Each year, Weyburn Arts Council (WAC) offers a scholarship called the Millie Coghill Fine Arts Award. The award is offered in memory of local artist and businesswoman Millie Coghill and is funded by her grandson, Ian Coghill. A recent press release by the City of Weyburn WAC opening up applications for the award states that "Millie was a very active and creative member of our local arts community. Her work has been shown in many local and provincial galleries and her recognizable piece the “Weyburn Wheel” hangs in our public library on display. She is an inspiration to many young artists that come out of our area and we are honoured her grandson continues her legacy through this scholarship."
In the past few years, The Millie Coghill Fine Arts Award been marketed to students leaving high school and pursuing post-secondary school in the arts. While those looking to do this are still welcome to apply, this year WAC has extended the application invitation to anyone furthering their artistic education.
We sat down to chat with Weyburn Arts Council Curator Regan Lanning about the award. Regan explained, "If you're heading on to post-secondary school or maybe taking a week-long retreat in sculpture or oil painting or anything like that we have this award that you can apply for."
Regan also shared with us why WAC decided to make the change, "We found that people applying for the award in the past few years, the numbers had decreased. So we decided that we would open up the people who are eligible and include those adult artists who are looking to further their education and maybe develop a new set of skills."
The previously mentioned press release from the City of Weyburn provides a glimpse into why the Weyburn Arts Council offers things like this award: "WAC values working together towards the common goal of developing community awareness and appreciation for the arts. The Millie Coghill Fine Arts Award showcases WAC’s values of inclusion, promotion and support for Weyburn’s arts community."
Regan also emphasized that point in our interview saying, "Never stop art and never stop learning, and this is an opportunity to do both those things and we will help you with some of the costs."
Applications need to be in by the end of April. Find more information about the Weyburn Arts Council here and specific info on the Millie Coghill Fine Arts Award here. You can also find out more by checking out the Weyburn Arts Council Facebook page, or by emailing Regan at [email protected]
In discussions about art during our sit down with Regan, she shared some wisdom on why art is important for humans: "One of the hallmarks that anthropologists use to decide when humans became society, when it became a civilization, is the existence of art. When their life was easy enough that they didn't have to devote all of their time to hunting and making sure they had food and staying safe, when they were able to explore that inner self, is a hallmark of when civilizations actually become civilizations, is the presence of art."