray some of these expenses,” said Graves. “The members of Nature Coast Art League are working diligently to raise funds towards our scholarship program by creating beautiful artwork that is used to cover pocket-size calendar books, offered for a reasonable donation at Art in the Park.”
Graves summarized, “The Nature Coast Art League is pleased that they will be a part in contributing to the life of an aspiring artist as they make the journey in achieving their dream.”