Art connects many Yuba College students. In fact, so much art flows through exhibits in the library hall, you may not have noticed the display of works submitted for a scholarship: the Kingsley Award, given to a very talented Yuba student.
The scholarship, a $500 award, is given by the Kingsley foundation to art students once a year. Students must submit six to eight pieces of original work, in any medium (form) and a brief essay about themselves. They must be fulltime students taking six studio art units.
While it might sound like a lot of work, most artists already have portfolios of their work and can replicate them fairly easily. This year wielded eleven entrants: Eliza Skeffington, Megan Fanning, Rebecca Fanning, Denise Goodwin, Rebekah Davis, Rachel Fulmer, Myung Lee, Ricardo Gallardo, Emily Seeman , Grace Smith and Yesenia Espana.
Their art was on display for about a week in the Yuba College library before judges took a look and made their final decision.
“All of the students are highly talented,” said Sara Sealander, an art professor on campus. From all the entries, it was difficult to pick only one winner. But in the end this year’s winner was Yesenia Espana.
Art has been Espana’s passion since she first dipped her hands in paint in kindergarten.
“Making art simply makes me feel alive,” said Espana. “However, I create art not solely for my own satisfaction, but also for the viewer’s. Creating a work of art that is capable of provoking a thought or feeling will always be my passion.”
Espana continued, “Last year I couldn’t apply for the Kingsley Art Award because of certain requirements I didn’t meet, but I was set and ready for it this year”
Finding out she had been chosen to receive the award, Espana was naturally ecstatic. “When I listened to the voicemail Sara left me saying she had ‘good news,’ I immediately knew it just had to be about the award.”
“I excitedly shared the news with the family,” Espana continued. “It not only made me feel great that I was selected from the pool of strong competitors, but it also instilled more confidence in my work.”
An interesting fact about this year’s entrants is that three of them are closely related. Megan and Rebecca Fanning are daughter and mother; Grace Smith is Rebecca Fanning’s sister and Megan’s aunt.
“It wasn’t really weird,” said Megan Fanning when asked how it felt competing against her own mother and aunt. “I mean, if one of us had won, then one of us would have gotten money. I’d do it again.”
Yesenia Espana will be attending a dinner in May, where she will receive her scholarship award.
“As with some professions, being an artist is expensive,” explained Espana. “A lot is invested in materials and tuition, especially at a private school. The money I’ll receive from the Kingsley isn’t a large amount, but it’ll be very helpful in completing another semester at Yuba College! Plus, there’s a luncheon in honor of all the award recipients at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento. Now that’s cool!”