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Art Scholarships

The academic field of art features many concentrations within its domain. Within this field you can study everything from art history to photography. While there are art scholarships for many of these concentrations, you'll first need to determine if it's the visual or the performing arts that interest you. After you've made that determination, you should be able to focus your art scholarship search so as to make the most of your efforts.

The major of visual arts is also referred to as fine arts or studio arts. In this field you generally choose a type of studio art, such as painting, and concentrate on that mode of expression. Examples of other concentrations include sculpture, print making, ceramics, animation, glass blowing, metalsmithing and textile arts. Classes in this major are not like the traditional college courses found in majors such as English or history. In the place of lectures and didactic instruction, you'll have studio time where you'll work on projects, develop your portfolio and learn the subtleties behind receiving and issuing criticism.

The performing arts include concentrations such as drama and theater arts, music performance and dance. These programs are offered in a wide range of formats and styles. Initially, you'll have to choose between a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree program. When it comes to the performing arts, the BFA is generally more rigorous and the BA programs provide you with a broader, more well-rounded educational experience. Which style of program will work best for you depends on what you plan on doing after you graduate.

The employment prospects for these varied fields is hardly a concise picture. Job opportunities vary dramatically depending on what you study. Clearly, fields such as digital art and graphic design feature a rosier employment picture over the coming decade than a major such as dance. But even this intuitive fact is not set in stone. When it comes to graphic design the current trend is to farm out the basic design work to oversees firms. And while the field of dance is overcrowded with talented graduates, there are a growing number of job opportunities is areas such as dance education and arts administration.

Follow the links below to learn more about art scholarships. 

American Postdoctoral Research Leave Fellowship

One-year support for women who will have earned a doctoral degree by November 15. Sixteen fellowships are available: four each in the arts and humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, one unrestricted, and one designated for a woman from an underrepresented minority group in any field. Designed to assist scholars in obtaining tenure and other promotions by enabling them to spend a year pursuing independent research. The primary purpose of the fellowship is to increase the number of women in tenure-track faculty positions and to promote equality for women in higher education. Tenured professors are not eligible.

Thomas M. Spoerner Art Scholarship

Awarded yearly to an outstanding sophomore, junior, or senior art major.

Psi Iota Chi Scholarship

Awarded every other year to an outstanding sophomore, junior, or senior art major.

Goodwin Estate Scholarship

This scholarship provides assistance for students of the arts.

Berrien Fragos Thorn Arts Scholarships for Migrant Farm Workers

Funded by a bequest from Berrien Fragos Thorn, creative arts scholarships have been initiated in order to foster and encourage the creative talents of individuals with a history of migration to obtain work in agriculture. Eligible applicants must demonstrate an interest in pursuing further development of their talents in one of the following disciplines: Visual-painting, sculpture, photography, etc. Performing-dance, theatre, music, etc. Media-film, video, animation, computer graphics, etc. Literary-poetry, short stories, etc. Crafts-traditional folk arts, furniture, weaving, pottery, etc. There are two options in applying for funding: I. Grants under $500.00 No deadline for application-requests will be reviewed case-by-case Complete Sections A and C of the application II. Grants up to $2,500.00 awarded semi-annually A budget or documentation of expenses must be submitted with the application. Money may be used for workshops, materials, study with a mentor, course enrollment, mileage, lost wages

Henry and Chiyo Kuwahara Creative Arts Scholarship

National JACL membership is a requirement to be considered for a JACL scholarship. Membership must be held by the applicant or applicant's parents only. Extended family ties do not apply for this requirement. Student memberships are available. For more information about membership categories, please contact the JACL Membership Department at National Headquarters. Applicants must also be planning to attend a college, university, trade school, business school or any institution of higher learning at the undergraduate or graduate school level in the upcoming fall. This scholarship was established to encourage creative projects that reflect the Japanese American experience and culture. All technical work of the applicant should be of the college level. Professional artists are not eligible to apply for this award. Scholarship ranking are based upon an applicant's academic achievement, extracurricular activities, community involvement, personal statement and letter(s) of recommendation.

Florence Young Memorial Fellowship

The Association on American Indian Affairs offers one Florence Young Memorial Fellowship in the amount of $5,000 to a student pursuing a Masters in the Arts. Disbursement is made to the college during the fall semester only. This scholarship does not automatically renew. Students are eligible to apply on a yearly basis.

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowship - Visual Arts and Art History

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowship program is a vital source of funding for the visual arts and art history in Virginia. VMFA is committed to supporting professional artists and art students who demonstrate exceptional creative ability in their chosen discipline and, as such has awarded nearly $5 million to Virginia’s artists since the program’s creation over 70 years ago. The VMFA Fellowship program was established in 1940 through a generous contribution made by the late John Lee Pratt of Fredericksburg, Virginia. Offered through VMFA Statewide, Fellowships are still largely funded through the Pratt endowment, and supplemented by annual gifts from the Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation and the J. Warwick McClintic, Jr. Scholarship Fund. The Fellowship program has a long and established history of supporting Virginia’s artistic talent and has helped to further the careers and studies of many distinguished individuals, including recent recipients Rick Alverson of Richmond, Michelle Erickson of Hampton, and Megan Marlatt of Orange. VMFA offers $8,000 awards to professional artists, $6,000 awards to graduate students, and $4,000 awards to undergraduate students. Applicants may apply in the disciplines of Crafts, Drawing, Film/Video, Mixed Media, New/Emerging Media, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture, and Art History (graduate students only). All applicants must be legal residents of Virginia and student applicants must be enrolled full-time in degree-seeking programs. Applicants’ works are reviewed anonymously by distinguished jurors and awards are made based on artistic merit. The deadline for Fellowship applications is Friday, November 7, 2014. We ask that you please encourage interested students and professional artists to apply. Full eligibility criteria, an application, and a printable PDF flyer can be found at www.VMFA.museum/fellowships.

Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship

One fellowship is awarded annually for 24 months. This fellowship is intended for the advancement and completion of a doctoral dissertation in a period through the 20th century and on a topic other than European or American art. Cross-cultural topics will also be considered, provided that at least one area of focus is a culture outside the European and American traditions. The Andrew W. Mellon Fellow is expected to spend one year of the fellowship period on dissertation research abroad, and one year at the Center to complete the dissertation.

Jackson, Janet /Rhythm Nation Scholarship

Eligible Majors: Communications, Art, Music, English, Performing Arts Eligible Schools: Barber-Scotia College, Benedict College, Bennett College for Women, Bethune-Cookman College, Claflin University, Clark Atlanta University, Dillard University, Edward Waters College, Fisk University, Florida Memorial College, Huston-Tillotson University, Interdenominational Theological Center, Jarvis Christian College, Johnson C. Smith University, Lane College, LeMoyne-Owen College, Livingstone College, Miles College, Morehouse College, Morris College, Oakwood College, Paine College, Paul Quinn College, Philander Smith College, Rust College, Saint Augustines College, Saint Pauls College, Shaw University, Spelman College, Stillman College, Talladega College, Tougaloo College, Tuskegee University, Virginia Union University, Voorhees College, Wilberforce University, Wiley College, Xavier University, Texas College Eligible Locations: Open Scholarship Detail: Performing artist Janet Jackson created this scholarship from the proceeds of her Rhythm Nation Tour. Awards are made annually and may be used for tuition costs, room and board, or to repay federal student loans. Donor/Sponsor Name: Janet Jackson

Arlene Roberts Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship provides an award to a full-time art major with a minimum 3.0 GPA, and who has financial need. The most recent award was $750.

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