Whidbey Island Arts Council awards 2010 scholarships

Anneliese Dailey,  Chantal LaChaussee, Anna Lennon, Karalie Stratton and Eric Vanderbilt-Mathews are the 2010 recipients of the Whidbey Island Arts Council $1,000 scholarships.    - Patricia Duff / The Record
Anneliese Dailey, Chantal LaChaussee, Anna Lennon, Karalie Stratton and Eric Vanderbilt-Mathews are the 2010 recipients of the Whidbey Island Arts Council $1,000 scholarships.
— image credit: Patricia Duff / The Record

They’re young, talented and numerous.

They are masters of art in all its varying forms who, apparently, also excel at wowing the thoroughly flabbergasted “old” people.

They are the eight talented candidates who vied for this year’s Whidbey Island Arts Council scholarships, money given to graduating seniors on the island who plan to major in art in college.

The decision was a hard one for the judges, but ultimately five young artists each received a $1,000 award.

Those talented seniors include Anneliese Dailey, a homeschooled student from Oak Harbor and pianist who will attend Whitworth University in Spokane; Anna Lennon of Clinton, a photographer from South Whidbey High School who will attend the University of Colorado; Eric Vanderbilt-Mathews, a South Whidbey High School musician from Langley who will attend the University of Washington; Karalie Stratton, an Oak Harbor High School ceramic artist who will attend Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah; and Chantal LaChaussee of Langley, a photographer from South Whidbey High School who will attend Seattle Central Community College.

After their applications were received by March 31, the candidates were met by six judges at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation meeting hall in Freeland on May 15.

“It was a treat to read the application packets of the eight outstanding and talented students,” co-coordinator and judge Barbara Graham said.

Graham and her organizing partner, Judith Adams, invited judges Peggy Taylor and Cathy Hagen (both musicians), photographer Sharon Shoemaker and ceramicist Joan Govedare to help choose the scholarship winners based on a simple point-rating system.

The judges were impressed with every candidate, and said it was hard to narrow the field.

“The students who participated in the music category were a truly remarkable group of young people,” Hagen said.

“Anneliese Dailey played a classical program. She chose very difficult pieces, and played with maturity and artistry. Eric Vanderbilt-Mathews played multiple instruments, playing a classical concerto on clarinet, a jazz piece on saxophone, and his own composition on the piano. The creativity and musical performance was outstanding in students of this age,” she added.

Adams, a local poet, noted that all the students were well-prepared and demonstrated a passion for their art forms. The standard was high for each of the eight candidates, who were required to present or perform.

“I found myself close to tears at times,” Adams said.

She noticed that they were particularly articulate when discussing altruistic ideas in relation to art, and its importance in the world.

“I felt these students were heading off to college with definite goals, and an unusual level of sophistication,” Adams added.

Adams mentioned the dedication to the work shown by candidate Lennon, who presented her photographic and encaustic art.

And Adams was so moved by Dailey’s performance and by the marked score which she showed to the judges before she performed, that she was compelled to write a poem about the experience titled, “Piano Score.”

Dailey was presented with her award certificate recently by Graham, representing the Whidbey Island Arts Council.

The South Whidbey High School recipients received their certificates during an awards assembly at the school on June 3. The Oak Harbor High School students will receive certificates at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 11 in the school’s gym.

The council would like to congratulate the three other outstanding applicants for their excellent presentations including Keegan Harshman, string bass, Jacob Sele, piano and trombone and Marisa Sutherland, photography.

The council is indebted to the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Whidbey Island for providing a venue which inspired the students to rise to the occasion, especially since it allowed for the use of its beautiful sounding piano.

The Whidbey Island Arts Council continues to expand its philanthropic reach in its work to sponsor local organizations, events, programs, students and individual artists through various funding, scholarships and grants.

Applications for next year’s student scholarships will be sent to area schools in the fall.

Check the Web site, click here, for more information and updates for 2011.

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