Susanna Aitchison MacSporran Memorial Scholarship Application
Susanna Aitchison MacSporran, “Susie,” was born on December 18, 1949, in Virginia. She showed promise early on with precocious charcoal drawings of horses and enthusiastic participation in the high school art club. Encouraged by her parents to find a way to make a living, she pursued a career in nursing after graduating from the Woodrow Wilson High School in Washington D.C. In 1970 she graduated from the Louse Obici School in Virginia. Her internships while in school took her to New York City, where she ultimately settled as a pediatric nurse at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital.
Her desire to become an artist having never abated and unable to suppress the artist within, she took advantage of her proximity to the legendary Art Students League on 57th Street and started to take classes there in 1973. She was drawn to chiaroscuro painting and traditional skills, reflected by her choices of instructors, who were some of the best the League has employed: Robert Beverly Hale, Frank Mason, and world-renowned artist, David A Leffel. Leffel’s class sparked her latent interest in portraiture and under his two-year tutelage, she blossomed, becoming bolder and more painterly. At times her passion took her abroad for short stints of study. She showed so much promise that it seemed that she might have been able to change careers at some point. However, her art studies were cut short by her untimely death in 1977.
It is in her memory and honor that her surviving siblings offer this scholarship to up-and-coming portrait artists whose passion for art drives them to continue their studies despite all odds.
- Applicants must be current members of OPA with a strong desire to pursue or continue a career in portraiture painting.
- Artists should be in the early developmental stages of their painting career and have one to five years of painting experience in portraiture.
Online Application Process
The online application form requires:
- Applicants must complete the online scholarship application by Feb 1.
- A brief essay on the role that art has had on your life and why you are interested in pursuing a career in portraiture painting. The document may be cut and pasted or processed directly into the online application form. Essays should be a minimum of 250 words and no more than 500 words.
- Applicant must submit two digital images of his/her artwork, one of which should be a portrait.
- A letter of recommendation by a colleague, teacher, or art instructor to be received by Feb 1. Recommendation letters should be limited to 300 words and can be emailed directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Application and attachments need to be turned in to Oil Painters of America by February 1.
Selection of Recipients
Oil Painters of America’s scholarship committee will review all applications and supporting materials received by February 1, and will select a recipient by March 15. All applicants agree to accept the committee’s decision as final.
Recipient of scholarship will be notified by March 15.
Amount of Award
The $500 scholarship is to be applied towards an oil painting class or workshop in portraiture.
Payment of Scholarship
Scholarships are not made directly to individuals. OPA will issue payment directly to the institution selected by the scholarship recipient.
Please send any questions or correspondence to email@example.com.