Art. Culture. Life.

Over $40,000 in Visual Arts Scholarships Awarded

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La Quinta Arts Foundation has granted a total of $41,750 to 25 students in their 2008-2009 Visual Arts Scholarship Awards, it was announced by LQAF Executive Director, Christi Salamone.  Since it was established in 1984, LQAF’s scholarship program has awarded a total of $847,302 to Coachella Valley students in pursuit of college degrees in the visual arts.

Annual scholarship awards are made possible with proceeds garnered from LQAF activities, including La Quinta Arts Festival, Art Under the Umbrellas, Blues, Brews & BBQ, along with La Quinta Arts Foundation memberships — as well as contributions by community partners and memorial contributions.

Salamone says the scholarship program is an essential element in LQAF’s mission.  “We are certainly pleased that our yearly Art Festival is consistently named as one of the Top 10 Festivals in the nation, and our Art Under the Umbrellas program has established itself as a community favorite, and our inaugural Blues, Brews & BBQ event last season was an instant hit with the audience.  The on-going success of those events, and the continuing support of the community, have made it possible for us to fund the student scholarship program for 24 years now.  We’re extremely proud of that.”

Scholarship applications and art portfolios are submitted online beginning in February, and reviewed by a six-member scholarship committee in April.

Scholarship 2008/09 Committee Members are:

  • Hovak Najarian, Doctorate Fine Arts, Professor Emeritus, C.O.D.
  • Deborah Schwartz, Public Art Coordinator, City of Palm Desert
  • Mike Polk – Retired Art Teacher and LQAF Docent
  • John Hansen – Former Art Teacher and Professional Artist
  • Debbie & Roy Ramirez – Trustees, Ryan Ramirez Memorial Fund
  • A complete listing of the 2007-2008 scholarship recipients is as follows:


  • Diana Childers – California State University, San Bernardino
  • Clayton Fessier – California Institute of the Arts
  • Julie Frenznick – California State University, San Bernardino
  • Erin Hoy – University of California, San Diego
  • Makiko Omori – Otis College of Art and Design
  • Noah Simmons – Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo
  • Julio Vazquez – Loyola Marymount University
  • Maxwell Weiner – University of Washington
  • Sarah Williams – San Diego State University


  • Amanda Conti – Riverside Community College
  • Amanda Emmett – College of the Desert
  • Tristan Esmino – San Francisco State University
  • Taija Rae Gauthier – Laguna College of Art and Design
  • Alexandra Leja – San Francisco Art Academy
  • Eryn Leja – Chapman University
  • Carlin McCasland – College of the Desert
  • Robert Medina – College of the Desert
  • Danny Morales – College of the Desert
  • Bryan O’Neil – Art Institute of California, Inland Empire
  • Jeremy Stock – Art Institute of California, Inland Empire
  • Natalie Thornton – Boston College
  • Alyssa Velasquez – Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising
  • Kevin Velasquez – College of the Desert
  • Shana Wardle – Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising or UCLA
  • Hanna Wexler – University of California, Santa Cruz