Arizona Artists Guild’s Annual Visual Arts Scholarships

Thanks to generous donations from a number of various donors over the years, AAG has been able to award over $100,000.00 in scholarships since the start of the program in 1993. Each year in February, full-time fine art students from Arizona’s universities and community colleges are able to apply for these awards.
In addition to the scholarship funds, AAG has partnered with Shemer Art Center and Museum to host an exhibit of scholarship recipients’ work. This is a significant opportunity for art students to have work shown at the prestigious museum.  Both organizations have a long history with the Arts in Arizona.

For Scholarship award information, please read below. To download the application for the AAG Scholarship click here: 2018 Application. For a list of previous winners and to see images of their work, please CLICK HERE. To read about some of our donors please scroll down.

Scholarship Information

Monies Awarded:
A total of $10,000 will be awarded.

Marigold Linton Scholarship $1500 | Ruth Magadini Scholarship $1000 | Erin O’Dell Scholarship $1000 | AWA-Del Decil Scholarships (3) $1000 each for watermedia | AAG President’s Scholarship $1500 | AAG Scholarship (s) –  remaining $3000 will be divided among selected artists as  determined by the jurors.

Juror decisions are based mainly on quality of submissions, as well as the provided statement. The award money winners receive is directly deposited into the student’s college bursar account for the following fall semester.

In addition to the monetary awards, AAG also offers all winners an honorary guild membership for one year, a value of $45.

AWA/Del Decil Student Scholarship Award for Water Media
AAG has partnered with the Arizona Watercolor Association scholarship program which is based, in part, on a monetary legacy bequeathed from the Del Decil estate to AWA for student scholarships.  This program offers up to three (3) scholarships of $1000 each, to be awarded to the student (s) whose artwork demonstrates artistic merit and achievement in the area of water-media.  The winning student (s) receives a scholarship of $1000 to the school of their choice for tuition/books/art materials.

Water Media includes:  watercolor, gouache, acrylic paint, inks, casein paint & tempera, water-soluble pencil or crayons when used in a painting manner and at least partially dissolved.  May combine with pencil or pen/ink.  Surface:  Paper, illustration board, Yupo, watercolor board, canvas.

Stella Waters Decil (Del) was a prolific oil and watercolor artist and longtime member of AWA.  A popular workshop instructor and juror in Arizona and New Mexico, she was a teacher of painting and drawing for the Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department.  She critiqued art students at Maricopa Tech and was a juror of the Youth Division AZ State Fair.  She was published in numerous magazines and newspapers, and her paintings hung in several collections in 20 states.

Members can enjoy the benefits of networking with over 350 local and professional artists, participating in exhibitions, workshops, professional opportunities and participating in numerous AAG activities.  Members also have the opportunity to volunteer with AAG (a 501(c)3 nonprofit ) in varying ways. Such an opportunity is great (especially for students) for gaining experience in working within an arts organization and among dedicated artists as well as for boosting one’s resume. Past winners have gone on to volunteer as the scholarship chairs/co-chairs and/or on the exhibitions committee, held board positions, and have participated in some of the guild’s activities through workshops and presentations. All applicants are welcome to become members and active participants in one of Arizona’s oldest and finest arts organizations!

Follow the link for a downloadable application. Fill out all appropriate sections. Art Scholarship applicants must submit three jpeg images of three or their current, original works of art on a PC and MAC compatible CD. To help clarify, students may present one additional detail image per artwork, for up to six images total. Image sizes should be no larger than 2000 pixels in either direction and should be saved at 200-300 dpi.
The application has a written element, a Personal Statement that explains the rationale for the artwork created. Scholarship winners are required to exhibit their submitted artwork at the Shemer Art Center in Phoenix during the spring (see time line below).

Characteristics of Winning Entries:
1.Choice of Artwork: The artwork is the most important part of the application. Although the panel of jurors differs each year, in general, jurors want to see cohesive quality work. Applicant’s chosen pieces should be strong and relate to each other (i.e. style, medium, theme etc.).

2. Complete applications: Incomplete applications may not be juried.

3.Concise writing: The personal statement offers the jurors additional insight into the work, providing context and details that may not be apparent in the images.

4.Timely applications: Incomplete/late applications will not be juried. Applications must be mailed to the address listed and will not be accepted any other way. Any applications without a postmark or postmarked past the deadline will not be accepted.

5.Good Images: Important for the scholarship applicants- Poor image quality takes away from the work. Images should be clear, sharp and well lit. Blurry images cannot be juried.


  1. Applicants must be continuing, full-time undergraduate or graduate students in a fine/studio arts program at a college or university in Arizona.
  2.  The application is open to international students as long as all requirements are met. State residency is not a requirement.
  3.  Applicants must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher and all artwork must be original and not more than 2 years old.
  4. Previous winners of an AAG scholarship are ineligible.
 Students should apply as many times as possible as long as all requirements are met. Many applicants apply 2-3 times before they are awarded.
  5.  Winners must be willing to exhibit the work submitted, plus 1-3 additional pieces and are available to give a short presentation at the award reception and the May AAG meeting. Please see the timeline below for details.
  6. Winners are responsible for arranging drop-off and pick-up of their work to and from Shemer for the exhibition. Pieces will not be shipped back unless an agreement is made.
 Once the work leaves Shemer Art Center, Shemer and AAG are not responsible for any damages to the work that occur. Here is a copy of the Shemer Loan agreement: Loan Agreement
  7. Submission postmark deadline is February 1, 2018 – NO EXCEPTIONS. 
Be sure to use the checklist on the application and adhere to the timeline below. Agreement forms must be thoroughly read and signed.
  8. Submission materials cannot be returned to the applicants.
    All application packets must be mailed to:

AAG Scholarship
PO Box 41534 | Phoenix, AZ 85080

Application postmark deadline:  February 1, 2018
Notification, via email only: by or before February 9, 2017
Exhibition dates: March 8 – April 5, 2018
Drop off of artwork: March 2 & 3, 2018
The Awards Reception: 6:00 -8:00 PM, Thursday, March 8, 2018
Pick-up of work: April 6 & 7, 2018
Winner presentations at AAG:  6:00-9:00 PM, March 20, 2018

Contact Scholarship Chair,   or  AAG past scholarship recipient and Student Liaison Layne Farmer at
Here is a downloadable 2018 Application

To see samples of previous winners work, please CLICK HERE

Scholarship Jurors
As stated in our by-laws, jurors for AAG events are required to be listed as Juried Members of AAG. Scholarship jurors serve a short term and are of a diverse range of backgrounds and knowledge in art. All jurors are artists and often affiliated with both AAG and Shemer Art Center.

To find out more about becoming a Juried Member for AAG, please CLICK HERE

Gayla Bonnell_Arizona Artists Guild

The Lonely Beach



Gayla R. Bonnell:

Gayla has taught at the community college and high school level, teaching art and developing AP Art Programs. Gayla has been a national speaker and demonstrator throughout the United States. She is a watercolor artist who is a juried member of the Arizona Watercolor Association and Arizona Artist Guild. She has judged many shows around the country at various levels, from high school to graduate level to adult shows. This successful artist recently exhibited in a two woman show and has a one woman show beginning in November.

Constance McBride

Constance McBride

Constance McBride

My practice is inspired by nature and the human form. The way time marks our bodies and my evolving emotions concerning this are what drive the direction of it.  I’ve been meditating for some time now on change and loss. Crumpled figures may be in ruins, but still exist. While fragility exists, there is the tenacity to survive.  I think about layers while investigating the changes our bodies, ourselves experience over time; layers of relationships we develop and discard and layers of lore ancestors leave behind for us to ponder.  We continue to add strata upon strata to our lives.  At certain points, we reach an intersection where the living meets the dead.   The bits we leave behind continue to whisper our story and while others may misinterpret their recollections, these then become the story. In the end, the actual story doesn’t really matter to me. What does matter to me is that we are remembered as living beings and that death is thought of as a completion of a life well lived; not as a failure to survive on earth.

 Constance McBride creates figures to punctuate the complexity of the human drama. Her sculptures explore difficult issues related to aging and mortality.  Her primary medium is clay. Inspired by landscape and the natural world, her work is most recently characterized by her use of dry surface treatments and her sculpting method to create contorted forms rather than images of perfection. A native of Philadelphia, PA, McBride relocated from the East Coast to the Southwest in 2002. She received a Bachelor of Arts from Arcadia University in Glenside, PA. Her work is featured in the international platform Ceramics Now and included in the publication Paperclay Art and Practice by Rosette Gault.  Most recently, it’s been displayed in the ClayHouston Biennial in TX, The Clay Studio National in PA and in the international exhibition Beyond The Brickyard, at Archie Bray Foundation for Ceramic Arts in MT. McBride is a 2011 recipient of a professional development grant from Arizona Commission on the Arts. She was named one of the 100 Creatives by Phoenix New Times  in 2014. Phoenix New Times named her solo exhibition “Place out of Time” one of the 10 best art shows in Phoenix in 2015. Most notably, in 2016, she received an Emerging Artist Grant from Contemporary Forum, a support organization for the Phoenix Art Museum.

Zach Valent

Zach Valent

Zach Valent

Most recognized for creating fictitious fossils relative to modern society, Zach Valent’s art engages the imagination of the viewer by blending the aesthetic qualities of geological processes with idealized representations of advancing civilization. In the past, Zach fabricated the artificial remnants of outdated technologies such as rotary dial phones and Polaroid cameras. However, his recent work is centered on more powerful images that stand as icons of current consumer culture such as large stacks of wasted paper and gasoline cans. A wide range of materials including concrete, ceramic, wood, paper, and casting resins are used in his work.

 Zach graduated from Southern Illinois University Carbondale with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art. Currently, he is living and working in Phoenix, Arizona where he is steadily progressing to achieve a Masters of Fine Arts Degree with a focus in sculpture at Arizona State University. Zach is also an Instructor of Record at ASU and has taught Sculpture 1 and 3-D Design. Zach has been the recipient of multiple awards including the Nathan Cummings Travel Fellowship, and a Windgate Charitable Foundation Award.

Laura Cohen-Hogan

Laura Cohen-Hogan

Laura Cohen-Hogan 

Laura Cohen-Hogan received her BFA in painting and drawing from Arizona State University and University of Hawaii. Always wanting to teach, Laura received her Masters of Art Education, Secondary Education Degree, Special Education and and Administrative degrees from also from ASU.  She grew up as a teacher in the Cartwright School District, and became a school and district administrator in Pendergast and Glendale Elementary School Districts. Retiring in 2001, she became a clinical professor at ASU until 2010.  While an art educator, Laura was also a middle school art teacher for Parks Recreation after school and a summer art teacher, summer art director at Camp Teva in Prescott and Camp Tatiyee for the Lions’ Club camp for the Disabled.  Laura’s paintings and drawings have been exhibited in juried exhibitions, solo exhibitions, and she has participated in First Fridays and Art Detour in Phoenix since 2002. Most recently, she was invited to Curate the 2015 Herberger Winter and Spring exhibitions and offered a  solo exhibition at the Herberger in January, 2016 and solo exhibition at Shemer Art Center November 2016.

Currently, Laura is a Herberger Gallery Artist at the Arizona Center, and is the Membership Chair for the Arizona Artist Guild. | | Studio 6 @ the Artery – First Fridays


I currently spend my winters in the Phoenix, AZ area and summers in Portland, OR – The best of both environments! I’m very active in the art communities in both areas.

Education has played an important role in my career. I continue to take workshops, seminars and classes on a regular basis. For five years I owned and operated the Locati Creative Art Center, which involved teaching and organizing workshops and class in all media. I continue to teach a variety of art classes, workshops, and jury both colored pencil and mixed media art shows locally and nationally.

I continue to be involved with many art organizations including: Signature member of National Watercolor Society, the Northwest Watercolor Society and Colored Pencil Society of America, Contemporary Watercolorist of Arizona and the Western Federation of Watercolor Societies. I’m a Past President of the Watercolor Society of Oregon and Colored Pencil Society of America. I was instrumental with the structure and formation of CPSA. For six years I served on the national board as Executive Vice President and Director of International Exhibitions. For over twenty five years I have been a member of SPLASH, an Oregon professional artist group; member of the Arizona Watercolor Association and an invited member of The Critique West Group. I was juried into membership of Vanguard Artists and the Contemporary Watercolorists of Arizona, which a select group of 40 artists.

I have artwork published in and on the cover of fifteen fine art books in the United States, England and France;  have been honored with many awards and various accolades, including 3rd place in the prestigious International NWS show. Please view my artwork at the Portland Art Museum – Rental Sales Gallery, Portland Oregon.

Our Donors and Supporters

All AAG scholarships, curator honorariums and exhibitions are made possible by our committed members, generous donors, the Arizona Artist Guild and the Shemer Art Center.
Thank you to our donors, members and volunteers for your ongoing commitment and contributions to the arts in Arizona and to AAG. Such awards, opportunities and organizations would not be available without your ongoing compassionate support and participation. Thank you!

To find more information about donating please CLICK HERE.

List of Donors 2008-2017:

Arizona Artist Guild and its members
Arizona Watercolor Association
Shemer Art Center and The Roney Family Foundation
Glendale Arts Council
Marigold Linton
Ruth S Magadini
Erin O’Dell
Diane Maxey
Mary Lou Harvey
Tom Bollinger
Gerry Grout


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