Aspiring Artists

HUMANITIES, Winter 2021, Volume 42, Number 1

New Orleans native Myron Solomon Jr. painted Maliyah the Magical: Wondrous Petals, a portrait of his younger sister as she appeared when she was nine years old.

“Watching Maliyah grow was very inspirational for me. At the time that the piece was being rendered, I started to notice that she wanted to create, and explore the limits of things. Being her older brother, I wanted to instill in her that any idea is possible and possibilities are endless. I truly hoped that after seeing herself in a painting that it would inspire her to continue testing her limits and take things further than I ever could.”

Solomon is one of two recipients of the 2020 Gustave Blache III Art Scholarships for Aspiring Artists, which offer $25,000 a year to one undergraduate and one graduate student to attend the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York City. The scholarships were founded in 2018 by Blache in partnership with SVA and the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities.

“This is a life-changing opportunity for Louisiana’s young artists, one that will further foster critical thinking skills with the creative arts as they have never had before,” writes Blache, a nationally recognized artist whose work has been exhibited at the New Orleans Museum of Art and is represented in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution. A graduate from the same arts high school that produced jazz musicians Branford, Wynton, and Jason Marsalis, Blache received his bachelor’s degree from SVA, Savannah, a satellite campus of the New York school, where he earned a master of fine arts.