Giant hands reach down to a part of the Saint John harbour in this photograph taken and edited by NBCCD student Crystal Drew.

Students awarded ArtsNB scholarships

Three New Brunswick College of Craft and Design students won ArtsNB scholarships after applying for the awards in the February 2022 competition.

“I feel extremely grateful and lucky. Sometimes I feel like I forget that I am always moving forward as an artist, so winning this scholarship has been really validating,” said first-year photography/videography student, Grace Hallewell.

Grants will provide ‘creative freedom,’ travel costs, tuition money

Grace Hallewell, along with second-year photography/videography student Crystal Drew, and part-time photography/videography student Sarah Gunaseelan were awarded the scholarships valued from $1,000 to $2,500.

The awards were juried by a group of professional artists. ArtsNB, an independent organization, focuses on promoting, facilitating, advocating, and funding the arts in New Brunswick, as well as supporting professional artists in the province.

Hallewell said the $2,500 from the scholarship means she can focus all her time and have full creative freedom for her student residency with NBCCD this summer. She’ll put any leftover funds from the scholarship toward camera equipment.

The NBCCD Summer Student Residency program provides returning and graduating students with space on campus for up to nine weeks to focus on exploration and advancement of their technical skills.

Gunaseelan has one year left at NBCCD before her graduation. As a self-proclaimed “big fan of history,” she likes overlaying photos she captured recently with photos taken decades before. She typically uses historical photos from her great aunt’s photo album from the 1920s.

“I want to combine the old with the new so that we won’t forget where we came from and show how much life has changed over the last one hundred years.”

Gunaseelan is using her ArtsNB scholarship money to travel to the places documented 100 years before in her great aunt’s album and for tuition.

Teaching students to apply for grants

NBCCD Photography/Videography Studio Head Drew Gilbert said NBCCD instructors train their students to apply for funding opportunities as part of the curriculum.

Students learn how to apply for scholarships and work on their applications in class. They also complete self-directed projects which they can use to demonstrate ability and develop new project proposals they can use to apply for creation grants after they graduate.

Last year, six NBCCD photography/videography students won ArtsNB scholarships.

“Applying for and winning these awards is a huge validation for these emerging artists who have been working so hard to improve their creative skills,” said Gilbert. “A scholarship can give a student the encouragement to continue a career in the creative industry and to keep apply for funding to important work.”

Hallewell said Gilbert introduced her and her class to the scholarship and both he, and Photography/Videography instructor Noel Chenier wrote letters of recommendation for her application.

“My instructors and classmates create such a positive environment and have become a second family in a way,” she said.

Recognized as promising artists

Crystal Drew, also a recipient of the scholarship, said it’s encouraging to be recognized as a promising artist by ArtsNB.

In addition to discussing and reviewing the application process in class, Drew said her instructor, Karen Ruet, invited ArtsNB program officer Rebecca Salazar to talk to the class and answer questions about ArtsNB and the scholarship program.

“I’ve loved my learning journey at NBCCD. All that I’ve learned from my instructors and my peers has helped me become the artist I want to be. “