Untitled, a watercolour by Marika Bise. (Marika Bise)

Clayton Heights Secondary student a ‘stand-out’ talent

Marika Bise, 17, recieves art scholarship from Community Art

Marika Bise, 17, is graduating from Clayton Heights Secondary this year. Although she’s not sure where her future will take her, she knows that she wants to pursue an education and perhaps a career in the arts.

She might not know how, or when, but she knows why: she loves art.

“I’ve always been drawing, since I was little,” said Bise.

“I’m hoping to be an artist,” she said. “But that’s going to be really hard.”

The goal, she said, would be to become an independent artist, creating her own pieces and selling them. But she acknowledges the difficulty in getting to that point, and expresses an apprehension for the competitive marketplace for artists.

It’s hard, “financially and skill-wise,” she said. “I feel like after a certain point, it gets really competitive. I don’t think I’d be able to survive through all of that.”

Related: Breaking barriers for youth artists

Before she tackles that, she will first pursue the arts in post-secondary. She plans to take drawing and painting, at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Emily Carr University of Art + Design, or at Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts in Japan.

She’ll be helped along to her goal with the scholarship of $250 she received from Community Art, an organization started by a fellow Clayton Heights Secondary graduate, Gary Parker, last year to help CHS grads pursue the arts.

“[Marika’s] demeanour, story and talent stood out,” said Gary Parker, founder and CEO of Community Art.

“When Community Art first launched eight months ago, Marika, in Grade 11 at the time, appeared to be shy and a bit unsure of her artwork, which is common in young artists,” said Parker. “Despite this, she reached out to us and expressed an interest in getting exposure for her pieces.”

“This act of boldness to submit not only made her the first high school artist to be chosen to showcase her work in Clayton Heights Sports and Therapy but also gave validation and exposure to her skills,” he said.

For more information on Community Art and how to support local artists, visit communityartca.com.

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Gary Parker presenting Marika Bise with a $250 scholarship at the Clayton Heights Secondary graduation ceremony. (Submitted)

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