Visual arts student earns Edna Manley Foundation bursary
Anneisha Walker, a second-year student of the School of Visual Arts at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, is the latest recipient of the Edna Manley Foundation bursary.
Walker, who is an art education major, was named for the bursary following an in-depth selection process by members of the foundation, whose mandate it is to carry on the legacy of the late Edna Manley, considered by many to be the mother of the modern art movement in Jamaica.
The enormity of this legacy is not for a minute lost on this year’s recipient.
“When I was first made aware that I was this year’s awardee, I was elated. I was extremely happy because I knew that I had worked hard, but I was still having a difficult time putting my school fees together. So, earning this bursary will definitely help to take away the pressure of that burden. It also means a lot to me on a personal level. When I think about the fact that so many persons applied for this bursary, and they are all great artists in their own right, this was all about motivating myself to achieve even greater heights,” she said.
Walker also sees becoming the recipient of the bursary as part of a continuum established by Edna Manley to uplift Jamaicans through her art. She is a firm believer in the power of art to facilitate social transformation in the Jamaican society and across the world.
“This will help me to share my art with the world. As a teacher of art, I see my role as being that of a facilitator, the person who will enable a child to create his own art. I really want to reach young people, help them see that they can use their art to solve some of the issues that they are facing at this time,” Walker added.
The Edna Manley Foundation was set up in 1987 to perpetuate her legacy and to encourage young artists. One of the ways in which this is done is by offering bursaries to students at the college, which was named in her honour. The bursary is open to all students of the college.
The pattern established by the foundation has been to fund the student’s tuition through their college life up until graduation, then another recipient is selected.
Hope Brooks is a former member of staff and faculty, having spent more than 30 years at the college. She is currently the secretary of the Edna Manley Foundation. She was pleased that the foundation is again able to draw on its resources to offer a bursary to continue the legacy of training established by Edna Manley.
“The college is one of Edna Manley’s biggest legacies to this country. She started the School of Art, and out of that grew people around her who would go on to establish other institutions of training. A lot of people recognise Jamaican music globally, our art is a little more difficult as it is not as accessible. Jamaica has a big contribution to make in the field of design, which is where the commercial activity for visual arts really resides. There are so many Jamaica-inspired art and utilitarian objects which can be made here and shared with the world. By training more students like Miss Walker, we are planting a seed for the future,” said Brooks.