Warrnambool College student chosen to participate in a national art summer scholarship

Young Artist Shines: Scholarship winner Jessica Benter explores the National Art Gallery of Australia. Image courtesy of the National Gallery of Australia, 2016

Young Artist Shines: Scholarship winner Jessica Benter explores the National Art Gallery of Australia. Image courtesy of the National Gallery of Australia, 2016

WARRNAMBOOL student Jessica Benter is one of only 16 students across Australia chosen to participate in a highly competitive art scholarship this summer. 

The Warrnambool College student said she was encouraged by her teachers to apply for the scholarship, which is awarded to only two students in each state. 

A lover of drawing and painting, Jessica said she welcomed the chance to learn from gallery staff and university lecturers. 

“I’ve had an awesome time,” Jessica said. 

“Just meeting everyone from across the country and seeing behind the scenes in the gallery and how they look after the artwork has been really great.”

The National Summer Art Scholarship program at the National Gallery of Australia gives Year 12 students from each state a chance to learn from leaders in the arts and creative industry.

Students met and worked with Torres Strait Islander artist Brian Robinson.

They were also granted a glimpse behind the scenes at the National Gallery of Australia.

“I think it’s important to recognise that there are so many things that go on in a gallery … so much more than what you see,” Jessica said. 

During the week-long program in Canberra, Jessica participated in creative workshops, was mentored by National Gallery of Australia staff and completed hands-on work with artists at the Australian National University.

National Gallery of Australia assistant director Simon Elliott said the program was a chance for young people to learn more about art. 

“(The students can) gain a unique insight into the many career opportunities that galleries and museums offer,” Mr Elliott said.

Having heard about the opportunity from her art teacher at Warrnambool College, Jessica applied for scholarship.

“I had to look at artwork and create a piece in response and provide a written report,” Jessica said

With a dream to study digital and fine arts in Melbourne, Jessica was inspired by the time she spent in Canberra. 

“Coming here has shown me there are endless possibilities,” Jessica said. 

 “As long as I’m creating and doing art, I’ll be happy.”

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