Top 5 Scholarships for Art

By Clara Ritger , last updated December 22, 2011

Unlike athletics scholarships, many top art scholarships can be found outside of a specific university or college program. While some programs offer smaller sums to offset school costs, others are known to pay the whole way. Scholarship requirements do vary though: while some programs earmark their monies for college-bound artists, other rewards may be used for workshops, summer programs, or personal expenses. Here are five of the top art scholarships for young artists of all mediums.

Music Center Spotlight Awards

Each year, this program awards over $100,000 in scholarships to aspiring artists in Southern California. Established in 1988, the program rewards sixteen finalists who join a prestigious and growing network of alumni. While the $5,000 first grand prize is a draw, the free workshops offered to all participants are also rewarding. Visual arts categories include photography and two dimensional art only. Both visual and performing artists of high school age can apply, and their work will be showcased at the end of April in the Music Center's Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

National Art Honor Society Scholarship

The Art Institute of California Los Angeles brings together students from the visual and culinary arts to offer three different degree programs. The National Art Honor Society Scholarship is awarded to high school seniors who demonstrate excellence in fine art and commitment to continued learning. Only honor society students can apply for the five tuition scholarships, with a top award of $20,000. All scholarships are put toward attendance at the Art Institute.

The Naomi Winston Scholarship in Art

Not every scholarship has to go toward college. Visual artists ages 16 to 22 can apply for this scholarship, sponsored by the National Society of Arts and Letters. Monies are to be used for private study, special training, or summer programs, not college tuition, board or fees. Applicants will be judged on their talent and "promise of future success." Though they award up to $10,000 each year, any single applicant can receive a maximum award of $5,000.

Curtis Institute of Music

This conservatory offers full tuition to all of its admitted students. Applicants must complete an in-person audition process in their department's chosen repertoire. Once admitted, the program consists of intensive musical and performing course work, as well as liberal arts options which fulfill the institute's mission to maintain well-rounded, well-educated performers. Curtis sets up alumni networking opportunities for current and past students and their alumni recital series brings back old talent to the institute's performance repertoire.

John F. and Anna Lee Stacey Scholarship Fund for Art Education

The Stacey trust fund allows one or more students to be awarded up to $5,000 each year for art education. The scholarship hopes to support artists with rigorous standards in the most technical aspects of western art. Suggested categories include painting from life, drawing from the figure (nude), composition and landscape. The scholarship emphasizes the importance of the artist adhering to the classical artistic tradition of western culture.

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