STEVENSVILLE — Two scholarships to graduating seniors were presented Thursday evening, July 8, during the annual Kent Island Federation of Arts Photography Exhibit. KIFA President Maria Sage presented $750 scholarships to the graduates, Melissa Weigman and Annika Liimatainen, both planning to go on to arts schools. Both graduated from Queen Anne’s County High School in Centreville, with the Class of 2021.

Next year, Melissa plans to pursue her two passions, art and story telling, as she attends the School of Visual Arts, in New York City, to pursue a career as an animator. As a student at QACHS, she was part of many firsts. She was a founding member of the National Art Honor Society at the school, helped create the school’s first ArtScene, a K-12 county art exhibit, was part of the first visual arts Advance Placement Program in the school, where she received high marks for her portfolio, and was a member of the Blue Ribbon winning student group at the local Artisans Festival. She also participated in several NAHS Community Arts Projects.

Art is an integral part of her life, she said, that helped her navigate her way through high school, allowing her to tell her story through ultimate means of self expression, her artwork. She said she looks forward to developing her craft of visual story telling through animation.

Annika said she has had a love of art as long as she can remember. She was also a member of the NAHS and Art Club in high school, participating in several community arts projects. She will be studying Art Therapy in the fall at Emmanuel College, located in Boston, Massachusetts.

She said she is “super excited to help people using art as a way of expressing and healing.”

Art has been a healthy way for her to express her emotions, she said, and she is excited to share her passion and experiences with others.

KIFA has previously offered scholarships like these to local students with plans for majoring in some form of art as a career.

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