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Four aspiring artists earn $1,000 NAS scholarships

Awards offer the opportunity to study with top notch instructors

Four budding artists will get a chance to practise their craft in a professional setting for the next year.

Celina Frisson, a D.W. Poppy student, Casey Xu, who attends Surrey’s Ecole Riverdale, Victoria Fowler, Langley Fine Arts School, and Alexis Rakush, Alex Hope Elementary, each earned a $1,000 scholarship from the Neighbourhood Art Studio in Walnut Grove.

Called the Pay it Back program, the scholarships were introduced as a way to say thank you to the community, explained Bob Barrett, the studio’s owner who has been operating NAS for the past 20 years.

“We have enjoyed success and wanted a way to repay it.

“I was fortunate, my parents could afford to send me to arts school,” said Barrett.

But he is well aware that there are children who, because of financial limitations, will likely never get the the opportunity to paint. And cutbacks to school art programs mean that students aren’t always given the opportunity to learn at a high level, said Barrett.

So he offered the four scholarships to students aged eight to 16 who have a passion for drawing, a natural talent and desire to learn. Each was required to submit samples of their artwork and an essay.

In past years, NAS has offered two scholarships, but this year, due to the studio’s “quiet success” they were able to double that, Barrett said.

Aspiring young artists will have another chance to apply next year, he added.

Call 604-455-0344 for more information or visit

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