Kiera MacDonald laughs when she thinks about the progress she’d made as an artist.

The Grade 12 student at George McDougall High School says over the years she’s found her love for acrylic paint and being a hands-on learner.

“I didn’t start off this good. It takes work and patience and time to get where you want to go. I had to grow to where I am today,” says MacDonald.

“But I like it because it shows who I am in a way that cannot be expressed in words.”

MacDonald was enrolled in Rocky View Schools Building Futures programme in Grade 10 and 11. It’s a program where students learn how to build a house from the ground up by working elbow to elbow with tradespeople while completing their education.

Over the course of those two years, MacDonald was also determined to complete certain art requirements to continue her studies. She took evening art classes that would eventually set her up to tackle an advanced placement studio art program.

“The artwork from those two years established a strong sense of personal self-expression and technical skill in Kiera’s artwork,” says nominator and art teacher, Marda Wright.

“I believe Kiera would be an excellent candidate for this award as she has the promise of being a very successful artist.”