Art scholars sought

MIFA showcases last year’s winners; while looking for the next artists seeking assistance


Every spring, at a special luncheon, the Marco Island Foundation for the Arts (MIFA) awards scholarships to local students who are enrolled in the arts. Proceeds from this season’s MIFA sponsored events – The Left Bank Art Fest, Brushes & Paint Outdoor Art Show, the Winter Film Fest and a reenactment of the life of French actress Sarah Bernhardt – go toward giving qualifying students scholarship money that helps them defray the cost of their education. 

Two of last year’s scholarship winners - Anastasia Baran and Brenda Perez – brought several examples of their artwork to the 2018 scholarship luncheon. MIFA was pleased to see these two scholarship artists also become involved in the Marco Island art community this season by participate in the Wet Paint Live event sponsored by the Marco Island Chamber of Commerce where both their paintings sold at the live auction.

Baran is enrolled at Florida’s Southwestern State College majoring in Art Therapy. Her two paintings were created during her time attending a class and were titled “Color Theory.”

“I learned a tremendous amount of different techniques to using colors and designs. The first painting with brown background and clustered colorful squares is a recreation of a painting of an artist we learned about in class. We were to design a push and pull concept with our paintings, searching through artist’s work to pick out one that we thought was interesting to paint. I decided to pick this painting with a dull colored background but with a group of varicolored squares because it really stood out as different to me. The second painting is of the same concept but of my own idea and not a recreation. After venturing out creating the first painting, I grew a liking to shapes and colors, so there I decided to use various different triangle shapes and sizes”. In the future Anastasia wants to experiment with more of a range of colors or even some monotone grays or blacks to create an even more abstract shape painting.

Perez attends Florida’s Southwestern State College and majors in art. For her work featured here, she wanted to tell a story through a collection of pieces. A beginning, middle and an end. A collection that had the ability to be presented together but had the ability to stand as a single piece as well.

Her works are all collectively called “Lifetime,” the story: Her name is Padme Amidala, the story is about her as queen, senator and then her death. Her story begins as her being the Queen of Naboo at the young age of 14. Brenda wanted to showcase her in which is debatably her most iconic outfit. “There’s such a beauty and richness in red that I feel so drawn to this outfit. What I feel is so important about this moment is that we see this intelligence and maturity is such a young girl, which I wanted to highlight. The second piece is her at 24 now have taken the role as senator representative of Naboo. This moment we see Padme away from the politics and we see different side of her story being explore. To me it’s such a beautiful moment seeing her in this beautiful dress falling in love with a Jedi Knight which ends up being a forbidden love. The final piece only takes place three years later when she’s is 27, and it’s at her funeral showered in white flowers and an elegant blue dress”.

MIFA’s wishes all the best to each scholarship winner and looks forward to once again presenting scholarships to this year’s students.

Whether it be music, dance, literature or art, any local student enrolled in one of these disciplines can apply.

More information along with an application can be printed from the MIFA website at under the scholarships link.