Congratulations to Solanco artist, Ava Kurtz, who has been awarded the 2024 C.X. Carlson Senior Art Portfolio Scholarship Award of $11,500! Ava will additionally be featured in the 2024 Emerging Artist Exhibition for the month of May at Red Raven Art Company in Lancaster, PA. Ava will be honored in an awards ceremony at Red Raven Art Company at 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 7, 2024.

The C.X. Carlson Senior Portfolio Scholarship Award is the top annual scholarship offered by the C.X. Carlson Cultural Trust and Red Raven Art Company. The Carlson Cultural Trust is dedicated to furthering the vision of Lancaster County artist, C.X. Carlson by supporting the arts in the community. One of the chief ways that the Trust accomplishes this is to discover and support young emerging artists. Scholarship candidates must present an outstanding, cohesive portfolio of fifteen works, a personal essay, an artist’s statement, and transcripts. Candidates must be planning to attend an excellent four-year post-secondary program to major in the visual arts. Ava will attend Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore, MD. where she will major in Illustration. MICA has additionally awarded Ava a significant more than half-tuition scholarship for each year of her four years of study.

Ava has won record-breaking awards for her outstanding work. In the regional 2024 Scholastic Art Awards and Young Artists Awards, Ava set new records in the visual arts in the Solanco School District by winning 37 awards and winning the most Scholastic Art Awards that have advanced to national adjudication, which include an American Visions Nominee Award, numerous Gold Key Awards, and a Gold Art Portfolio Award. Ava also broke the record in the entire region of Lancaster County by winning four Portfolio Awards, including two Gold Portfolio Awards, which has never been achieved in the history of the Scholastic Art Awards and Young Artists Awards in the Lancaster County Region. For the past two years, Ava has also been the recipient of scholarships to attend summer studio courses at the Pennsylvania College of Art and Design in Lancaster. Ava’s outstanding work has additionally been featured in exhibitions at the Lancaster Museum of Art and the Demuth Museum. At Solanco High School, Ava is a leading member of the National Art Honor Society where she has demonstrated art scholarship, leadership, character, and service for the past three years.

Solanco School District Visual Arts Department Chair, Candace Rakers, said that “Ava is prolific and her extensive body of work represents a technical excellence and a level of sophistication that is well beyond her years. Ava is exceptionally fluent in visual language and uses materials and processes with remarkable expertise in the service of her ideas. Her sustained investigation, The Asian-American Experience is a deeply personal narrative embodied in a significant series of meaningful works that speak to her highly evolved sensibilities. Ava’s classical series, Abundance rivals the work of some of the best representational contemporary artists. I am excited to see Ava continue to flourish in the inspiring environment of her post-secondary experiences in the professional visual arts community at Maryland Institute College of Art. Ava can be exceptionally proud of all of her achievements at Solanco High School and I am certain that she will continue to expand and soar at a rapid pace.”

Ava Kurtz is the thirteenth Solanco High School artist since 2007 who has been awarded the Senior Art Portfolio Scholarship and Emerging Artist Exhibition through the C.X. Carlson Cultural Trust and Red Raven Art Company.