As a young girl, Kelisha Junius-Clarke loved to draw and paint. So, it’s not surprising that she gravitated towards the visual arts. The first-year Ontario College of Art & Design illustration and integrated media student also runs her own production and design firm – MvsK – that works with independent artists and entrepreneurs on various projects, including T-shirt designs.
Junius-Clarke is the recipient of this year’s Arts & Culture Jamaica (ACJAM) scholarship which was presented recently at the Jamaica Consulate.
“As a Jamaican-Canadian, this award definitely means a lot to me,” she said.
In her last year of high school at St. Mary’s in Kitchener, Junius-Clarke excelled in the fine arts and graphic design programs.
“She demonstrated a natural ability to not only grasp the various techniques for effectively manipulating the media, but experimented with using them in new ways to meet her creative talent,” said the school’s arts program head, Jeannie McCarroll. “Kelisha is not only a technically exceptional artist, but also a true creative spirit who is continually working on developing original visual concepts and ideas based on emotional, experiential and cultural influences around her.
“At such an early age, she was constantly observing her surroundings, society and culture and using that to inform her work and to develop her own style. One need not only look at her sketchbooks to see an impressive collection of observations, thoughts and references that Kelisha is continually amassing and using as her inspiration…I have had the distinct honour of watching her evolve into an inspiring young artist who is talented beyond her years and deserving of this recognition.”
OCAD illustration instructor, Jon Todd, said Junius-Clarke is a talented artist who is constantly striving for knowledge to improve her skills.
“Her assignments were well thought out, creative and made great use of a number of media techniques,” said Todd. “She successfully demonstrated every concept and technique taught. Throughout the two courses, her art was constantly improving as she worked to master various techniques and push the boundaries of her work. She also brought passion and energy to each class and she always actively participated by asking intelligent questions and proving insightful feedback during each class group critique.”
ACJAM has presented 29 scholarships since the program was launched.
BY RON FANFAIR