SANTA FE, NM. Martine Bertin-Peterson, president of ARTsmart, a 50lc3 organization, announced the recipients of ARTsmart’s 2012 scholarships. “This is the sixth year ARTsmart has awarded the Art Changes Lives scholarship to a Santa Fe senior who will be pursuing the fine arts in college,” Bertin-Peterson said. “Diego Suarez, a student New Mexico School for the Arts, displayed an outstanding portfolio of paintings, drawings and photography that impressed the judges. His letters of recommendation commended his artistic and academic achievements and his personal integrity.” The amount of this year’s scholarship award is $5,000.

Suarez (whose untitled work is shown at the left) has been accepted at the Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, WA. “Education and art exist as dual entities to me that are as precious and valuable as water in a barren desert. I’ve grown up surrounded by family members that haven’t made it past high school,” he has written. Included in his resume are numerous awards and volunteering for Santa Fe Young Curators and the Santa Fe Animal Shelter.

A second Art Changes Lives Scholarship in the amount of $1,500 was awarded to Wesley Carr, who received his high school degree from The MASTERS Program, Santa Fe. Carr  has been accepted at Alfred University, Alfred, NY. “What defines me is a fascination with how objects work, and this drive to make and create.” He has interned at the New Mexico Experimental Glass Workshop, Prairie Dog Glass, and exhibited his work at The William & Joseph Gallery and Santa Fe Community College.

ARTsmart’s Envisioning the Future $500 stipend for books and materials was awarded to Sienna Fleming, a senior at New Mexico School for the Arts. A photographer with an interest in advertising design, Sienna will be attending The School of Visual Arts, New York.

An additional Envisioning the Future $300 stipend for books and materials was awarded to Blythe Maunders, a senior at Monte del Sol Charter School. Also a photographer, Blythe will be attending the University of New Mexico. “I would like my pictures to be a source of inspiration for people to get out of their comfort zones and travel the world,” she said.

Also awarded this year were $1,500 scholarships to past recipients: Rebecca Birken (2010) and Cheyenne Cardell (2011). Bertin-Peterson said, “Since 2007 ARTsmart has donated $40,050 in student scholarships.”

The selection committee included: ARTsmart Board members Bertin-Peterson, Mary Bonney, James Bottorff and Deborah Fritz; Jackie M, director of education & public programs at the O’Keeffe Museum; and Diane Deane, ARTsmart managing director.