Five MSM seniors awarded AYAA scholarships

Five Mount St. Mary senior art students were awarded scholarships from the Arkansas Young Artist Association (AYAA) during the online awards ceremony for its 2021 Virtual Competition on Wednesday, April 21. Caroline Gunderman won the organization’s top award, the $750 Carmen Alexandria “Allie” Thompson Memorial Scholarship. Kendal Betton, Charlie Colburn, Mary Owen and Anna Jewel Schluterman each received one of 13 additional $500 scholarships awarded by AYAA. Charlie was also offered a $1,000 scholarship by the Kansas City Art Institute.


AYAA received more than 2,200 entries from across the state in this year’s virtual visual arts competition, which was canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19. Twenty of the 76 pieces submitted by Mount St. Mary Academy students placed in various categories.


“We are so very proud of all of our students who submitted work this year,” Jenny Holder and Mimi Parrish, MSM art instructors, said. “The talent is undeniable, and the amount of work these students put into their artwork is abundantly evident.”


Congratulations to our 2021 AYAA winners:


  • Leighton Bennett ’21 – 1st place in crafts
  • Sophia Brannon ’22 – 3rd place in pen/ink (abstract/non-objective)
  • Charlie Colburn ’21 – 4th place in colored pencil (expressive), honorable mention in portraits (realistic) and honorable mention in printmaking
  • Alexis Coy ’23 – 2nd place in photography (color)
  • Abigail Garmon ’22 – 3rd place in sculpture (realistic)
  • Caroline Gunderman ’21 – 1st in tempera (expressive), 1st place in sketchbooks, 3rd place in oils (realistic), 3rd place in chalk pastel (expressive) and 4th in mixed media 2-D (expressive)
  • Cecilia Ilg ’20 – 2nd place in mixed media 2-D (expressive), 2nd place in colored pencil (realistic) and 4th place in printmaking
  • Brynne Johnson ’21 – 3rd place in digital manipulated imagery (with photos used)
  • Mary Owen ’21 – 2nd place in mixed media low-relief (abstract/non-objective)
  • Emily Roach ’21 – 2nd place in chalk pastel (abstract/non-objective)
  • Anna Jewel Schluterman ’21 – honorable mention in advertising design
  • Grace Weaver ’21 – 2nd place in digital manipulated imagery (with photos used)


AYAA is a state-wide organization whose mission is to encourage participation in the visual arts by Arkansas students through professional speakers, competitions, exhibition and scholarship. There are currently more than 1,500 student members in the organization from over 60 participating high schools across the state. It annually awards a minimum of 10 $500 scholarships to senior members in good standing.


Mount St. Mary Academy, sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, develops young women with a moral and intellectual foundation rooted in Catholic tradition. Mercy-minded and college-prepared, our students meet the future with wisdom, compassion and integrity.