Southern Arizona Watercolor Guild (SAWG) has had the honor of making an important contribution to the art community and beyond through our Scholarship program. Thanks to our many generous donors SAWG has been able to award well over $100,000 in scholarships since 1986. Our scholarship program is one of our most important missions because it supports art education. If you would like to apply for a scholarship, we would be happy to assist.


High school seniors and junior-college students from the greater Tucson area and Southeastern Arizona who are planning to study or are currently studying fine arts are eligible to apply. Teachers and professors may recommend students for scholarships or students may apply individually.

Scholarship awards will range from $1,000 to $2,000 and up to 7 scholarships will be given depending on the quality and number of selected recipients. Recipients can receive multiple awards. Scholarships will be sent directly to the student's school where they will be enrolled.


Read the Application Requirements carefully and complete the Application Form.  Application materials must be received by April 1, 2024.




2024 Scholarship Winners  

Southern Arizona Watercolor Guild (SAWG) celebrated its annual Scholarship Ceremony on Monday May 13th recognizing four Tucson area students with scholarship monies to support their future art education.  Marty Plevel, SAWG Saguaro Fellow gave an insightful speech about the importance of art in education followed by award presentations to the students by President Carla Massee.


Hollander 2024 Scholarship
Ashley Alvarez
Desert View High School



Schwartz 2024 Scholarship & SAWG 2024 Scholarship
Claire Poisl
University High School


Ashley Alvarez is from Tucson and Desert View High School.  She is being given the Hollander Scholarship and will be attending Pima Community College in the Fall of 2024 to study Visual Arts.



Claire Poisl is from Tucson and University High School.  Claire is being given the Nyla Schwartz Scholarship and SAWG scholarship.  She will be attending the Fine Arts College at the University of Arizona in the Fall of 2024.






Germaine Rose Scholarship
Lily Figueroa
University High School



SAWG Scholarship
Sophia Polyakova
Catalina Foothills High School


Lily Figueroa is from Tucson and University High School.  Lily is being given the Germain Rose Scholarship.  She will be entering the W.A. Franke Honors College at the University of Arizona in the Fall of 2024.



Sophia Polyakova is from Tucson and Catalina Foothills High School.  Sophia is being given the SAWG Scholarship.  She will be entering the University of Arizona in the Fall of 2024 to study Fine Arts and Graphic Design.






2023 Scholarship Winners   


Nyla Schwartz 2023 Scholarship & SAWG 2023 Scholarship
Grecia Solorio
Nogales High School


Jennette 2023 Scholarship & SAWG 2023 Scholarship
Crystal Lopez Bray
University High School

Grecia Solorio has been given the Schwartz Scholarship and a SAWG Scholarship.  She is currently a senior at Nogales High School in Nogales, AZ and will be attending the Art Institute of Chicago to study Painting and Drawing.

Grecia is a visual artist and muralist who focuses on socio-political pieces emphasizing themes of feminism and religion through mixed media.  Grecia has produced commissioned work for the Santa Cruz Advocates of the Arts, the Nogales Chamber of Commerce, and the University of Arizona.  She has been participating in exhibitions since 2018 across Southern Arizona and up to Phoenix.

In her submission, Grecia told us that she plans to pursue a career in fine arts because:

“Being able to say I am planning to pursue a career in fine arts ignites a certain happiness within me and I plan to use the knowledge and experience I acquire in my artistic education to continue spreading art around the world.”



Crystal Lopez Bray from Tucson has been given the Jennette Scholarship and a SAWG Scholarship.  She is currently a senior at University High School in Tucson, AZ and will be attending the Savannah College of Art and Design to study Illustration.

Crystal is both an artist and has a record of high academic achievement having pursued a variety of interests including playing left field for University High School softball, and as a Defender on the soccer team, plus being part of the Photography Club.  Going beyond art, she has volunteered at the University of Arizona in the STEMM program tutoring students in math.

In her submission, Crystal told us that she plans to build a career in illustration, saying:

“I aspire to build a career in illustration and to bring diversity and representation both in my art and in the career field. I had struggled as a child to find representation in media as a Mexican American. It is my hope that my art may bring that representation to others as well as to show other aspiring Mexican artist that they can succeed the way I plan to.”


Colored Pencils


Colored Pencil and Soft Pastel

  "Almost Perfect"
Oil Pastels

  "What Happened to my Little Girl"
  Acrylic, Acrylic Markers



Laura Hollander 2023 Scholarship
Maria Vargas
Ironwood Ridge High School

Maria Vargas has been given the Laura Hollander Scholarship.  She is currently a senior at Ironwood Ridge High School in Oro Valley, AZ and will be attending Arizona State University to study Animation.

Maria’s resume is filled with activities including being Vice President of her school art club and serves her community supporting education through weekly peer tutoring in math and English as well as volunteer work at Painted Sky elementary to support their school festivals.  And Maria expands her interest in the arts with the Tucson Girl’s Chorus.  Maria finds the time to also work outside of school and has worked at Target since 2021.

In her submission, Maria told us that her main career goal is working in the video game industry as a digital artist in visual effects, animation, or character design saying:

“I have always had a love for video games and storytelling and want to foster this love through my work. In addition to my main career, I plan to create artwork for galleries and create independent commission work to enrich the lives of others. I want my artwork to inspire people and help bring joy to others.”

Oil Pastel


Mixed Media

2022 Scholarship Winners     


Laura Hollander 2022 Scholarship
Ruby Johnson
City High School


Jennette 2022 Scholarship
Alexander Green
Flowing Wells High School


Ruby Johnson: Ruby is planning to attend Northern Arizona University. Her Favorite medium is graphite pencil and charcoal. She would like to receive an undergraduate degree in art, learning art history and a range of art techniques. After college she hopes to pursue a career in art, possibly as a curator or a teacher.


Alexander Green: Alex plans to attend Pima Community College Majoring in Fashion design with a Minor in Visual Arts. His favorite medium to work in is Acrylic. He would like to study fashion design and become an industry pattern maker.


Southern Arizona Watercolor Guild 2022 Scholarship
Payton Rokop
Ironwood Ridge High School

  Southern Arizona Watercolor Guild 2022 Scholarship
Natalie Corona
Sahuarita High School


Payton Rokop: Payton plans to attend Arizona State University next year. Favorite mediums to work in are Acrylic & Watercolor. Her future goals after graduating with a degree will be to travel for work, to see and experience all the beauty this world has to offer.



Natalie Corona: Natalie plans to attend Pima Community College after two years transfer to the University of Arizona. She plans to work hard and continue to succeed in education to secure a better future, hoping to give back to her father thanking him for being an amazing, supportive parent. Her Favorite medium is graphite. 



Southern Arizona Watercolor Guild 2022 Scholarship
Nina Garcia
University of Arizona School of Art

Nina Garcia: Nina is continuing her studies in University of Arizona School of Art, majoring in Studio Art: Emphasis-Illustration and Design. Favorite medium working in Acrylic and has plans to graduate from the University of Arizona as Graphic Design. Aspires to be a self-employed artist though plans may change, the ultimate goal is to have fun doing the things that are enjoyed the most.


2021 Scholarship Award Winners     


Jennette 2021 Scholarship
Aimee Loustanau
Sahuarita High School


Laura Hollander 2021 Scholarship
Florence von Grote
University of Arizona


Aimee Loustaunau:  Aimee will attend the University of Arizona with a major in Art and Visual Culture Education.  Her future goals are to become the art teacher that students are willing to talk to, to enable her students to become the best version of themselves, especially in art.  In short, to inspire her students to love art as much as she does.


Florence von Grote:  Before attending graduate school, Florence worked as a teacher, a mix of art and wood shop.  After graduation from the University of Arizona with a degree in Illustration and Design, Florence plans to return to being an art educator, as well as establishing herself as a freelance illustrator.  As she explains, painting and drawing will always be part of her day.


2021 SAWG Scholarship
Emily Kray
University of AZ

  2021 SAWG Scholarship
Toby Wilson
Push Ridge Christian Academy

Emily Kray:  Emily is pursuing an MFA in Visual Arts at the University of Arizona so that she may teach figure studies, drawing, and/or painting at the collegiate and secondary education level.  Additionally, she will maintain a steady art-making practice as well as applying to residencies, exhibitions, and grants.   

Toby Wilson:  Toby will attend John Brown University to study Graphic Design and Illustration with the goal of becoming a working artist.  His aim is to use his creative gifts to express himself and his passion for art and design in a practical way.


2021 SAWG Scholarship
Kaya Lewis
Empire High School
  2021 SAWG Scholarship
Veronique Pomerleu
Sahuarita High School
Kaya Lewis:  Kaya will attend the Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida, with a major in Illustration.  She hopes to do freelance assignments and create illustrations for comics and/or children's books.   Veronique Pomerleau:  Veronique will attend Pima Community College to major in teaching and art.  She plans to begin her teaching career at the elementary school level and progress to middle/high school classes.


2021 SAWG Scholarship
Kelly Ngyuen
Desert View High School
Kelly Nguyen:  Kelly will study art and architecture at Pima Community College.  Through her studies, she hopes to create a unique lens by which people will be able to view the world.  Achieving an education will permit her to travel to gain experiences and inspiration everywhere she goes. 




2020 Award Winners



2016 - 2019 High School seniors artwork from the greater Tucson area that was previously awarded scholarships. 


Past scholarship winners' receptions


Southern Arizona Watercolor Guild supports student art education through our scholarship program. SAWG does this by providing scholarships to high school seniors and full-time college/university students from the greater Tucson area and Southeastern Arizona who are continuing their education through the study of fine arts. We could not do this without support from our sponsors.

SAWG is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that permits SAWG to accept tax-exempt donations for its various educational programs.

There are many ways you can support the Scholarship fund. 

  • Donate and ensure the continuation of our mission to promote the advancement and development of art education in all its forms.  No amount is too small or too large.

  • Make an automatic monthly donation.

  • Designate a Legacy Gift in your estate planning. A planned gift to SAWG through your estate will have a lasting impact on the future of student scholarships.  If you would like to set up a Legacy gift to SAWG, contact to obtain the information needed by your estate planner.

With your donations, we have been able to support many young students as they prepare for a career in the arts. 

Thank you for your support!




College students - put your creative and artistic skills to work while enhancing your resume on behalf of the Southern Arizona Watercolor Guild (SAWG) of Tucson.

Requirements:  College junior or senior to spend approximately 15-20 hours a week working with SAWG members to:

  • Support our audiovisual crew by recording virtual gallery classes and events

  • Support the marketing team by increasing SAWG presence on social media platforms reaching younger artists and students

  • Create short videos using DaVinci Resolves, Animoto, or OBS. The AV team will provide training on these software tools 

Benefits:  The student will be given a one-year membership in the SAWG, but the position is otherwise unpaid.  By helping the AV team, you will have free access to SAWG’s virtual gallery classes.  Depending on the student’s college programs, the Student Applicant could earn up to a maximum of 3 credits per semester.

To apply for this internship, please email your resume with a cover letter and reference letter to President Kay Sullivan at ASAP.  Virtual interviews will be scheduled post-finals the first week in January just before the beginning of the Spring Semester.


Jaquelee worked with SAWG from June to November 2020 and is a University of Arizona graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Arts.  Jaquelee wanted to get the experience of how a gallery functioned but unfortunately, COVID-19 closed our gallery temporarily so she had the opportunity to help SAWG in other ways. We had just purchased a new software package for e-commerce for our gallery that allowed us to virtually sell our artwork and support our exhibitions, premier workshops, and virtual classes. Jaquelee played a big part in helping us move forward in this virtual world.  She learned how to shoot, record, and edit our new Virtual Classes using OBS project, DaVinci Resolve and Animoto.  She also created and loaded all our social media marketing on Instagram and Facebook.  Search for Southern Arizona Watercolor Guild on Facebook and take a look.  We will miss Jaquelee and we wish her well on the new adventures ahead of her.