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Young Achiever: Andrea lands BSoA bursary

  • Bold vision: Andrea Wilson with an example of her artwork at a private exhibition at the Rick Faries Gallery (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

A childhood love of cartoons helped a 19-year-old visual and creative arts student win this year’s $5,000 Bermuda Society of Arts bursary.

Andrea Wilson, due to start her second year at Sheridan College, Oakville, Canada, said she was “shocked” when she found out she had won the award and planned to go on to get a degree in animation.

She added: “I was pretty proud of myself, it was the best outcome. I was ready to be rejected if necessary. But instead, I was like, ‘you go, Andrea, look at you’.”

Andrea added: “I grew up with TV as a kid, watching cartoons and once I learnt that they were created by people, I was immediately very interested and wanted to make my own stories to show people different aspects of life.”

Andrea said she did “a little bit of animation now on Adobe”.

She added her main area of study involved “digital art and illustration”, which made up the majority of her portfolio for the BSoA Bursary Award application.

Edwin Smith, the chairman of the BSoA bursary committee and a senior lecturer at the Bermuda College, said Andrea was selected for a shortlist of four candidates for the award, who were all interviewed. Dr Smith said: “That way, we get to eyeball the candidate and determine personal interest and passion.”

He added Andrea was “the strongest of the four on the shortlist”.

Dr Smith said: “When I say strongest, we’re looking at a combination of financial need as well as academic integrity.

“We can only award one student, so we want to make sure that the money is being directed to a student who will definitely use it towards a creative career.”

Dr Smith added the bursary was designed to boost visual arts on the island.

He said: “We want to grow the arts in Bermuda and we want to support young artists in any way we can. Sometimes, just having a little bit of money put into the palm of your hand to help you with your education really says that we see you, we appreciate you, we want to help you in your endeavours and here is something that can help you on your way.”