The Champion Art Scholarship Fund for young artists was established in 2004, in memory of our friend and long-time SCVWS member Wayne Champion. In setting up this fund, we honor his teaching, his creative spirit, and his wonderful warm attitude to life and everything around him. Wayne was responsible for setting up the Industrial Arts Department at San Jose State University, and he taught there for over 30 years. The Champion Art Scholarship Fund is part of our community outreach program to give back to the local art community, reaching out a helping hand to the upcoming generation of artists.
Nominations and Awards
Since 2009 the Society has given an annual scholarship to a student enrolled in the Art and Design Program at San Jose State University in memory of Wayne Champion. Wayne taught in the Industrial Arts Department of SJSU for over 30 years. The student also receives a complimentary membership in the Society. The artist can work in any medium.
Below are recent scholarship winners.
2020 -- Elizabeth Lock.
Elizabeth Lock is an emerging Bay Area artist and is currently enrolled in San Jose State University working toward a BFA in Pictorial Arts. Her works explore themes of morbid curiosity and our repulsion and attraction to the macabre through the combination of the grotesque and the beautiful.
She says "This scholarship has helped me throughout the year by encouraging me to continue to create more paintings and giving me more confidence in my work. It has also allowed me to concentrate on my practices rather than worrying about tuition and other finances. I am very grateful for this opportunity, and am ecstatic to be a part of this community."
2019 -- Alexander Werdmuller Von Elgg
He says "My art practice has existed as long as I can remember and has evolved through formal training which began at Cabrillo College in 2006 where I studied drawing. In 2009, I went to the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan for illustration/animation and continued in 2012 at California College of Arts. Currently, I live in Scotts Valley and go to San Jose State University for my undergraduate degree in Bachelor of Fine Arts in the Pictorial focus. The artworks I am currently developing include digital black and white photography and pencil, charcoal and ink on paper. In my artwork, I like to focus on rhythm, depth, and eye movement. I aim to be a college level art teacher because I have benefited considerably from my teachers; teaching art would be my best service to society and the most fulfilling life.
Terminal B, Watercolor 15x23 inches
Lazuli, White chalk on black paper
2018 -- Katherine Mergens
Kat is a Bay Area painter and interdisciplinary artist. She is currently enrolled at San José State University in the Pictorial Arts MFA. Her work examines a variety of scientific themes that range from mineralogy to space-related conspiracy theories.
Kat’s watercolor paintings record introspective moments that reflect wonder found in ordinary objects created by the Earth. Natural materials for artmaking, including hand made papers and mineral pigments, support the organic and geologic subjects of plants, minerals, crystals, planets, and clouds.
Pillow, Watercolor 11x14 inches
Geode Series, 6x6 inches
2017 -- Karina Garcia and Tran Tran
There were two scholarhip winners in 2017. Karina Garcia is in the BA Art Studio Teacher Prep Program (painting at left) and Tran Tran is in the BFA Pictorial Art Program (painting at right).
2016 -- Danielle Torvik-Staffen
In 2016 the award winner was Danielle Torvik-Staffen , shown here with some of her paintings. Danielle is from Boulder Creek and currently resides in Santa Cruz. She will graduate with a BFA in pictorial arts, and is in preparation for her senior exhibition in the spring of 2017. She works primarily with watercolor on paper and oil on canvas. Using watercolor sensibilities, and her interest in the element of transparency, she combines the unpredictable and uncontrollable methods of puddling, pouring, and evaporation with crisp structure. Some of these works evoke a sense of ruins enshrouded in mist, others read as cracked glass and mirrors. She continues to joyfully experiment with new combinations and methods of indirect painting and mark-making.
Top row: teacher Gale Antokal, 2016 winner Danielle Torvik-Stavin
Bottom Row: Shannon Belardi (2015), Monica Gonzalez and Kurt Salinas
In 2017 students created paintings of apples as a thank you to SCVWS.
Below is a collection of their "apples" paintings.
Please contact for details, or to nominate a student.
This fund is supported by the SCVWS Board, the Champion family, and by generous gifts from individual members, and others. You may give towards the Champion Art Fund in the name of anyone you wish to remember at any time. Your gift is appreciated. For more information, contact .
Send your check to SCVWS, noting "Scholarship Fund" in the memo area. If you would like to provide the name and address of the person you are remembering, a card will be sent to your friend, telling them of the gift in their honor.