In the Loop
Student Stories : Dec 1, 2016

SAAH scholarship students have opportunity to meet, thank GFAA Board

By Mandy McDade

On Thursday, November 10, members of the Gainesville Fine Arts Association (GFAA) met with Ashley Fuchs and Robert Perez, the two recipients of the new scholarship the GFAA has generously established for School of Art + Art History students.

Since 1923, the GFAA has worked to promote and encourage the study of all art mediums in the Gainesville community. The Association has been at the forefront of enriching the cultural and economic identity of the community for years, and has recently established the first GFAA gallery. The obvious next step for the Board, according to GFAA President Karen Koegel, was to start supporting student artists.

“To have two great colleges available within our own community, with so many talented students, is a gift that we receive, so in turn we wanted to gift back,” said Koegel.

And the gift was greatly appreciated. As a Graphic Designer, Ashley Fuchs recognizes the need to be constantly mastering new and old technologies and methods of creation. This is not always easy, and taking away some of the financial burden is a huge step in continuing her education.

“This scholarship means that I could explore other options and creative outlets for helping to create and finalize my work,” Fuchs said. “Without support from scholarships like these, a lot of work ends at what a designer only knows. With the support and knowledge that these scholarship gives, designers like myself can continue to move their practice forward and always have incentive to learn and evolve their craft.”

Fuchs aims to cater her designs to each individual user, and said of her work,  “I always want my pieces to have a positivity to them as well, because I feel that the more positive outlook on life we have, the better vibes we send out, more good will eventually come back to us.”

There was certainly some good coming her way in November. The opportunity to meet with the GFAA Board and thank them for the support was an amazing experience on both sides of the table.

“The opportunity to meet and hear what Ashley and Robert are doing makes the scholarship real," said Koegel. "We feel that having members experience them, in person, would help them to understand how important this decision was.”

To see the work of over 300 artists in themed shows throughout the year, visit the GFAA’s gallery at 1314 South Main St.

To learn more about the GFAA’s work and mission, visit their website: