Sometimes the confluence of events brings a community together in unexpected ways. This is the case with ZIA Gallery’s recent exhibition Iceland Inspired and the untimely death of a much-loved, young woman.
Enthusiastic Bard College student and New Trier High School graduate Sarah McCausland embraced all things Icelandic. She took it upon herself to study the language in anticipation of visiting Iceland this summer. Tragically, only a few months ago, she and a friend lost their lives when hit by a drunk driver.
During the exhibition of Iceland Inspired, members of the Winnetka community approached ZIA Gallery and told us about Sarah, her family, and the desire and need of the community to share the story of Sarah and her fascination with Iceland. Provided by the family, a small display in the gallery window honors Sarah. Now a new display is underway to further honor Sarah and encourage support of her family in their newly established scholarship: The Sarah C. McCausland New Trier Performing Arts Scholarship awarded through New Trier High School.
On Thursday, June 5th, 2014, the first annual scholarship was awarded.
As soon as Iceland Inspired artist John Vlahakis learned of the scholarship, he offered to donate to the fund 20% from the sale of the remaining available prints in the edition of his Icelandic horses photograph “Phantoms,” pictured above. John shares a fascination with Iceland and its natural features. These Icelandic horses are tough, sturdy, friendly animals unique to the island and protected by their country.
As word spread of the pending scholarship plans, other of the artists equally wanted to participate.
Jonathan Ricci spent 2 months last summer in Skagaströnd, Iceland painting his joyful, colorful abstractions he aptly refers to as COLD HEAT: Painting under the Midnight Sun. In addition, his “Migration Project” of ceramic birds continues to grow and move through the Winnetka community, and around the world. He left ceramic birds in nooks and crannies of the landscape in Skagaströnd as a thank-you to the people of the town for hosting the residency. Now Jonathan requests to donate 20% to Sarah’s scholarship fund from the sale of his painting “Midnight Rainbow” pictured above. This summer Jonathan returns to Iceland for the month of July, again to paint and be inspired by this remarkable country.
Anne Hughes spent a refreshing 9 days in Iceland and returned with photos she calls “research materials” to be used toward the development of a body of work. “Variations,” pictured above, is one pastel inspired by the geological features of Iceland. Through directly meeting several of Sarah’s warm family members, Anne has been touched to learn about Sarah.
Sarah’s parents and sister will fulfill Sarah’s dream through traveling together to Iceland this summer, as intended. In addition, their determination and strength will bring good to a deserving student of New Trier High School through the Sarah C. McCausland New Trier Performing Arts Scholarship.
Donations to the scholarship fund may be sent directly to the high school, payable to:
New Trier High School
Add Sarah McCausland’s name written in the memo portion of the cheque.
The address is:
385 Winnetka Ave.
Winnetka, IL 60093
Here is what Sarah’s family says about the scholarship:
Sarah C. McCausland New Trier Performing Arts Scholarship
The Sarah C. McCausland New Trier Scholarship for the Performing Arts is a scholarship of which students apply and faculty selects a finalist. Eligible students are those who have participated in two, preferably three of the following arts departments: orchestra, choral, and theatre. The student should have a financial need and exhibit the following qualities:
1. Charismatic leadership
2. Individuality of character
3. Kind support of fellow arts students
4. Standards of excellence
Sarah loved New Trier’s performing arts. Her scholarship affirms her singular personality, her quest for learning and her passion for life and friends.
ZIA Gallery is pleased to participate in this worthy cause. We extend our support and sincere wishes toward a successful campaign to fulfill the McCausland family’s goals in creating a positive legacy in their daughter and sister’s name: Sarah McCausland.