The Mercury Bay Art Escape Trust Scholarship was established in 2013 to encourage and support young emerging artists allowing them to progress to the next level of professional artistic development. It is run with the co-operation of the art department of Mercury Bay Area School in Whitianga.
Each year the Mercury Bay Area School Visual Arts curriculum leader awards the scholarship to a year 12 student who shows promise within the arts, is keen to pursue a creative career and would benefit from external guidance
In their Year 13, the scholarship recipient works with the Art Escape co-ordinator to choose 2 or 3 artists to work with during the year. They visit artists’ studios during Art Escape Open Studios in March of that year to choose whom they would like to spend time with learning as an artist. With over 40 artists to choose from, this can be a difficult task, but it is a great opportunity to observe and learn different techniques and skills and see into the life of a working artist.
The recipient also exhibits at the Art Escape Showcase Exhibition alongside established artists and receives a voucher from Gordon Harris The Art & Graphic Store.
The 2023 recipient is Emma Jones who specialises in painting and photography, while the outgoing 2022 recipients are Alex Litherland and Sebastian Ross.