Kylee Wiseman Wows With Watercolor

Reported by Emma Bach

Any scholarship, no matter the field, is competitive. They usually involve a dedicated application process, a particular skillset or a specific field of study. All of which make the recent accomplishments of Kylee Wiseman, a second-year student and studio art major at George Fox University (GFU), even more impressive — this March, Wiseman brought home the Northwest Watercolor Foundation’s Gold Grant Scholarship. She is the first GFU student to do so.

Part of the Northwest Watercolor Society (NWWS), the Northwest Watercolor Foundation’s Gold Grant Scholarship is a $3,500 grant “presented annually to an outstanding and promising art student.” As part of her application, Wiseman submitted five of her watercolor works, in addition to an artist statement and biography. It wasn’t a difficult decision for the scholarship jurors, as they chose Wiseman as the winner unanimously.

Wiseman’s award-worthy watercolor pieces all featured birds as the subject matter. Birds have been a deep-rooted love of Wiseman’s since she read her first field guide in the second grade. She has long-since studied birds in detail, from their anatomy to their behaviors.

“Birds continue to enchant me,” Wiseman said. “Seeking to capture their beauty and life on paper has become the driving force of my artistic practice.”

With her major in studio art, Wiseman seeks to become an illustrator and create artwork for hospitals — her dream job. Some of her work has already included commissions for hospitals.

In her artist statement, Wiseman elaborated on “Birds of Oregon,” one of her five pieces from the scholarship. The work features a total of 38 varying bird species, all of which are native to Oregon, and includes a key that provides details about each bird:

“My painting ‘Birds of Oregon’ is close to my heart because it encapsulates my two great passions: sharing my love of birds and comforting hospital patients,” she said.

“Birds of Oregon” now resides in the pediatric wing of a hospital in Washington, where it “serves as a fun distraction and teaching tool for young patients,” Wiseman said.

All in all, Wiseman hopes to continue “to delight and uplift others through the beauty of birds” in her artistic future. She plans to put the scholarship money towards her study-abroad trip to Orvieto, Italy, which will take place next spring.

“It truly is a blessing from God,” Wiseman said. “This award could not have come at a better time!”

Jessica DaughertyComment