21 Sep 2022

Three young local artists receive boost to further careers

Three young local artists receive boost to further careers

A visual artist, a published poet and writer, and an accomplished violinist have all been awarded arts awards for 2022 in a partnership between Acorn Foundation and Creative Bay of Plenty.

20 year old Tauranga local Caitrin Mackenzie-Everitt received the Acorn Foundation Coker Classical Art Award, a grant that will assist with her studies at Otago Polytechnic, where she is currently working towards a Bachelor of Visual Arts. Caitrin received the award based on an impressive portfolio of visual artworks demonstrating artistic talents across a range of mediums and styles. 

Tauranga artist and Acorn donor, Jenny Coker sits on the assessment panel alongside Creative Bay of Plenty and the Acorn Foundation. Jenny is passionate about supporting young people to establish careers in the arts and was impressed both by the artwork provided by Caitrin, as well as her obvious passion, tenacity and dedication towards her studies. 

On winning the award, Caitrin said, “This is such an exciting time in my life, and I am so grateful for the chance to follow my passion. This scholarship and future opportunities to meet and hopefully be mentored by Jenny Coker, will have a huge impact on me.”  

Otumoetai College Year 13 student, Ella Quarmby, was the winner of the Jann Medlicott Creative Arts Award based on her outstanding creative writing in poetry and short stories. Annie Hill from Creative Bay of Plenty said, “The selection panel was particularly impressed with Ella’s first attempt at writing a novel as well as the many accolades her work has received to date through publications and awards.  The testimonials provided reflect the huge talent Ella has as a writer.” 

Ella is looking forward to starting a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Political Science at Victoria University next year and also plans to continue her creative writing. “I’d like to thank the Acorn Foundation and Creative Bay of Plenty for putting so much effort into empowering young creatives. I am incredibly grateful for this award in ways that go beyond its financial aspect - to be recognised by people outside my immediate circle is probably the best encouragement a writer can have.”

While Ella is the 11th recipient of this award, 2022 marks the first year it has been awarded without the active participation of Acorn donor Jann Medlicott, who passed away in August this year after a long battle with cancer. Acorn Foundation CEO, Lori Luke, says, “Jann was a passionate and avid reader, and she would have been delighted to know that this year’s Creative Arts Award went to a young writer with so much potential.”

Tauranga Girls’ College student Sarah Lee was the recipient of the Christine Tustain Classical Music Award. An outstanding violinist, Sarah will begin a Bachelor of Music at the University of Auckland in 2023. Lori says, “Sarah’s commitment to her musical studies is second to none; she has been travelling from Tauranga to Auckland once a week for the past five years to study with her tutor.”

Sarah said, “I am very passionate about my musical journey and education, and my ongoing dedication has led me to seek greater education, involvement, and experience around the country. I am very grateful to be receiving the Christine Tustain Classical Music Award. Music has had a tremendous impact in all stages and areas of my life and will continue to do so.”

In announcing the award winners, Annie Hill says, “The Acorn Foundation scholarships that support emerging talent in the creative sector provide a significant boost to the careers of the recipients. Not only do they support the financial aspects of study which allows students to focus on their academic work, they also motivate recipients to achieve success and give them the confidence and validation that comes from having their work recognised through a highly competitive process.”

Lori Luke says “The Acorn team have been impressed by the quality of the young creatives in the Western Bay of Plenty. We deeply appreciate the generosity and passion of our donors to support this talent, and we wish Caitrin, Ella, and Sarah the very best in their creative endeavours.”

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