Rose Garden Event Provides Inspiration
The Rose Garden at Mesa Community College provided a gorgeous backdrop for a recent art event. Amidst the colorful clusters of roses at their peak, art students, local watercolor artists and the general public dropped by the garden to celebrate art.
Several things prompted the gathering. First, the AZ Watercolor Association awarded Mesa Community College student Cassandra Scott a $1,000 art scholarship. Scott is one of two art students from three colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District who received a 2013 AWA scholarship. The award may be used at a community college or 4-year institution of choice, but specifies that the student take a watercolor class.
Second, the Rose Garden event gave students and watercolor artists a chance to paint together. The artists gathered together, drawing inspiration from the garden and each other.
Scott, who painted alongside members from the AZ Watercolor Association in the garden, said she will use the scholarship money to take more art classes at MCC. She has found MCC instructors to be very knowledgeable and supportive. Scott acknowledges that receiving the scholarship has been helpful in many ways.
“I’ve learned how important networking is,” Scott said. “I’ve gotten to know several people who are professional artists.”
Scott’s art instructor at MCC, Cynthia Peterson, said the event was a great opportunity to work with a community arts organization.
“This event is an excellent example of active learning,” Peterson said. “Watching and talking with professional artists at work is a great learning experience for the students who are serious about painting as a career path. This kind of event, working alongside career artists, helps students to envision an art future beyond the classroom and school. Even those who are casually interested in art can be greatly influenced by these positive experiences leading to lifelong support for the art community.”
Peterson said many students talked about how much they enjoyed the event. One student emailed her the next day with the following comment:
“I didn't realized how much I enjoyed talking to the professionals, they inspired me,” wrote Viv Spung, an MCC student. “Thanks for the invite. I look forward to attending your next event.”
Finally, the event encouraged others to learn about MCC art classes. Peterson said many onlookers were very interested in what the artists were doing and asked about taking art classes.
Jeremy Jones, artist, architect and AWA President, said the association is currently focusing on providing scholarships for community college students because the group feels community college is a good place for artists to begin their careers.
AWA members have made it a goal to encourage young artists, particularly those involved in watercolor painting. Many older artists have noticed that the young students tend to take computer-generated art classes.
“We think the future of watercolor and art in general is up to supporting young students,” Jones said. “That’s why we are happy to provide encouragement and scholarships.”
For more information on art classes at MCC, visit: http://www.mesacc.edu/departments/art
For more information on the Arizona Watercolor Association, visit: http://azwatercolor.com/
About Mesa Community College
Mesa Community College provides outstanding transfer and career and technical programs, workforce development, and life-long learning opportunities to residents of the East Valley area of Phoenix, Arizona. MCC excels in teaching, learning and empowering more than 40,000 students who attend annually to succeed in a local and global community. Mesa Community College is one of ten colleges that comprise the Maricopa County Community College District.