Julie McSwain

Julie McSwain

NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Art and Friends of the Visual Arts have announced that Julie McSwain, who graduated from Center High School this past May, is this year's recipient of the East Texas Regional High School Art Scholarship.

The SFA Friends of the Visual Arts Board provides an annual scholarship to one deserving high school senior from East Texas who plans to enroll in the SFA School of Art to help them further their educational and professional goals in the field of art. McSwain is currently attending SFA.

"Julie is the type of student I can easily find many positive things to write about," Center art teacher Ruby Woodward wrote in nominating her for the award last spring. "The quality of her work is the first thing that comes to mind, as she is not one to settle on the first (or easiest) idea. She really dives into her work and is not content until she produces something beautiful."

In her artist's statement describing her work, McSwain wrote: "Creating art is one thing that takes my mind off all of the chaos and stress and responsibilities in my life. It can take you to a different world and make hours fly by, yet it only feels like a few minutes have passed. I often times relate my art to music, another thing that helps me escape reality. While most of my life my art has consisted of pencil and paper, the past couple of years I have been fortunate to digitally create art using Illustrator and other programs, and I've recently really enjoyed using charcoal and prismacolors and some painting. However, no matter the materials I use, I enjoy creating art not only because it is something that helps pass the time, but it also makes me feel a million times better and impacts my life in so many ways."

"There has never been a project I've assigned that Julie did not deliver something top of the line," Woodard wrote. "This student is ready for college level work. I was very pleased to hear of her enrollment at SFA. She will be an asset to your art department."

The SFA Friends of the Visual Arts is made up of community members who support the arts in East Texas and provide monetary assistance to students enrolling in the School of Art by conducting fundraisers, such as the annual 12 x 12 event each July.