Hopewell Valley Arts Council awards four scholarships to senior graduates


The Hopewell Valley Arts Council proudly awarded its annual scholarships to four 2021 Hopewell Valley Central High School graduates: Seraphina Gillman, Olivia Levin, Nicole Bartnikowski and David LaRaus.

For the seventh year in a row, the nominees represented the best and most creative students in the community. “These scholarships are a critical part of our mission to foster creativity in the Hopewell Valley community and foster continued participation in the arts,” said Carol Lipson, chair of the board of directors of the HV Arts Council.

The recipients of the scholarships were those who demonstrated a substantial talent and deep interest in their selected field of study, and a commitment to further their education in all aspects of the arts, including fine art. arts, performing arts, culinary arts, literary arts or other forms of creative expression. This year’s HV Arts Council scholarship winners all work in different media, but share a passion for the arts and its ability to shed light on the functioning of their inner selves and community.

Visual artist Seraphina Gillman spoke about overcoming tough times by connecting with her art and herself. “These are my goals: to be an artist and focus my skills on giving others the same opportunities that I have had… I believe in the power of art to uplift people and I want to share that power with others. As a freshman entering Maine College of Art. Gillman marveled at many examples of art, however insignificant: “Art is in everything: the design of a restaurant sign, the way whose restaurant waiting room is organized and the paintings on its walls, the music played on the radio on the way back… ”

Comedian David LaRaus has said his love for acting enriches his inner life. “Due to the love and passion I have for art and the feeling of escaping my cares in life, it has become something that I intend to pursue.” LaRaus will attend Mercer County Community College in the fall as an undecided major.

Senior Olivia Levin is inspired to pursue musical theater and environmental science as a double majors. Levin sees his “mission as a performer is not just to entertain but to bring light into the lives of others,” and shares: “This desire to serve others and inspire social change will lead my work in college majoring in musical theater. ”

Nicole Bartnikowski is a first generation student of Polish descent whose childhood spent interpreting for her parents paved the way for a dual major in photography and journalism at the New School in New York. “My goal is to use the creative and life skills I have learned over the years to help stand up for those who are unheard. The arts at Hopewell enriched my life and gave me a purpose…. I am able to mix the two [photography and journalism] to create a platform to fight for social justice and help others, ”Bartnikowski said.

While their artistic and creative perspectives may vary, recipients of the 2021 scholarships share a bright future for the arts in Hopewell Valley.

Submitted by Hopewell Vally Arts Council. For more information, see www.hvartscouncil.org.

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