Eleonor Botoman – Fall 2016 Scholarship Winner

EleonorBotomanPortrait_editMeet Eleonor Botoman, a freshman at Barnard College, who is majoring in English and Art History. We would like to congratulate Eleonor on being selected as one of three recipients of our Frederic Whitaker and Eileen Monaghan Whitaker Foundation Scholarships for the Fall 2016 term. As part of the application process, Eleonor was asked to submit an essay response to a question about the Whitakers and their work. You can read Eleonor’s artist statement and essay below:


Artist Statement

As a double major in English and Art History, I’ve set my sights on exploring the art world through art criticism. I currently attend Barnard College, a women’s college in New York City, and I’ve spent my first year studying art history and architecture, researching internship opportunities for next fall, and wrote for the Journal of Art Criticism (JAC). This new student publication had its first issue release in early May and I am currently writing more pieces to be published in the summer and fall semester. I’ve also contributed to Postcrypt Art Gallery, an organization atColumbia University that puts on themed exhibitions of student artwork covering a wide range of mediums from installations, digital design, paintings, and sculpture.

Being in New York, I’ve been able to discover new developments in the art world by exploring all of the museums and galleries just a few subway stops away, and my professors, experts in the art history and architecture field, have guided me through not only the history of art, but also where the future of art is going.

As I begin my writing classes in the fall, I’m eager to develop my writing skills and use the analytic knowledge I gain from English to produce criticisms and theories of my own. I want to question artistic choices, draw comparisons and relationships across movements, understand the artist’s influences and inspirations, and place contemporary works into greater historical contexts. The skills I learn in writing will help me articulate my ideas in ways as creative as the artists I choose to discuss. However, I don’t want to keep all of my learning strictly on-campus.

With the fall semester just a few months away, I’ve already begun applying to internships in different organizations in order to further immerse myself within the art world. Some of these organizations include Artsty.net, a website that not only produces articles but also keeps track of artists’ profiles and pieces as well as guides to auctions and various galleries. There is also Magnus, a new app that identifies the work of art you’re looking at and provides you with all of its information including the artist, the gallery it belongs to, and the current sale price. I am also looking to work for ArchDaily, an architecture journal that looks at up-and-coming architects, explores new developments in design, and studies the impact of contemporary projects (both residential and public works) on the world today.

Essay Question: Compare and contrast Frederic Whitaker and Eileen Monaghan Whitaker’s watercolors depicting Mexican culture

Mexico has been a source of inspiration for many writers and artists over the years, from the Beat poets’ trips south of the border to Diego Rivera’s grand murals of indigenous people. The Whitakers felt this strong pull to Mexico, and captured their awe in beautiful watercolor paintings. Both Eileen and Frederic’s works project emotion into the viewer. The flickering effects of the watercolor evoke a bright Mexican energy. Frederic and Eileen’s pieces may share subject matter, but their individual perception of Mexico causes them to splinter into two subjects of focus: Eileen studies the Mexican people while Frederic documents the Mexican earth, bringing a narrative quality to the forefront of his compositions. In an exploration of their differences, the watercolor artists together produce a whole, richly dynamic image of the power of this Latin-American land.

Eileen Whitaker explores Mexico through its people. Her warm portraits use vivid color to bring a face to a kind of Latin-American energy. She captures moments of daily life, brightened with whites and reds. The figures themselves, however, stand almost rigid poses. She does not use Impressionist brushstrokes to create her pictures. Subjects are rendered to as close a realism that can come with watercolor paints, people documented as if each moment she sees is a photograph. Princess Mariposa (1989) captures the woman with a realistic lightness and her dreamy expression with the rainbow patterned fabrics of her traditional dress. However, there is no intense overlapping of motifs or color in the composition. The mural in the corner, the leaves, the hummingbird, and the butterflies that bloom from behind the woman are included as motifs to further emphasize her identity. The flat white wall ensures no distraction. Eileen sees the people and their lives as the true expression of Mexican tradition, worn in their clothing.

Frederic’s interpretation of the lives of Mexican people emits a more rugged and masculine quality. In the Poultry Merchant (1967), he uses rougher strokes, yet overlaps the washed out tones to create delicate shadows and streaks of sun-brightened white across the feathers. Unlike Eileen, he does not paint the Mexican people with emotion. The merchant’s face appears with only a few minimal strokes while the chickens, the blanket, and his handkerchief are rendered with precision. Eileen captures the expressive quality of the locals’ faces, punctuating their portraits with richly colored cloth, while Frederic defines the Mexican people by traditional objects they use in their lives, carrying into a greater narrative quality of his series of paintings. Two paintings show this documentary quality: Dawn, Nov 2nd (1968) and the Lettuce Pickers (1966).¹ One takes place on an urban street while the other shows men at work in the fields, however Frederic produces two very similar studies on the power of the Mexican landscape. Watercolor is not a painting medium that encourages exact lines so the artist must make the choice to place the most important aspect of the painting right at the foreground where the image can be meticulously rendered. In both Dawn, Nov 2nd and the Lettuce Pickers, he places Mexico at the forefront while the flickering forms of the people linger towards the background. Only one individual sits close to the viewer in Dawn, Nov 2nd, and it should be noted that he wears the most elaborate costume. The Lettuce Pickers appear as generalized forms as well, but in the foreground Frederic places a cardboard box in the corner as a symbol of their agricultural work. He brings the rows of lettuce forward before stretching them all the way towards back of the canvas, sending the viewer’s eye back into a vast and fertile land. Eileen shows individual identities but Frederic uses the Mexican people to create a larger history of a collective identity. Their faces have a formless quality, only enough to differentiate a person within a group. In the darkened daylight of Dawn, Frederic punctuates the men with bright yellow caps. In the Lettuce Pickers, hats play a similar role. This is a symbol of male traditional dress, a practical one that keeps them cool under the hot southern sun. The Lettuce Pickers could become faded into the monotony of the green field, but their bright hats emphasize their hard work. As with the boxes, the hats are a symbol of hardworking spirit, similar to Eileen’s representation of the women’s energy in electric fabrics.

A final point of contrast between the two artists arises with Frederic’s use of a darker palette. Eileen doesn’t shy away from duskier tones, but she prefers bright pinks to her husband’s shadowy blues. This comparison is drawn between two paintings: Eileen’s Se Vende Ajos (1990) and Frederic’s Flower Market (1977). Both pieces address the bustling Mexican marketplace, however there is variation within color schemes. Eileen’s painting projects warmth with hues of orange, reds, and purples. The figures are arranged so that each item for sale can be represented. Oranges and garlic are presented by the merchants and fabrics draping in the background are only partially blocked by the man in the center while the rest of their patterns are unobstructed. The scene is inviting, decorated for the viewer. Frederic’s work, on the other hand, shows a louder, busier scene. All of the shapes reduce in definition to enhance the frenzied setting. The women’s dresses merge together in tones of blues and purples. Sellers carry clouds of blossoms. The sky is darker, drawing attention to the flowers and the dynamic movement of the crowd. In Eileen’s painting, the man engages with the viewer, welcomes them into the selling space. Frederic places the viewer behind the women sitting in the shade with their children. They do not participate, perhaps because they cannot keep up with the chaos of the market, and the viewer is encouraged to observe in order to learn about the culture. Frederic’s paintings capture a dynamic story of Mexican life while Eileen’s works follow a more stagnant tradition of portraiture and elegant expression of culture. 

¹Unbeknownst to the author, the setting for Frederic Whitaker’s watercolor painting “Lettuce Pickers” was Salinas, California, not Mexico, as suggested. This is an understandable misconception as the painting is included with collections featuring Mexico and Mexican culture, and details regarding where “Lettuce Pickers,” was painted were not available to the author as of the writing of this essay.

Carrie Taylor – Fall 2016 Scholarship Winner

CarrieTaylor PortraitMeet Carrie Taylor, a senior at Georgia State University, who is majoring in Studio Art. We would like to congratulate Carrie on being selected as one of three recipients of our Frederic Whitaker and Eileen Monaghan Whitaker Foundation Scholarships for the Fall 2016 term:

[I am] only 6 classes shy of my B.F.A. degree, [and] upon graduation I will be able to be financially independent while working in my field. I have been a working artist for a decade and have a stunning portfolio, but often I am overlooked [in] the application screening process since I lack a Bachelor’s degree.

The B.F.A Studio Art program grooms the working artist. In my final year, I will work closely with professional artists and have dedicated studio hours. It will teach me the boundaries needed to successfully raise my infant son as a single parent and work in an unconventional profession with opportunities for office hours and freelance work. I have always been a great student, as I maintain an above B grade point average, and I have received recognition and awards in both my educational and work environments. I would like to believe that hard work does not go unnoticed, and though we may face challenges, we can overcome them. I want my son to believe in himself as he believes in me.

Going to class for me is attending my studio. It is another place of work. I have found through the challenges of my past year it is also a place of retreat and healing. I have had a dormant interest in art therapy, and if I can achieve my short-term goals I can continue to believe that despite challenges, art is a constant and a place of serenity for healing. I would like to further pursue qualifications and responsibility in order to be part of the promise and promotion of creative expression in art therapy.

Carrie Taylor_My Sunshine_4x6_2015

“My Sunshine” 2015, 4 x 6 in. ©Carrie Taylor

Carrie Taylor_Daisy_4.25x5.5_2015

“Daisy” 2015, 4.25 x 5.5 in ©Carrie Taylor

Xiaoyan Zhao – Fall 2016 Scholarship Winner

XiaoyanZhaoPortraitMeet Xiaoyan Zhao, a junior at the California College of the Arts, who is majoring in Painting and Drawing. We would like to congratulate Xiaoyan on being selected as one of three recipients of our Frederic Whitaker and Eileen Monaghan Whitaker Foundation Scholarships for the Fall 2016 term:

Ever since my grandfather passed away in March 2015, he had been the source of inspiration whenever I paint. Like other Alzheimer and Parkinson patients, my grandfather also endured similar symptoms such as gradually lost his memory, gradually lost the ability to read, speak, walk, swallow. In his final months, the only things he could do are blinking his eyes, sometimes tearing, and lifting fingers. From home to nursing house, from nursing house to hospital, in the three years at the end of grandfather’s life, what he experienced has become the experience of our family, grandfather and mine.

Life and death shock me deeply. Memory, family, time became my language of artistic expression. In this semester, I began tending to the pleasure of life, rather than thinking of death. Through this way of thinking life and death, joy and sadness to explore moderation philosophy, so as explore life and art.

I want to tell people with my painting: If your parents, or grandparents live alone or in the nursing home, go to visit them, because they may live in a very lonely place, they need us.

Xiaoyan Zhao, Grandfather, the loss of memory,22.5_30,2015

“Grandfather, the Loss of Memory” May 2015, 22.5 x 30 in. ©Xiaoyan Zhao

Xiaoyan Zhao, PARALLEL SPACE,22.5_30,2015

“Parallel Space” May, 2015, 22.5 x 30 in. ©Xiaoyan Zhao


Catherine Ross – Fall 2016 Honorable Mention

CatherineRossPortraitMeet Catherine Ross, a junior at Pacific Northwest College of Art, who is majoring in Painting. We would like to congratulate Ms. Ross on being selected as one of three recipients of our Fall 2016 Honorable Mention Commendations for a Frederic Whitaker and Eileen Monaghan Whitaker Foundation Scholarship:

I am a multi-disciplinary artist working in Portland, Oregon. After spending the last ten years traveling in over 20 countries, learning Spanish, Portuguese and French while working as a painter, I returned to the States and am currently pursuing a BFA in painting at the Pacific NorthWest College of Art. Combining painting, video and sound, sculpture, and performance, I push the boundaries of media and materials to create hybrid works that explore the possibilities and limitations of the body. My work considers class, race and gender, the commodification of the body, labor, the forfeit of physicality for online avatars, obsessive self-documentation and consumption of one’s own image in the digital age. I have recently founded a painting club and movement/performance club at my college. I am currently creating an artists’ collective for women that encourages collaboration and support for female artists in my community. I plan to get an MFA after graduation, focusing on art and dance as ways to engage the local community and increase compassion and connection in local/national/global communities.


Constraint 2016 by Catherine Ross 16" x 20"

“Constraint” 2016, 16 x 20 in. ©Catherine Ross

Liberation 2016 by Catherine Ross 16" x 20"

“Liberation” 2016, 16 x 20 in. ©Catherine Ross



Yesenia Brambila – Fall 2016 Honorable Mention

Meet Yesenia Brambila, a junior at New York University, who is majoring in Classics and Fine Arts. We would like to congratulate Yesenia on being selected as one of three recipients of our Fall 2016 Honorable Mention Commendations for a Frederic Whitaker and Eileen Monaghan Whitaker Foundation Scholarship. As an applicant for the Art History emphasis scholarship, Yesenia was asked to submit an essay responding to a question about the Whitakers and their work. You can read her essay and artist statement below:

Artist Statement

The ancient world of the Greeks and Romans and the art they produced have fascinated me for as long as I can remember. Every course I take at NYU is an attempt to understand this era of art more and to bridge the gap between my time and theirs. I have never been as passionate about anything as I am with this. My dream is to receive a doctorate in this area and to become a professor of classical art. Though I would be the first in my family to receive a doctorate, I believe I am capable of doing it because I have the work ethic and dedication needed to achieve this dream. I joined the Presidential Honors Scholars Program at NYU for the opportunity to write a senior’s honor thesis in the Classics (which, as a soon to be junior, I have already started conducting research for). And for the past two semesters, I have taken two languages (French and Latin) at once. Next semester, I plan to continue with Latin while adding on both Ancient Greek and German. I do all these things not only to prepare myself for graduate school, but to give myself a better understanding of the ancient world. 

Essay Question: Compare and contrast Frederic Whitaker and Eileen Monaghan Whitaker’s watercolors depicting Mexican culture

In their watercolor paintings, Frederic Whitaker and Eileen Monaghan Whitaker show that though they share both a similar style and a similar interest in depicting Mexican culture, the two artists focus on various aspects of this subject. While Frederic Whitaker shows a greater interest in painting the full picture of Mexican culture, Eileen Monaghan Whitaker shows a greater interest in the people that represent this culture. Rather than choosing to depict all of the elements that compose Mexican culture, Eileen focuses instead on the personalization of the figures she depicts. 

It is evident that these artists shared not only a marriage, but also thematic content in their works. For example, Eileen’s “Bird Watcher” and Frederic’s “Birdwatchers” is a clear example of the two artists sharing a specific subject. But, they represent them in their own unique ways. In Eileen’s version of this subject, the main, and only, figure in the painting has her back turned to us and she is assumingly watching the bird in front of her. With the figure placed so close to the foreground and her back turned, it’s as if the viewers are meant to feel as though they are intruding on the woman, which gives this scene a sense of intimacy. Frederic’s somber and gray version of the scene, on the other hand, is composed of two figures with one of them holding an infant on her back. The figures are shown side-by-side in profile. The viewers are able to follow their downcast eyes to the numerous birds at their feet. And so, unlike Eileen’s version, here the viewer is not an intruder, but simply a spectator to the scene.

In these paintings, both artists also share stylistic elements in their depiction. For example, both provide merely hints of the background to the scene. Both backgrounds are painted with quick and wispy strokes and so the viewers can understand that they are not what is important in understanding this scene. Also, though the use of color in these paintings will soon be elaborated on, a continuity in the color scheme is visible in both paintings throughout their respected scenes. The vibrant colors in Eileen’s depiction are visible in every area such as the figure, the bird, and the vague background, just as the somber tones are visible in Frederic’s figures, birds, and his just as vague background.   

These color schemes are significant towards understanding the difference between the way these artists represent this Mexican culture. Despite the fact that her only figure has her back turned to the viewers, Eileen shows a concern for personalizing the woman. In the painting, she wears a colorful dressing and a headdress that matches its vibrant color scheme. A large, jeweled earring hangs from the ear visible to the viewers. With all these elements of personalization, we are able to get a sense of what this woman’s tastes in clothing and jewelry are. To contrast this, Frederic’s scene lacks both vibrant colors and personalization. His two figures wear large, dark cloaks that hang down their bodies which enhances their hanging heads and downcast eyes and except for their gaze towards the birds, there is no sense of their interests. This imagery of hanging and dark colors is typically associated with mourning, and it is through this association that the somberness within the scene is translated.

Now, this somberness does not suggest that Frederic believes Mexican culture itself to be somber and melancholic. In terms of what it says about the culture, his painting’s lack of personalization and the placement of the figures gives the spectators a direct view of the scene. Frederic does not rely on the identity of his figures to tell the story of this culture. He relies on the full composition of the work to tell a complete story of this culture, while Eileen tells a complete story over the shoulder of a vibrant and tasteful woman.

Of course, one painting cannot act as an indication of an artist’s entire body of work, and therefore act as a spokesperson for that artist’s approach to their subject; however, these two works are appropriate for illustrating the connections and discrepancies between a husband’s and a wife’s work. In their explicit sharing of a subject and implicit variations in that subject’s presentation, the comparison of Eileen’s “Bird Watcher” and Frederic’s “Birdwatchers” can be regarded as a microcosm to the comparison of the artists themselves. These are the paintings that show just to what extent Frederic Whitaker and Eileen Monaghan Whitaker differ in their depictions of Mexican culture. And they show just how important not only style and subject are, but the eyes of the artist translating that subject into painting.

Jacob Garcia – Fall 2016 Honorable Mention

Meet Jacob Garcia, a junior at University of Houston, who is majoring in Fine Art. We would like to congratulate Jacob on being selected as one of three recipients of our Fall 2016 Honorable Mention Commendations for a Frederic Whitaker and Eileen Monaghan Whitaker Foundation Scholarship:

 At the University [of Houston] I hope to gain a better understanding of what makes artwork great. So far, I have been learning the fundamentals as I just transferred from a Community College. I have learned important lessons in my classes on how to make artwork stand out in excellence. I learned about composition, and using it to make the piece interesting, dynamic, and to even help guide your eyes around the artwork…

Watercolor seems to be under-appreciated as a medium because I’ve had people look down on me for using them as if I was a child playing with paint. For me watercolor is more than that because it can create beautiful artwork with various techniques and have a transparent look that may be harder to achieve with other paint. After I finish my studies at the University I would like to get a job where I’m able to paint on a daily basis and use watercolor of course. It could be any job ranging from designing hallmark cards with watercolor or working on designs for a film company. I would also like to work from commissions, not only because it’s a guaranteed paycheck but because I know people will ask me paint things I haven’t before. It would be beneficial in that regard because I don’t always get a chance to paint some random texture like wood grain or some things I haven’t thought of yet.

I know my skill is only going to get better because I practice almost every day. I push myself really hard to get where I want to be and even if it’s a little watercolor sketch of a flower or a full figure study that takes a few day, I try to paint every day…It takes many hours to finish a watercolor painting and I want to dedicate my time to my art.


“Anathematised” 2016, 11 x14 in. ©Jacob Garcia



"Harley Quinn Study," 2016 7.5 x 11 in. ©Jacob Garcia

“Harley Quinn Study” 2016, 7.5 x 11 in. ©Jacob Garcia

Congratulations to our Spring 2016 scholarship winners!

It is with great pleasure that The Frederic Whitaker and Eileen Monaghan Whitaker Foundation announces the winners for its Art Scholarship for students studying Fine Art and Art History/Museum studies. The Art Scholarship Program was established to help art students meet the diverse educational needs of today’s professional art and museum world and we hope that the Scholarship Award will aid these talented students along their artistic/professional journey.  We wish them all the best of luck in their future endeavors!

Alessandra Leo – Fine Art scholarship winner      dropr.com/alessandraleo

“Thank you so much. This scholarship really helps me continue to do what I love and I couldn’t be happier.”

Alessandra Leo PIC

“My name is Alessandra Leo, I am an artist from Des Moines, Iowa, with Italian descent. My goal in life is to communicate my thoughts of the world through my art. I think one of the biggest problems artists have is being able to communicate their concept in a way their audience understands. We live a world where human perspective changes everything, I want to make sure others know their thoughts inside their head aren’t wrong and their flaws make them the perfect person they are. I am by no means perfect, and I know no one else out there is too, but as human beings we spend so much time worrying about issues, we forget to spread the love and truth. My art is made for others, for people to know they aren’t alone and the feelings they keep inside their head is what we are all feeling. We are all the same inside, desire the same things, need the same things, so why not help each other out? That’s why I’m an artist.”

“I spent my entire childhood submerged in the world of my imagination. It’s silly to even say that, because I STILL AM engulfed in my imagination. My childhood consisted of cartoons and animations. I wasn’t your typical 7 year old girlie girl that had everything pink and thought she was a princess. I was the tomboy who was always made fun of, and never talked to, but talked about. The only way I remember getting out of my childhood embarrassment and humiliation was by watching animated cartoons. There was something about the story in the cartoon, and how imperfectly perfect all the characters were that made me so happy. One particular cartoon I constantly watched was Kim Possible. An American animated television show created by Disney about a teenage girl crime fighter who had the task of dealing with worldwide, family, and school issues everyday. Catch was that she was a Tomboy, just like me! I imagined myself as Kim Possible everyday, fighting off the bad bullies at my school, and being loved and appreciated by all my classmates.”

“Unfortunately that never happened, and I grew up just a normal kid. Even though my wish to be Kim Possible did not come true, I’m so grateful that animated show got me through rough times in my childhood. My goal is to become an artist and someday work with big animation studios to create cartoons and stories that young kids can relate to and turn to, to make them happy. The childhood is the most important part of a person’s life, and I believe a childhood makes a person who they are. One of my biggest dreams is to show kids through art and animation, that it’s okay to be different, and to teach them love, respect, care, loyalty, but also evil, mean, rude, so they will know how to deal with it in their life. My educational objectives are to go to school to learn how to draw the human figure better, learn how to 2D and 3D animate, learn how and why humans act the way they do when interacting with others, collaborate with other artists in making the world a stronger place, learn how to network, and connect with others (especially kids) to be informed on what is going through their mind and what they want to see in cartoons (superheroes, princesses, racecars, normal kids, etc.).”

“I am an Honors student, attending the University of Iowa. As of right now I have a GPA of 3.8 and on the Dean’s List. At school, I am apart of the University of Iowa’s Hawkeye Tae Kwon Do Club and compete in Tae Kwon Do tournaments and competitions with them. I am the club’s Webmaster and artist, making their logos and designing and in charge of the social networking pages. I also am apart of the Life Drawing and Art Club at the university. Every other day we meet for 2-3 hours to draw from a model, or still life. My achievements include being a black belt, an Honors student, on the Dean’s List, being in art shows, selling $326 worth of baked goods for the University of Iowa’s bake sale, organized Arts Fest for the University of Iowa, established good relationships with local artists, completed a portfolio of most recent work, representing the Des Moines Italian community by participating in Italian Queen contest, and designed and sketched cartoon ideas for future plans.”

garlic 9x12 2013sized

pomegranate 10.5x15 2013sized

Sinclair Spratley – Art History/Museum Studies scholarship winner

“Thank you so much for this honor and award! I cannot express how grateful I am for being selected for one of the Undergraduate Art Scholarships.”


“I am a third year art history student at Fordham University at Lincoln Center.  I am originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico and I draw inspiration, as a scholar and a lover of art, from the natural beauty of the landscape and the history of the area.  I am currently studying for a semester at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland where I am taking history of art classes along with a course on writing about art and a course on Scottish Literature.  My future plans include post-graduate work either on a Ph.D. track or a museum studies track depending on what I am interested in once I apply.  I would love to work in a museum as a curator one day but I am also open the many opportunities a degree in art history provides.  For me, art opens up worlds that are not regularly accessible.  I have a large interest in history and context and art gives me a tactile, emotional connection to the world and the stories and endeavors of the past.”

“I started out pretty terribly in my very first art history class. It was my senior year of high school and to be quite honest, I decided to take AP Art History as a nice, throwaway class. I soon learned that art history was a lot harder than I anticipated. I think it was after the second or third week, with prehistoric and Mesopotamic art out of the way, that I realized I was in over my head. Art history was so different from any other class I had ever been in. I have always been good at history. My brain is geared towards memorization and applying it to different contexts and situations. I thought art history would be the same but with the addition of nice-looking paintings and sculptures. Little did I know art history inhabited an academic world of its own. I struggled the whole first semester of my ap art history class, forgetting essential pieces, mixing cultures and movements up. I had the hardest time with the formal aspects of producing art, both in the material production but also in identifying formal components in a composition. I had never taken a visual art class before so words like line, shadow, and color held very little meaning for me. My teacher tried to convince me I was not cut out for art history. Then suddenly, when I got back from winter break, something inside of me clicked. I am still not exactly certain what happened but I started having a new clarity in my art history class. I was making connections and analyzing things in a new way. I finally started enjoying going to class and speaking up. Later in that same semester I had a short internship at the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History where I worked under the head curator of art, assisting in setting up two upcoming exhibits. For me these two things, a newfound clarity and an amazing internship, solidified in me a love for art and the history of art.”

“Now, as a junior, well-established in my art history major, I spend as much time as I can within the various museums and galleries in New York City. Besides the sanctuary-like feeling of these places, I also feel a connection to the work I want to do in the future and to an underlying spirit that art provides. I hope to move onto graduate school where I can participate in either a curatorial or museum studies program and then go to work in a museum. I would be satisfied working at any museum in the country as long as I got to do what I love which is interacting and understanding art both through the artist’s relationship to the piece and to a viewer’s relationship to the piece and the space it is in. Being from the southwest originally, I have an interest in how the art scenes in various cities in Texas and in Santa Fe, New Mexico can be bolstered and popularized so that they can rival the art scene in New York. I am also highly interested in research and I hope to do research next summer on contemporary black American art. Lastly, I am also interested in traveling and experiencing art abroad. In the summer of 2014 I went to Rome to study art there for a month. I am also lucky enough to spend next semester, spring 2016, studying at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. I hope to bring my passion for visual culture and language to Scotland and better understand the nation and its people through that lens. For me, a career in art history was not in the cards until right before I went to college. I didn’t realize that I could combine my highly visual nature with my knack for contextualizing and synthesizing historical information in a way that would be useful for my future. If it wasn’t for my challenging AP Art History class, I am not exactly sure where I would be right now. I certainly would not be going to school in New York pursuing my dream of working in museums. I would not have the same sense of place and purpose. Becoming well acquainted with the history of art opened my eyes in so many different ways. I see the world differently than I did before and I can imagine beauty in almost all I see.”

Sinclair’s winning essay:

“The watercolor works of both Frederic and Eileen Whitaker evoke a defined sense of time and place through naturalistic representations of scenes from their worlds. For Frederic Whitaker, painting took on an outward sense, projected through meticulous rendering of various subjects including nudes, landscapes, and architecture. Frederic worked hard reproducing what he saw, relying on the truth of an image and presentation to sensitively relay a moment. Frederic’s work does inhabit, in the truest sense, the idea of looking outward and working rationally. However, this rationality in his work does not drain it of emotionality. Instead, emotionality is expressed in the straight-forward awe and beauty of a scene, whether it be an architectural work, a lush landscape, or a nude figure. The use of watercolor brings in an airy, almost nostalgic sense to his many paintings. This rationality allowed for Frederic to depict scenes that would be familiar and comforting to viewers. In his architectural paintings, one can think of themselves in the scene. This externalization of art invites the viewer in and makes them as active in the Frederic’s composition as the subject itself.”

“If Frederic’s work represents the external and rational, then Eileen Whitaker’s work exemplifies an artist looking inside herself to work from intuition and an innate understanding of a subject. While the subject matter of Frederic and Eileen’s work often aligns, we can see this internalization of subject through her still-life paintings which depict more mystical and spiritual subjects. Also, her interest in the southwest and Mexico brings in a sense of underlying spirituality that must come from inside her. While her works are all highly representational, they inhabit a realm of emotionality that is not obtainable through nostalgia or the external but by viewing the pieces and then looking in on oneself. Eileen bring this internalization of art and subject into mythological figure studies that could represent figures both real and mythical. The figures interact with one another and with nature in a way that brings ideas of primordial emotionality. Reason and the outside world make no difference in these compositions. What is present is an internal, spiritual sense of the self and the universe. By placing the work of Frederic and Eileen Monaghan Whitaker up next to each other we can see how they were able to balance a cycle of internal and external understandings of the world, art, and the subject. There is a sense that you could not have one without the other, and this harmony brings the two into an endless, perfect circle, one where reciprocation happens naturally.”

Kira Schnitzler – Fine Art scholarship winner   instagram.com/kira.schnitzler.art

“I want to express my utmost appreciation to the foundation for being selected for this scholarship. I am honored, thank you very much.”


“I was born in Münster Germany and grew up in the northern suburbs of Chicago. At around four years old, I began drawing. It became a nearly obsessive hobby throughout adolescence- I spent hours almost every day practicing, going through stacks of paper and numerous sketchbooks. The discipline was a source of comfort for me, and drawing became a vital practice in processing my personal thoughts and feelings. I kept an academically rigorous track during high school with the intention of later pursuing a degree in biology or environmental law. It was during my junior year that I began painting, and developed an absolute affinity towards it. Ultimately with the encouragement of my art teacher, I decided to continue pursuing my art. I am currently in the second year of pursuing my BFA in painting at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.”

“My work is driven by a deep love of people, and in particular I am interested now in exploring the human condition in my art: universal beauty, moments in time, and particularly the depth and complexity of human relationships- their intimacy, their feeling, their psychology, and their breaking points. Major conceptual and artistic influences of mine have been Malcolm Liepke, Gustav Klimt, and Edouard Manet.”

“Art, for me, has always been a method of understanding my world on an intrinsic level. I have been drawing and painting as a hobby my whole life. However as I have grown, I have begun to use art in order to understand my external world as well. In high school, I had always been incredibly studious. I remained on an honor roll track, and took 9 AP courses. I had full intentions of continuing on and acquiring a degree in law or medicine. But as I neared graduation, I felt compelled to abandon those ambitions for something that spoke deeper to me. I began to understand the particular power of art as a vessel of communication, one with the ability to exceed even the barriers of language, and speak directly to the human conscious. With that, I took up setting out to create a career path in art.”

“At this time, my art is primarily fueled by a deep love for people and an intense desire to sympathize with my fellow man. I am fascinated by the way that we human beings experience this grand and endlessly complex thing that is life. In particular, I am most uniquely drawn to examining the types of intimacies and relationships that we form between one another: where they begin, how they fall apart, and how our lives are changed by those connections. In my work, I often find myself creating from both a place of tenderness, as well as one of critical examination. In the oncoming future, I hope to continue on to graduate school and get my MFA in painting. With that, I want to dedicate myself fully to my practice, and over time I hope to truly refine my personal voice and develop a body of work that speaks to people on numerous levels of thought and feeling. From high school, when I designed and created two murals for the building, I have developed a desire to make more work for the public. Currently at my university, I have started my own student organization called the Public Arts Coalition. In it, I coordinate 12 other student artists in designing and creating temporary public art installations, so that we can share our love of art with other students on campus. After several years of practicing explicitly as an artist, I hope to become a university professor so that I might still be able to continue my artistic practice while simultaneously encourage and stimulate that same type of love and skill in others. I love learning, and hope to stay around academia for as long as I can. More importantly, I hope to continue a life pursuing art for as long as I can.”

Stags in Training 2015 9x16

Stags in Training  9 x 16 inches  2015

Adolescent Rising 2015 11x17

Adolescent Rising   11 x 17 inches  2015

We would like to thank all of our applicants and welcome you to apply again during our next term which will commence on March 1st, 2016!

Spring 2016 scholarship application term is open!

The Frederic Whitaker and Eileen Monaghan Whitaker Foundation (The Whitaker Foundation) is proud announce the next round of its nationwide Art Scholarship Program, The Whitaker Foundation Scholarship Fund.

The Foundation intends to support art students with a special emphasis on watercolor, art history, and museum studies and to help them meet the diverse needs of today’s professional art and museum world.

Through the application process facilitated by The Whitaker Foundation, students are required to gain knowledge of the Whitakers’ works through their submitted essays or watercolor paintings.

Once the students’ works are evaluated, winners will be selected and the scholarships will be awarded for Spring semester of 2016.

3 Scholarships are being offered:

·      Two (2) $2,000 Bachelor of Fine Art scholarships (watercolor emphasis)

·      One (1) $2,000 Bachelor of Art in Art History or Museum Studies scholarship

Apply online here.

Deadline for entries is November 30th 2015.