The Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival committee implemented the Emerging Artists Scholarship Fund in 2010 and continues to offer awards every year to two seniors and one junior who excel in the arts. The seniors who are Advanced Placement Studio Art students are awarded $500 and the junior is awarded $250 in either 2D Design, Drawing or 3D portfolio. Unlike most scholarships that go directly to the institution, the Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival awards are given directly to the student to be used for tuition and art supplies.

Awardees this year are graduates Nick Smiley and Mattie Fritz and incoming senior Fiona Bransgrove. Attendees at the Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival can view works by many of the art students from Tam High on September 17 and 18 in Old Mill Park. More info at

More info on the winners:

Nick Smiley
“I have made art my entire life, and have explored many different visual mediums. Lately I have become enamored with digital art. I modeled and rendered the first three works in the 3D modeling software Blender.  I created the color low poly 2D portrait of my friend in the illustration program Affinity Designer with the intent of making a clean, futuristic image.  Next year I will be going to the University of Southern California to study music industry and film production. I will continue to create art to complement my musical and cinematic works, as a solid understanding and command of visual art adds a valuable depth and layer of craft to my skills.”

Mattie Fritz 
“I’m a passionate and dedicated self taught artist with the skills and drive to improve and develop my artistic abilities, and I hope to continue to explore art in college. I like to work in intaglio and etching printing, realism, and figure drawings, as is what shows up in my work. I have a particular love of ballerinas (for their movement and grace) and horses (for their knowledge and soul). I’ve studied drawing for 12 years and have been enrolled in nearly continuous school art classes for 11 years. I’ve had two years experience in print making and an increased concentration in figure drawing studies for three years. To improve upon my skills, I regularly attend live figure drawing classes in and outside of school. Art is a balancing factor in my life, and I’ve always enjoyed the freedom it provides as well as the different thinking it provokes. “

Fiona Bransgrove 
“My paintings are focused on the human figure and the interactions people have with each other and with themselves. I tried to create paintings that tie together stylistically, but have different color pallets and subjects. I’m really quite excited about the painting that I’ve been doing, and it’s been a nice experience developing a style and then exploring within that style. Painting with acrylic paints is very satisfying, especially scraping paint across the canvas. I enjoy using palette knives the manipulate paint on the canvas to create the subject matter and texture. My use of palette knives equips me with the ability to layer on paint and to make sharp lines. I started to develop my style of painting at the end of last school year (2015) and I’ve grown quite fond and attached to it, like a friend that I can rely on when I’m feeling blocked.” 

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