Sierra Wills

Sierra Wills

NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Lufkin High School graduating senior Sierra Wills has been awarded a scholarship to study art at Stephen F. Austin State University.

The SFA Friends of the Visual Arts board annually awards a $750 scholarship to one deserving high school senior from an East Texas regional school who plans to enroll in the SFA School of Art to assist the student in furthering his or her educational and professional goals in the field of art. Applicants must show support from their high school art teacher and show promise in the field of art as determined by SFA School of Art faculty who review their portfolios.

In her application for the scholarship, Wills stated, "Art is the passion that sets my soul on fire. Art for me is a part of who I am as a person. I have been creating art ever since I could hold a pencil. Art allows me to communicate and express myself to the viewer. It also helps me understand things and see life differently. I find myself inspired by nature and all of God's creatures. Charcoal is my favorite medium to express my inspiration, with its bold and daring characteristics. I especially love the dramatic effect that charcoal gives to drawings through its values, details and textures."

Denise Stringer Davis, Wills' art teacher, described her student as having a "self-driven nature" causing her to stand out among other students.

"She is known for both her talent and for giving her time to her community," Davis wrote in recommending Wills for the scholarship.

"Sierra is a very honest person who stands by her convictions," Davis said. "She works non-stop. She works in class from bell to bell as well as at home. She has also given a workshop for the local art guild on her process. Sierra seeks out new materials and methods. She is open to criticism and will try new things when encouraged.

"I know that she will be an asset to your department and will continue to contribute to the community," she added.

Wills' award-winning work has been featured in the Congressional Art Competition exhibition and in auctions at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.