If you are pursuing a degree in visual art, you will find that your education is vastly expensive and you will need visual arts scholarships and grants to help pay for your education. Not only do you have to pay for tuition, fees, and housing, but you also need course materials, and art supplies. As you know, art supplies are expensive enough by themselves.
The International Art Materials Trade Association, also known as NAMTA, offers the NAMTA Foundation Visual Arts Major Scholarships. The amount of the visual arts scholarship and the number of awards that are made each year is determined annually, but these awards are usually quite large. To be eligible for this visual art scholarship award, you must be planning to major in a visual arts field, or already majoring in such a field. Acceptable fields include sculpture, drawing, painting, sketching, and other types of creative arts. Performing arts majors will not be considered. Additionally, you must submit two or three examples of your work, but you cannot submit original pieces. The selection is made primarily on artistic talent or potential, but some weight is placed on your GPA, your financial need, and your involvement in extracurricular activities.
The National Society of Arts and Letters manage two visual arts scholarships programs. These are the Naomi Winston Scholarship in Art and the Shirley Rabb Winston Scholarship in Voice. Both are worth $9000, but as a visual artist, you are only eligible for the Naomi Winston Scholarship in Art. You must be between the ages of 16 and 22, and you must show that you have exceptional talent. The selection committee must believe that you have potential for future success with your art as well. One of the nice things about this award, however, is that it does not have to be used to pay tuition. It can be used to participate in workshops, museum programs, summer programs, or other programs that will enhance your art. In fact, the committee states that the funds are not meant for college tuition, housing, or travel.
The best source for visual arts scholarships is the school that you will be attending. Some schools have greater art scholarship opportunities than others, and this may play a huge role in the school that you select. Some of these visual arts scholarships can pay for your entire education. While some are need based, others are merit based or talent based. In many instances, you will have to enter and compete in competitions with other students of that school in order to win an award.
Outside competitions, or those that are not just available to students of the school that you will attend, is the second best source for visual arts scholarships and grants. Many of these competitions award actual art scholarships while others award cash prizes that you can apply towards your college education. Some of these prizes are rather large, and while you should definitely compete for those prizes, you should not overlook competitions that award smaller prizes, because those small prizes can add up to a great deal of money.
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