GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN, April 21, 2009 – Mexican-born artist and longtime Grand Rapids Public School teacher once said, “You’ve got to have light so you can see.” And even after his death last December, his memory continues to light the way for local artists through the Jose Narezo Memorial Scholarship.
Created and funded by Via Design and Gretchen Minnhaar Designs, the scholarship will provide a travel stipend for one Kendall College student on an international studies trip each year. Minnhaar explains, “Jose was a very dear friend of mine and a community advocate of the arts. He had a wonderful rapport with the children he taught, and they absolutely adored him. One of the goals of this scholarship is to keep his legacy moving forward in the art world and the West Michigan community.”
Valerie Schmeider, Principal at Via Design, adds, “I hope our gift opens up the opportunity to travel for many students. Financially challenged students may appreciate travel more than anyone, but never have the means to do it. Both Gretchen and I travel a lot and see how much education you receive just by immersing yourself in another culture. That’s why this scholarship is specifically targeted to international travel.”