The First Annual Leo Carty Fine Arts Scholarship has been awarded to St. Croix Educational Complex High School student Karim Henry. The 2022 graduate and class Valedictorian will attend Savannah College for Art and Design in the fall. The Carty Scholarship of $2,500 gives Henry a head start toward his pursuit of a career in the visual arts.
The criteria for the award is the success of the applicant in receiving acceptance into a four-year accredited fine arts institution with a major in any of the visual arts disciplines. Henry is the first recipient of the legacy scholarship that will continue territory-wide as an annual endeavor.
Stefan Carty is the youngest son of the late Leo Carty. He has been honored with the task of keeping his father’s artistic legacy alive. In collaboration with Cane Roots Art Gallery owner Sonia Deane, Stefan brought two high-caliber art exhibits to the gallery in 2021 and 2022 that represented the genius of the art of Leo Carty. Purchases and donations each year have added to the value of the scholarship.
Stefan noted, “The responses have been tremendous with donations, and our gratitude to the community is to ‘pay it forward’ with the scholarship and also with donations to the two public high school art departments. A gift card of $1,000 each for new art supplies is donated to SCECHS and St. Croix Central High School. The vision of the Leo Carty Fine Arts Scholarship is to nurture our youth and inspire the next generation of Virgin Islands artists.”
Cane Roots Art Gallery hosted a photo shoot on Friday with Henry, his mother Claretta Randolph, his younger brother Sedrick Flavius, SCECHS Fine Arts Department Chair Danica David, and CHS Fine Arts Department Chair Niarus Walker.
David’s relationship with Henry began with teaching him art, starting in kindergarten through Eulalie Rivera Elementary School and continuing with art classes in his junior year at SCECHS.
“I’ve gotten a list from my art teachers for the supplies that are most needed in their classrooms when we order from Blick Art Materials with the gift card,” she said.
Walker is a staunch advocate for arts in education, and she welcomed the gift that will replenish the art supplies and support the art department at CHS.
Randolph spoke of her pride in both of her sons and their academic accomplishments.
Henry, she pointed out, was the First Honor Student of the graduating class at Eulalie Rivera. He was the Valedictorian of the graduating class at Arthur Richards Junior High School and Valedictorian of the graduating class at SCECHS.
“I’m so proud of him,” Randolph said of Henry. “While he was attending school virtually, I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and I was taking chemotherapy. I finished treatment in July 2021, and I‘m cancer free. I’m happy I am his mom and happy he is my son. I’m a single parent, and I do my best with both my sons. I always make sure to take them to church on Sundays. Sedrick is an AP 6th-grade student at Eulalie Rivera.”
Deane’s mission is to support the vision of the community. She and Stefan have lined up the next Leo Carty exhibit at her gallery. The 2023 exhibit will open April 20 and will run through May. The exhibit will represent Carty and his art students.
Stefan reiterates to art students, “Apply, apply, apply as soon as possible. Applications will be due by Feb. 2023. The scholarship will be awarded the week before Memorial Day 2023. Applications will be available immediately at schools throughout the territory.”
Stefan thanks Neville James at WTJX FM radio for his support over the first two years of bringing this vision to fruition. He thanks the VI community for its support and for embracing the legacy of Leo Carty’s contributions to the visual arts in the VI. Thank you to Ms. Sonia Deane and the Cane Roots Art Gallery.
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