Making art and sticking with it: Avery Lawrance receives art scholarship


Avery Lawrance has been making art for as long as she can remember. “I was never really into sports-I would rather stay inside and colour.”

In high school, Lawrance recognized her love for art as something she could pursue further than a colourful hobby. She started looking at the future she could paint for herself through art school and beyond.

Born in Barrie, Lawrance's family spent several years in Ottawa before settling in Stouffville, where she came into her own as a young artist.  She is now  a first-year student in the Studio Fine Arts certificate program at Centennial College in Toronto.

Lawrance chose to pursue art further for a simple but nonetheless excellent reason: “I make art because I genuinely believe it’s what I’m meant to do.Nothing gives me more joy and happiness than when I’m making art,” she says. That joy shines through in her work which has shifted focus and grown over time, as many things do. Originally, she spent a lot of time drawing, but now often works with acrylic paints. “Recently, I’ve started to branch out and change my style of painting,"says Lawrance. This stylistic shift, which she describes as “branching out” into more impressionistic and expressive styles from what was previously a more realistic bent. “I think this expansion is really good,” says Lawrance.

Lawrance chose the two-year studio fine arts program at Centennial for many reasons, but one of them was that it was not an incredibly “computer-y” program—until this year. With the advent of the pandemic, most if not all of her courses take place online, and studio space to work in is far harder to come by.

But these major changes have not tempered her passion and natural talent for creating beautiful art.This winter, she received the David McClyment FASSIE scholarship

awarded “to a student that has displayed the attitude, creative practice and artwork which embodies the characteristics essential to succeed as a professional artist.”  (It also based on first semester overall grade performance). Lawrance excelled in both categories and when asked about it answered with genuine humility saying, “I didn’t know how I was doing,but I guess I’m doing well.” 

Her long-term plans reflect her aspiration to become a  professional artist.  “One day, maybe in five years, I’ll have my own gallery opening,”she says, imagining a collection of her best work on wide gallery walls. “I know that art is what I want to do and over the past year I’ve come to realize how important art is to me.I’m glad I’m in this program now.” She began taking art seriously in high school, despite the many people who told her it wasn’t 'a real career'. “If I had a dollar for every time someone told me that,my education would be paid for,” she says with a laugh.

Lawrance has a focus and discipline beyond her years. Her choices and commitment to her artwork are starting to open doors at school and outside her program and bode well for the young artist. One thing for sure is that Avery Lawrance has a big canvass to paint in coming years and it will be fascinating to see what she does next.

See more of Avery's art on Instagram at