Recognized by the Mountain Artists, Gabrielle Ruddick and David Yarger have received a financial and supportive boost from their hometown arts organization.
Ruddick, who graduated last month from Woodland Park High School, is headed toward the Art Institute of Colorado in Denver. With the extra $2,000 from the organization, Ruddick has a financial plan in place, establishing a pay-as-you-go system as a head start to fund her education.
For the contest, Ruddick submitted varieties of her work, one a Zentangle portrait in acrylic with a splash of watercolor as well as a wax-and-dye Indian batik and several photographs, of landscapes and still-lifes.
A high-school star in track and field, Ruddick is changing directions from athletic to the artistic. Aware of the financial repercussions of giving up a probable athletic scholarship, Ruddick is following her dream. “I really want to pursue photography,” she said. “My parents support me in my decisions and my passions.”
As a future professional photographer, Ruddick has her eye on the wide open spaces in other lands. “I want to travel and get a job with `National Geographic' or another magazine,” she said. “When I'm ready to settle down I'll come back here.”
For her high school years, Ruddick honed her artistic talent with the guidance of the art teacher, Stacia Ray.
The Mountain Artists made an exception in awarding a second scholarship, this one $1,000, to a former winner. “We could not overlook David's growth as an artist,” said Maggie Hunt, spokesperson for the nonprofit organization. “He has catapulted to a whole new level.”
Recognized locally for his work with the Shanika Fine Art Studio, Yarger has scooped up several accomplishments over the years, including an exhibit at the Eichman Gallery at Park State Bank & Trust. He has shown his work at the Hunter-Wolff Gallery in Colorado Springs and attended the Susan K. Black Foundation annual workshop in Dubois, Wy. He plans to return to the workshop this summer.
“One of my goals is to redefine my aesthetic work, experimenting with the various stylistic qualities of my work that make it special and unique, to make it even more distinctive, heartfelt and instantly recognizable as a `David P.Yarger,' piece,” he said.
Yarger plans to spend the scholarship money to continue funding his artistic education and development.
“In awarding the scholarships, we want to encourage young people to study the visual arts,” Hunt said.