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Local High School Students Attend Hartford Art School Visual Arts Program Thanks to Willis Foundation

Posted 07/29/2016
Posted by Mary Ingarra

A $20,000 grant from the Willis Foundation made it possible for 19 area high school students to attend the University of Hartford’s Hartford Art School Summer Visual Arts Program held throughout the month of July. The intensive program focuses on drawing, ceramics, and photography and is designed for sophomores, juniors and seniors. The scholarship selection process was a collaboration between the Hartford Art School and invited area art teachers.

“The Hartford Art School is extremely grateful to the Willis Foundation for helping deserving students gain access to the Hartford Art School’s faculty and facilities as they prepare their art portfolios—which is a critical step in the college application process,” said Hartford Art School Dean Nancy M. Stuart. “The Foundation’s support in helping to fund the success of young artists is greatly appreciated.”

“I am delighted the Willis Foundation recognized the great summer experience these scholarships were going to provide 19 gifted Connecticut high school students,” said Austin Perkins, a member of the Hartford Art School Endowment Board of Corporators, and senior vice president of Willis of Connecticut, LLC, and the state branch of Willis Towers Watson. “However the leadership team at Hartford Art School, as well as some key board members, deserve the real credit for this grant. They made it easy for me to make the case with the Foundation to allocate these funds our way.” Perkins was instrumental in securing the grant from the Foundation’s affiliated nonprofit organization that is committed to charitable giving at a local level. Proceeds from the Annual Willis of Connecticut Golf Tournament are funding the Hartford Art School Summer Visuals Arts Program Grant.

For the past six years, the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford has also funded two student scholarships and four bus trips to the Wadsworth for all enrolled in the program—giving the students special access to art collections, curators, docents and a behind-the-scenes tour with the archivists.

The Hartford Art School’s Summer Visual Arts Program is working with 32 students from Bethany, Bloomfield, Bristol, East Hartford, Enfield, Farmington, Griswold, Hartford, Manchester, Meriden, New Britain, New Hartford, Norwich, Plainville, Tolland, Vernon, West Hartford, West Simsbury, West Suffield, and Wethersfield. For more information about the Summer Visual Arts Program or the Hartford Art School, call 860-768-4392.