Ont. art student receives more than $2M in scholarship offers
Published Thursday, April 26, 2018 6:27AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, May 4, 2018 2:24PM EDT
An Ontario high school student has received what she calls an "overwhelming" number of scholarship offers, totalling more than $2 million from universities across Canada and the United States.
Rachel Burns, a graduating student from the Etobicoke School of the Arts, says the sheer number and size of offers stunned her.
"You go through waves of disbelief, excitement, and then you get struck with the reality of how much it costs to go to these schools," she told CTV News Channel.
Burns says her artwork – which is primarily done in graphite -- focuses on "how we interact with ourselves and how we interact with the universe and how small yet big we are."
The Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design has made an offer of US$146,000 – the largest one she has received – she said.
Her supervising teacher says they joked about the number of scholarships she’d receive and didn’t think their jokes would turn out to be true.
"We joked, I think, a couple times about getting to the $2-million mark but to actually have it become a reality then surpass that is astounding. We're still processing what's happening, it's hard to believe," said Matthew Varey, the head of the contemporary art program.
Varey says Burns' work shows a maturity beyond her age, and it resonates with schools, galleries and collectors.
"I think for Rachel, and a great number of the Grade 12s this year, the opportunities are endless and the success will be astronomical," he said.
One such opportunity has already materialized for the young artist. Burns has her very own exhibit at a commercial gallery in Toronto called General Hardware Contemporary. The gallery’s director, Niki Dracos, gushed about the quality of Burns’ art.
“I chose Rachel because of the merit of the work - not necessarily because of her age,” she told CTV News correspondent John Vennavally-Rao.
The exhibit, titled “Until Now,” runs until May 12.
Burns says most of the universities have given her until May 1 to decide, and she's hoping to settle on one that would allow her to explore different media.