Here is a list of previous Connie Jost Memorial Scholarship recipients.
1998 Jaime Cook – Bridgeton H.S.
Cumberland County College, Temple University, Tyler School of Art
1999 Megan Piontkowski – Cumberland Regional H.S.
Montclair State College
2000 Lauren Marie Frieze – Cumberland Regional H.S.
Temple University, Tyler School of Art
2001 Jonathan Sindall – Bridgeton H.S.
Montclair State College
2002 Alexis Kelokates – Bridgeton H.S.
Virginia Commonwealth University
2003 Mathew Pustizzi – Vineland H.S.
Rhode Island School of Design
2004 Jacquelyn Hair – Millville H.S.
The University of the Arts in Philadelphia
2005 Sarina DiMento – Vineland H.S.
2006 Kaye Waltman – Millville Senior H.S.
2006 Kaye Waltman – Essay
The region of Southern New Jersey, and most directly Cumberland County, is a beautiful area that I have explored since my early childhood. Boats have always been an important part of my mother’s family, so most of our adventures were based around water. We have canoed all the major rivers of the region and most of the local lakes and large ponds. These family outings brought about a strong sense of understanding of our ecosystem, the flora and fauna within, and human’s responsibility to carefully preserve it.
I have always been able to turn to nature for recreation, such as canoeing and hiking, but it also serves as the greatest inspiration for my artwork. The details, textures, colors and completely organic shapes challenge me to make them into sculptures. I have submitted two of those pieces, including a giant flower and an octopus inspired teapot.
I have been able to use my pottery to help some local organizations raise money by donating pieces for silent auctions. One of my favorite local environmental groups is the Bay Shore Discovery Project, located in Bivalve. They’ve restored the AJ Meerwald; a schooner built in 1928, now used to educate residents about the history of the bay. School children and adult groups alike get to ride on the gorgeous ship and not only learn about the bay’s economic history, but also creatures that live in and around it. A wide variety of shellfish, birds, small animals, fish, and plants are all included in lesson, and show how important it is to be respectful of nature.
The importance of nature is a lesson I learned early in life, and in such a rapidly developing region, we all have to be careful to preserve as much as we can. New Jersey is the Garden State, but much of Northern Jersey does not reflect that title nearly as much as Cumberland County and the surrounding areas. Our history is closely tied with the land here, whether it’s the glass industry built around the sand or oyster beds along the bay. The land should always remain an important part of everyone’s life and we should support educational programs that promote the protection of our unique region.
2007 Maxfield Diehl – Cumberland Regional H.S.
2007 Maxfield Diehl – Essay
Over the years I have had a varied experience of the arts; two years of spring, summer, and fall art classes sponsored by the RRCA. Art 1, Art 2, Studio Art and Commercial Art at Cumberland Regional. My art teachers in school are very helpful and push me to do my best in and out of class. I also get a lot of guidance from my creative family.
My favorite medium is graphite drawing. I enjoy the raw image of the sketches and the monochromatic nature of the medium. The other type of medium I enjoy working with is watercolor painting. It too has a ‘raw’ feeling along with a wide range of application styles. I feel lucky to have worked with so many mediums, thanks in large part to the RRCA programming as each class tended to present something new.
Nature is a very important part of my life. I grew up on the Menantico River where my parents would take me on canoeing trips; on hot summer days my brother and I would swing out over the water on a rope swing. We still go out for hikes in Fortescue. I worry that the recent development that’s happening in Cumberland County might mean that the rivers and wildlife won’t be the same when I have my own family. I find trees and their bark to be recurring themes in my own work which tends to be on the darker side.
In the future I plan to become a high school art teacher. Starting in the fall I will begin attending Rowan University for a major in Art Education. When I finish my studies I hope to travel to foreign countries, Australia in particular. Art is more than a passing phase in my life and I plan to be involved in learning about it of the rest of my life.
2008 Vladimir Kiyanchenko – Vineland High School
Cumberland County College
2009 Corey Petit – Vineland Senior High School
Cumberland County College
2010 Hillary Rodriguez – Vineland Senior High School
2011 Jacob Tasker – St. Augustine Prep
2012 Barn Studio Scholarship Program, Barn Studio, Millville, NJ
2013 Rikki Novicke – Vineland HS
2014 Bryan J. Alcox – Millville H.S.
2015 Barn Studio Scholarship Program – Barn Studio, Millville, NJ
2016 Breeann Stowe – Millville H.S.
2017 Ariel Allonardo – Vineland H.S.