Gallery grants help young artists

Kerri-Anne Chisholm is the most recent recipient of one of numerous grants designed to create opportunities for young creative Caymanians to pursue careers in the arts.  

Miss Chisholm was awarded a grant from IAMCO (I am Company) to pursue postgraduate studies at the University of Westminster in the U.K. Her award fully funds the 12-month master’s degree program in museums, galleries and contemporary culture which she began last September. 

IAMCO, founded in 2003 by Susan A. Olde in Grand Cayman, has supported scholarships for several Caymanian students.  

Overall, the numerous grants are part of the Creative Careers program of the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands. 

National Gallery Director Natalie Urquhart said, “It is vital that we support talented individuals who are interested in pursuing careers in art and design, not only for the advancement of these creative students, but for the development of the creative industries as a future economic driver in the Cayman Islands.  

“We are committed to supporting the next generation of arts professionals, and see great potential in the individuals who have taken part in the National Gallery’s Creative Careers program.” 

Kaitlyn Elphinstone, communications and public engagement manager at the National Gallery, said the grants enable students to concentrate on their studies without having to worry about funding.  

Also, she said, “We have career advice, internship programs, scholarship programs at all different levels.” 

The grant programs are: 

  • Deutsche Bank internship  
  • Deutsche Bank for more than a decade has offered an annual paid internship at the National Gallery. 

“…Deutsche Bank (Cayman) Ltd. has donated an enormous amount over the last 12 years, and it is good to be able to trace back and see how all the people who have received the awards are doing now,” Ms. Elphinstone said. 

The internship is actually a one-year full-time job with a salary of $18,156, designed to introduce the intern to the museum and gallery profession and to become familiar with all aspects of gallery operations.  

Lyle Anderton, who has completed three years of visual and creative arts at Sheridan College in Canada, is the recipient for 2014-15.  

Kieshona Brown, who recently completed the program, plans to pursue a foundation diploma in art and design at the University of the Arts at the London College of Communication. 

Deutsche Bank visual art scholarship 

Launched as a partnership between Deutsche Bank and the gallery in 2008 to support students who want to pursue a career in the arts, the Deutsche Bank National Gallery Visual Art Scholarship is worth a maximum of US$20,000 per year for up to four years. The biennial award is available to Caymanians and students who reside permanently in the Cayman Islands between the ages of 17 and 25. 

This year, the scholarship was awarded to Simon Tatum, 19, and Lorena Morejon, 18.  

Mr. Tatum is in his second year at the University of Missouri, majoring in art history and painting. Ms. Morejon is in her first year of pursuing a bachelor’s of fine arts in film, photography and visual arts at Ithaca (New York) College and Full Sail University. 

National Gallery summer internship 

Ms. Elphinstone said the gallery hopes to find a sponsor for the summer internship program before it begins. “It is a one-to-three month training position, designed to introduce the successful applicant to the museum and art gallery profession…It is a very competitive one because it is so expensive being a student, and it is useful to have the extra bit of spending money for books and other necessities.” 

Last year, Richelle Hew and Paige Jordison were chosen from among 27 applicants for the internships. 

National Gallery work experience 

Work experience at the gallery has proven to be very popular, organizers say, with 25 students taking part last year.  

“We try to match them with a department that they are interested in, and give them a pack of information so they are familiar with the different areas of the gallery,” said Ms. Elphinstone. “Most people come in and think we just curate, but we also have finance, education, information management and marketing departments. 

“We liaise with schools to get students into the gallery, and are very flexible on how it’s done – it may be for a week, or a whole month.”  

Ed & Barbara Oliver Workshop Scholarship  

Two Ed & Barbara Oliver Workshop Scholarships each year pay for students to take six-week drawing and painting courses offered at the National Gallery as part of its Continuing Education program.  

Students must submit two works of art in any media to be considered, or they can be recommended by their art teacher. Proof of need of the scholarship is required.  

Sponsor a Scholar program  

The gallery’s Surrealist Ball in 2014 encouraged attendees to sponsor a scholar. Funds from this ongoing program go toward the Creative Careers program, as well as toward family events and educational courses and resources for younger students.  

“…At the moment, 60 percent of the Creative Careers program costs are pending support,” Ms. Elphinstone said.  

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Creative Careers work experience student Paige Jordison, left, with National Gallery Events Coordinator Meegan Ebanks and summer intern Richelle Hew.

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National Gallery director Natalie Urquhart, left, with 2014/15 Deutsche Bank National Gallery intern Lyle Anderton and Deutsche Bank Chief Country Officer Janet Hislop.

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Richelle Hew works with students from the National Gallery’s Summer Art Camp.
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