Released by the Texas Commission on the Arts:
AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) and the Texas Cultural Trust are proud to announce the 2010 class of Young Masters, a grant program that provides exemplary art students in grades 8-12 with the financial help they need to pursue advanced study in the areas of visual arts, literature, music, theatre, dance and media arts. This year's promising young students come from all over the state and together display a variety of artistic talents.
The state's most talented young artists will receive the title of "Young Master" and will be awarded grants of up to $2,500 per year to further their studies in their chosen arts disciplines. Students are eligible to receive the grant for up to three years, but they must reapply annually. This gifted group of 22 students represents the fifth class of Young Masters. The Trust and TCA have given 151 grants to 66 previous Young Masters, awarding $377,500 to aspiring artists prior to this year's class.
"The Young Master grant program was created as a way to recognize and support young people pursuing the dream of becoming prominent Texan artists of the next generation," said TCA Executive Director Gary Gibbs. "These young artists earned the Young Masters title because of their outstanding artistic ability, talent and dedication to developing their knowledge in their chosen discipline. We congratulate their accomplishment."
This year's class includes 22 student artists from across Texas. The chosen students include: Behnam Arzaghi, Lubbock; Ava Barrett, Houston; Skylar Boykin, Plano; Monica Brown, Kingwood; Maddie Bueter, Frisco; Chelsea Conwright, Houston; Karina Farek, Houston; Alysia Johnson, Dallas; Hannah Lee, Bryan; Ruth Lin, Houston; Emily Manning, College Station; Paul Vijay Meunier, Sunset Valley; Kyle Morrow, Dallas; Sydney Roberts, Spring; Ida Saki, Plano; Eun "Jinny" Seo, Euless; Morgan Starr, Spring; Michelle Suh, Austin; Alexandra Switala, Grapevine; Michael Taylor, Arlington; Vincent Turner, New Braunfels; and McKinley Willis, Dallas.
"The Texas Cultural Trust is excited to recognize such a gifted group of young artists," said Trust Chair Wayne Fisher. "I'm pleased that our support can help these students pursue their dreams, by allowing them to continue their artistic training and further their creative disciplines."
In order to be considered for the grant, students must be U.S. citizens living in Texas and participating in a school-based program, a summer institute, or a specialized course of study or receiving private lessons from a qualified professional instructor. They must also maintain passing grades in all academic areas.
Young Masters were selected by a citizen panel of experts from across the state based on artistic excellence, level of potential, level of commitment and quality of their proposed plan of action.
Disbursement for this class of Young Masters will begin in the summer of 2010. This program was made possible by generous contributions from AT&T Foundation, Anheuser-Busch Companies, Applied Materials, BNSF Railway, Emerson Electric, The Honorable David Dewhurst, Mrs. Gene Jones, Mr. George Mitchell, Plum Foundation, Ray C. Fish Foundation, Raytheon, and Mrs. W. D. Noel.
Young Master's Class Bios:
Behnam Arzaghi is a home-schooled 10th grader from Lubbock where he studies the violin with Dr. Kirsten Yon. Behnam will attend the International Music Academy this summer in Pilsen, Czech Republic. After nine years of playing music in Lubbock, he feels that he is ready to be exposed to the international music arena.
Ava Barrett is a junior at the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston where she is most passionate about sculpture. She works in a variety of media and believes that the process is equally if not more important than the final result. She will attend the summer intensive at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, which she hopes will prepare her to eventually attend an art college.
Skylar Boykin is a sophomore at Shepton High School in Plano. She studies dance and plans on attending the Perry Mansfield Pre-Professional Intensive Program in Colorado. Skylar chose this program for the challenge and wants an experience rather than a workshop. She currently studies with the Dance Industry Performing Arts Center.
Monica Brown is a musical theater student in the 10th grade at Kingwood High School. She has performed with Main Street Theater and Houston Grand Opera Children's Chorus, and has attended the Broadway Artists Alliance in New York City and the New York Film Academy's Los Angeles camp. Monica plans to attend the intensive training program at the Broadway Theater Project in Tampa, Florida.
Maddie Bueter is a voice student in the 9th grade at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing & Visual Arts in Dallas. She is a member of the Dr. Lynn Eustis voice studio at the University of North Texas in Denton where she receives intensive music theory and vocal training. She enjoys singing both classical and musical theater repertoire and plans to attend the Boston University Tanglewood Institute summer music camp.
Chelsea Conwright is a senior at the High School for the Performing & Visual Arts in Houston. She has also studied with Allegro West Dance Academy and the Houston Metropolitan Dance Company. Chelsea will return to the Joffrey Ballet School's Jazz and Contemporary Dance Intensive this summer. She has attended for the past two summers and is looking forward to returning to New York for the program.
Karina Farek is a junior studying visual arts and media at the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston. She is experimenting with 2D animation and has produced stop motion and flash animations. She plans on attending the School of Visual Arts in New York to learn other techniques and to preview the school as a possible college choice.
Alysia Johnson is an 8th grader at the Greiner Exploratory Arts Academy and studies with the Dallas Black Dance Academy. She has been taking dance lessons since she was four and has spent past summers at workshops with the School of American Ballet and Joffrey in Texas. Alysia plans on traveling to San Francisco to attend the Lines Ballet Pre-professional Summer Program.
Hannah Lee, a home-schooled 10th grader from Bryan, has been performing since she was five years old. She attends classes at the Theater Under the Stars musical theater academy for young performers in Houston. Hannah will attend the Interlochen Center for the Arts camp in Michigan where she hopes to gain more knowledge of what musical theater is like in her quest to become a true triple threat.
Ruth Lin is a freshman at the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston. Last year she received a National Gold Key Award for one of her pen and ink drawings. She has studied locally for the past two years at the Glassell Junior School at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. She would like to attend the Wonderworks program at the University of Houston to explore architecture and is interested in studying watercolor at the Art League Houston.
Emily Manning is a senior at A&M Consolidated High School in College Station. She is a visual artist creating two-dimensional works in a variety of media. Emily has taken private art lessons and was able to study at the School of Visual Arts last summer. She is applying to the NYU – Steinhardt Summer Arts Intensive where she is interested in their beyond traditional approach to art making.
Paul Vijay Meunier from Sunset Valley is in the 10th grade at McCallum High School in Austin. Vijay plays classical guitar, but has proficiency in blues, rock and heavy metal music as well. He has been a finalist at both the Classical Minds Guitar Competition at the University of Houston and at the East Carolina University Classical Guitar Competition. Vijay will attend the Boston Guitar Fest this summer.
Kyle Morrow is a home-schooled junior from Dallas and studies visual art with a private instructor. He is working on advanced placement portfolios and hopes to attend the Savannah College of Art and Design intensive summer program. Kyle is looking forward to studying sculpture and painting in addition to previewing the school as a possible college choice.
Sydney Roberts is a home-schooled musical theater student in the 11th grade. She is from Spring where she has been active in community theater since she was seven years old. Sydney has performed with both Masquerade Theater and Theater Under the Stars in Houston. She will attend the Broadway Theater Project in Tampa, Florida.
Ida Saki from Plano is a senior at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing & Visual Arts where she studies dance. Ida was recently named as a 2010 Young Arts finalist by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. She currently studies with the Dance Industry Performing Arts Center and has attended summer programs with the New York City Dance Alliance and Complexions. She plans on studying with the Hubbard Street Dance Company in Chicago to prepare her for a professional dance career.
Eun "Jinny" Seo is a sophomore from Euless and goes to Colleyville Heritage High School. She studies visual arts and creates two-dimensional works exploring different media. Jinny plans on studying at the School of the Arts Institute of Chicago early college summer intensive program. There she will take a course the painting and the human figure and is looking forward to exploring new styles of painting to help her expand her own work.
Morgan Starr is in the 9th grade at Klein Oak High School near Houston where she studies musical theater. Morgan has performed with the Houston Grand Opera Children's Chorus and with Stages Repertory Theater. She would like to attend the Oklahoma City University Performing Arts Academy where she will be immersed in a pre-college curriculum including classroom work in dance, music theory, piano and acting.
Michelle Suh is a violinist who is in the 12th grade at Westlake High School in Austin. Since the age of four, Michelle has enjoyed the ability to communicate through music, crossing language barriers, cultures and even age. She has studied at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute and at the Bravo! Musical Festival at the University of Minnesota. Michelle will attend Charles Castleman's Quartet Program in Fredonia, New York.
Alexandra Switala is a home-schooled 10th grader from Grapevine where she studies violin with Jan Mark Sloman. Alexandra was recently invited to the White House to take part in the Classical Music Workshop hosted by First Lady Obama. She wishes to attend the National Arts Centre Young Artists Programme in Ottawa, Ontario where she will receive private lessons from world-renowned violinists such as Pinchas Zuckerman.
Composer Michael Taylor is a home-schooled 12th grader from Arlington. Michael's accomplishments include receiving first place for violin in the Dallas Symphony Festival high school strings division and first place at the Music Teachers National Association National Senior Composition Competition. He will attend the Yellow Barn Young Artists Program in Putney, Vermont.
Vincent Turner is an 11th grader from New Braunfels where he is home-schooled. Vincent has been studying classical guitar since he was seven years old. He has placed in both the Guitar Foundation of America and the Eastfield Guitar Festival competitions. Vincent would like to study with Christopher Parkening at the 36th Annual Master Class at Montana State University.
McKinley Willis is a junior at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas. She has also studied with the Dallas Black Dance Academy and has attended the Lines Ballet Summer program. She plans on studying at the Ailey School Summer Intensive program to focus on her modern dance technique.
About The Texas Commission on the Arts
TCA was organized in 1965 by the Texas Legislature to develop a receptive climate for the arts in Texas. TCA supports a diverse and innovative arts community in Texas, throughout the nation and internationally by providing resources to enhance economic development, arts education, cultural tourism and artist sustainability initiatives. For more information on TCA and its programs, please visit www.arts.state.tx.us.
About the Texas Cultural Trust
Established in 1995, the Texas Cultural Trust is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that promotes and highlights the importance of the arts in educating our children and sustaining our vibrant Texas economy. The Texas Cultural Trust supports programs of the Texas Commission on the Arts and other qualifying state agencies. In addition to the biennial Texas Medal of Arts Awards, some of the Trust's other programs include the Create Texas, Put Your ART Into It, Adventures in the ARTS children's book, Texas Women for the Arts, Founders for the Arts, and strataTX. For more information please visit www.txculturaltrust.org.