Meet the 2015 ASA Scholarship Recipients!

Meet the Two Recipients of the 2015 ASA Scholarship

Students receive award for artistic excellence

The Alberta Society of Artists (ASA) is excited to announce the two winners of its annual scholarship competition. Starting this new award program in 2015, the ASA offered two scholarships to student artists in Alberta to promote creativity in the arts and support emerging artists in their post-secondary studies. Now the ASA is pleased to announce that the two artists who received the scholarship are Agata Garbowska and Mary Haasdyk.

About Agata Garbowska

Agata Garbowska is in her first year of studies as an Art and Design major in the Bachelor of Fine Arts program at the University of Alberta. While studying for her Bachelor of Science degree, she decided to explore her interest in the arts with a minor in Art and Design. “Going into my second year I followed my interests and enrolled in an introductory art and an introductory design course. I eventually decided to minor in art and design so that I could continue to take studio courses during my science degree,” Garbowska says. Graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Alberta, she decided to pursue a degree in Art and Design, saying “I think the reason I finally decided to pursue a fine arts degree is that I am very aware of how much more I have to learn.”

In regard to her artistic style, Garbowska says “I consider myself to be a painter and I work primarily in oil paint. However, I’ve also discovered printmaking here at the University of Alberta and it is a process I have come to greatly enjoy.” Each of the pieces that Garbowska submitted for the scholarship are paintings. Several are based on collages that Garbowska created from photographic sources. Many of these photographs document interior spaces, such as the home. “I am still interested in interior space, however I am now collaging directly onto the paintings in addition to painting the original compositions generated through collage,” says Garbowska. “I’ve found that it is very difficult to create a complex space that is busy and interesting but not overwhelming.”

Discovering the ASA scholarship through the department of Art and Design at the University of Alberta, Garbowska decided to apply. In regard to her artistic future, she says “For now I hope to continue making work, improving my skills as a painter and making up for all the art history I didn’t take as I was a science student. I am also interested in bringing my science background, specifically my interest in physics, into my work in the future.”

About Mary Haasdyk

Mary Haasdyk is currently pursuing a degree in Visual Communications Design, in the illustration stream, at the Alberta College of Art and Design. In regard to her studies, Haasdyk says “I enjoy the practicality of studying illustration. Making something useful for a specific purpose that, at the same time, can be incredibly creative, is very satisfying. The defined boundaries of projects and the problem solving required to develop an image within those bounds is a challenge I enjoy.” In regard to the pieces that she submitted to the ASA scholarship, she says “Several of those pieces were illustration projects done this past semester; the Jungle Book cover, and the Contagious Yawn children’s illustration. The collaged images, the Tea Party and the self-portrait are personal ones that are collaged with magazine paper -a very tactile process that I enjoy.”

Haasdyk cites drawing as her primary medium, saying “Every image starts as a drawing, and sometimes it stays that way. Being in the design program, I am learning to paint in Photoshop and my work is slowly becoming more digital. I often work with different textures, patterns and drawings, and layer them up digitally. Working this way lends a lot of flexibility and room to experiment, which is a lot of fun.” In regard to how she finds some of the inspiration to create her artwork, she says “I love looking at artists’ sketchbooks. I find those really inspiring. Lately, I’ve also spent a lot time looking at children’s picture books from the library. Those are a lot of fun! Visiting the zoo is great. I’ve also had the chance to watch a couple of theatrical performances recently, which is a great source of inspiration.”

An email from ACAD informed Haasdyk of the scholarship that the ASA was offering and she decided to apply. She has several plans for her artistic career, saying “I’m hoping to get some professional experience in the industry locally as soon as I can. Eventually I would love to get involved in producing literacy material in a third-world country.”

The Alberta Society of Artists is pleased to present both students with these scholarships for their creative work and wishes them the best of luck in their future artistic endeavours!

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