Four years of choosing to study Music instead of Art in high school — along with immersing himself in his family’s Blanshard Ward home into the guitars, computerized samplers and synthesizers of electronica music — never completely erased Evan Thompson’s love of drawing. So he kept sketching in his spare time — that is, the spare time during which he wasn’t experimenting with sounds.
Finally, when he decided to return to St. Marys DCVI for a fifth year of studies last fall, he opted to sign up for Art instead of Music. And, wow, did that ever pay off!
On Sunday, June 16, the soon-to-graduate-from-DCVI Thompson was at Gallery Stratford to accept the well-respected and long-running Ela Moll Scholarship for 2013. It’s presented annually by Gallery Stratford to a Perth County high school student planning to pursue a post-secondary education in the Visual Arts, and has been handed out for 40 years in honour of a promising young artist who was killed in a roadway incident at the age of 19.
The scholarship carries a $500 cash award. In September, Thomp-son will begin studies at the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD) University in Toronto.
To apply for the Ela Moll Scholarship, Thompson had to submit a portfolio of paintings and sketches, as well as a letter explaining his intentions in the study of art. In an interview with the Journal Argus, he explained that he already had a series of sketches from past years, before officially enrolling in Art class at DCVI last September. The paintings that he submitted, meanwhile, were all from his recent classroom studies.
In keeping with his tastes in music, Thompson explained, he also tends to veer towards the experimental and abstract in his artwork. One of his works has been chosen to be on display at Gallery Stratford (54 Romeo Street) for the summer. The painting, he noted, “is kind of a surreal landscape.”
He added, however, that he did try out different types of painting during his classroom studies, and will do the same once he begins pursing a four-year Bachelor of Fine Arts at OCAD. He expects his first year will feature sections about a range of types of art.
Also on Sunday, June 16 at Gallery Stratford, the facility celebrated this year’s Public Opening of the annual Huron-Perth Exhibition, featuring the talent of emerging and established artists working in all media. “Juried by a different curator, gallery administrator or artist each year, the project is a wonderful opportunity for the regional and visiting audience to view current art created in the two counties,” explained a news release about the annual exhibition.
In 2013, the Gallery received 112 entries, with the jury selecting 37 works by 29 artists. The Huron-Perth Exhibition will remain on view until Oct. 6.