Senior art major secures scholarship

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Senior art major secures scholarship

Photo by: Drew Kellis

Photo by: Drew Kellis

Photo by: Drew Kellis

LoPresto, who is student teaching, received a schloarship for excellence

Robyn McNeil, Managing Editor

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On Oct. 19, senior art education major Victoria LoPresto was awarded the 2013 Liz
Smith-Cox Art Education Major Scholarship for recognized excellence.  LoPresto said the
scholarship was a dream come true for someone who has loved art from the time she was able to
hold a crayon.
“I would constantly draw wild things from my over-active 4-year-old imagination that grew
and progressed over the years,” LoPresto said.  “Art is a process that involves constantly going
above and beyond what you are comfortable or good at doing.  Creativity is stretching those
limits.”
The South Carolina Art Education Association awarded LoPresto the scholarship, worth
$1,000, at an annual conference in Beaufort, S.C.  The scholarship recognizes excellence for art
education majors who are student teaching.
“I feel extremely honored to be the recipient of such an exclusive, esteemed scholarship
such as this,” she said. “It is rewarding, in my mind, to know that other people can see the hard
work that I have put forth personally and professionally.”
LoPresto said student teaching has been both a rewarding and challenging experience.  She
explained that when she began the teaching process, she was unsure of herself and her ability to
instruct.  However, LoPresto added, she has since come full circle in her self-confidence.
“My first day taking over the classroom felt completely natural,” she said.  “What I have

found most rewarding of all is the day-to-day interaction and influence I have on these students
at the fifth and sixth grade level.  They are so easily impressionable at this age.”
LoPresto’s pursuits as an art major have also taken her across the globe to countries such as
Ecuador and England.
Howard Frye, art professor and coordinator of the art education program, gave LoPresto the
opportunity to research the Day of the Dead holiday in Ecuador through a Quality Enhancement
Plan (QEP) grant.  During her time in Ecuador, she visited studios, interacted with natives and
experienced their customs for the holiday firsthand.
LoPresto credits the trip with broadening her cultural outlook and influencing her choice to
study abroad in England.
While in England, she did an independent study of studio art in Leicester.  LoPresto said the
project taught her self-discipline on a professional level.
“I became such an independent person, learning to survive for four months, traveling around
foreign countries….it brings independence to a whole new level and was really telling of what I
am able to achieve on my own,” she said.
Among other achievements, LoPresto has won first place at the Peach Belt Conference Art
Show for two consecutive years.  This was something that, despite her dedication and skill, she
said she was surprised to obtain.
“I never expected to win any award in that show,” LoPresto said.  “I think it provided me
with enough encouragement to pursue future exhibitions and have confidence in my artistic
ability.”
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