Inside: The O’DaviDesign Art Scholarship was launched to help remove shame and stigma and share a message of hope around living with mental illness or simply being human in a messy world.
My son, Jairus, was an artist with a love for animation and game design; his small business was called O’DaviDesign. From the age of seven, he told me he was going to work as a cartoonist or animator (he loved 2D animation in particular) and he never wavered from this dream.
Jairus suffered from severe depression and persistent suicidal ideation and on October 23/19, at 23 years of age, he lost his fight for life.
After he died, I chose to create an art scholarship in Jairus’ name – it is one way I can honour the fuller, beautiful truth of who he was and hopefully help remove shame and stigma and share a message of hope and compassion around living with mental illness or simply being human in a messy world.
Who Benefits from the Art Scholarships?
At this time, there are two yearly scholarships being awarded.
1. The first scholarship will be awarded to an art student in grade 11 or 12 attending Holy Redeemer High in Edson, AB (my son’s former high school) who is pursuing post-secondary studies in the arts and/or for whom art is a life-line and also exhibiting character qualities reminiscent of my son’s sense of humour and his inclusive and introspective/deep thinking nature.
I have asked Jairus’ former high school art teacher to select recipients on my behalf for this $1k award (preference goes to those entering post-secondary in the arts including digital media and technology programs).
2. A second scholarship is open to any Canadian student 16-25 years old. Applicants will submit a creative piece of writing or art/digital media project depicting their thoughts/hopes/efforts toward building a kinder world that honours the beauty of diversity. For this $1k award, my daughters will choose a recipient on behalf of their big brother.
To clarify, whether you’re home-educated, in a private or public school, attending college/university online or on-campus – you are welcome to apply! You do NOT have to be studying art or even consider yourself an artist to apply. You DO need to care about building a kinder, safer world for everyone.
Have fun – get creative – remember that “perfection” is NOT required!
SEND SUBMISSIONS TO: Krista at firstname.lastname@example.org (please upload your project and send me a link if the file is large). Along with your submission attach a letter identifying where and what you study, your public social handles, and anything else you’d like to share to help us understand your message or what motivates you to create. Your submission acknowledges that your name and project details will be made public.
The application deadline for this year is December 15, 2020.
*Scholarship details are subject to change each year. Scholarship recipients for 2020 have been contacted and are named in the awards section below.
You Can Donate to the Art Scholarship
Donations are welcome and appreciated and can be made in 3 ways:
3. Direct donations are welcome and can be made via Paypal to email@example.com. 100% of donations will go directly to the scholarship. There’s also a direct donation link on the side-bar of this page (or the bottom of the page if you’re using a smaller device).
Thank you for your support! If you have questions or issues donating, please reach out to Krista at firstname.lastname@example.org.
O’DaviDesign Art Scholarship Recipients
$1k – TBD
$1k – Congratulations to Ryan Lizee of Regina, SK who was awarded this scholarship based on his submission entitled “Joy in Colour.”
$700 – Congratulations to Janai Redman who studies in Toronto, ON; she was awarded second place for her submission entitled “Each of Us.”
$300 – Congratulations to Jenna Bheiler who studies in Edmonton, AB. Jenna was awarded third place for her series of portraits reflecting the beauty of diversity.
*Names of recipients will be released with permission; award amounts may vary year to year
Living Whole and Brave After Loss
As I fight for wholeness myself and love my family in the wake of tremendous pain and loss, I choose to reach out my hand and heart to others walking this lonely and challenging road. I’ve pulled together a resource page On Grief: Living Whole and Brave After Loss in case it feels helpful to others and my grief journal after losing a child can be found here.
You can also connect with me on FB at Holding Your Breath. The intention of this page is to share about grief, mental health, self-compassion, and finding our way forward – gently, after losing a child.