The notion that it’s too late to do anything never seemed to cross the mind of renowned artist Frances Wolfson. Already established as a civic and cultural leader in South Florida, Wolfson launched what would become a celebrated art career at 56. Her paintings and talent were known worldwide. Today, her legacy in the art world lies in supporting generations of artists long after her passing in 1980.
In May, five Miami Dade College students received the Frances Wolfson Art Scholarship. In all, more than 200 art students at Miami Dade College have received the scholarship that helps offset the cost of tuition, books, fees, and necessary art supplies for the next academic year.
“Frances Wolfson became an art ambassador around the world. Now we honor five students who are using their art as a bridge of diplomacy,” said Miami Dade College President Eduardo Padrón, during the scholarship award ceremony honoring the 2016 Frances Wolfson Art Scholarship winners.
The year’s winners were Carla Patricia Camejo, Laura Hernandez, Maria Alejandra Idarraga, Elyssa Llanso and Rebecka Rios. Their winning art submissions included original paintings, drawings in acrylic, charcoal and mixed media.
“All Frances’ work has been dedicated to you and to those who came before you and those that will come after you,” Louis Wolfson III told the 2016 scholarship winners.
The Frances Wolfson Art Scholarship was established in 1964 with the proceeds from the sale of her paintings and of her work that was featured on Hallmark greeting cards. Wolfson’s paintings have been shown at many solo exhibitions and selected by the U.S. Information Agency for a tour of Asia, and exhibited in numerous public buildings. In 1980, the Miami-Dade Community College District Board of Trustees named the art gallery at the Wolfson Campus the Frances Wolfson Art Gallery, in recognition of her contributions.
Noted art curator Bonnie Clearwater chronicled Wolfon’s art career in the book titled simply “Frances Wolfson.” Clearwater followed the development of Wolfson’s style and her fascination with Chinese-style painting, mastering the technique and immersing herself in Chinese philosophy and beliefs.
“Frances Wolfson’s memorial exists today and into perpetuity as a double legacy,” wrote Clearwater. “Her paintings are a testament to her love of life, reverence for nature and an effort to blend two distinct cultures. Additionally, it is tantalizing to imagine the impact of her scholarship fund on generations of young artists. To date, more than 200 students have benefited from these awards, aware that their aspirations were propelled by a woman of kindred spirit.”
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