Scholarship available for area artists to further art studies

April 5, 2017  |  by Bonifas Arts Center

Artists wanting to develop their skills by attending a workshop or class can apply for the Barb Symon scholarship presented by the Bonifas Arts Center.

This $200 scholarship, established by Charles Symon in memory of his wife Barbara, a highly respected weaver and a founder of the East Ludington Gallery, encourages ongoing study in arts or crafts.

The Barb Symon scholarship may be used for tuition or travel, lodging, and/or food connected with the workshop or class.

Applications will be accepted now through May 1, with the recipient announced May 18 at the opening meet-the-artists reception for the BAC membership exhibit. Along with the application form, artists (age 18 and older) must submit an artist statement, a list of goals, a resume, and three reference letters.

Applications can be dropped off at the Bonifas or mailed to the following address: Bonifas Arts Center, Attn: Barb Symon Scholarship, 700 First Ave. S., Escanaba, MI 49829.

The recipient of last year’s Barb Symon scholarship, Carol Irving, of Escanaba, a fiber artist, used the funding to attend a three-day class for weavers, available through the Petoskey Crooked Tree Art Center, in conjunction with North Central Michigan College.

There, she learned about an ikat dyeing process used when weaving a certain style of tapestries and rugs as well as on-loom embellishment techniques. Irving creates rugs and wall-hangings, but she had never dyed her own yarn; she signed up to expand her capabilities and enhance her work by learning these new techniques, she said. The class gave Irving a “new tool” she looks forward to using and exploring in the future, she said.

Fellow-artist Mary Penet said Irving, who will serve as a judge for the membership show, is dedicated and “constantly strives to improve her work.”

Learn more about Irving and view her work at


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