Gibson Gallery Bursary Helps Local High School Art Grads


By Joel Charron

The Gibson Gallery gave a pair of high school graduates a financial boost, as they are about to enter university.

Jack Gurdebeke from General Amherst High School and Justin Cristofaro from St. Thomas of Villanova Secondary School each received $500 from the Gibson Gallery with the official presentation being made last Friday.

“This actually means a lot to me,” said Gurdebeke.


The Gibson Gallery awarded two $500 to a pair of local high school students last Friday. From left: director Lou Roth, scholarship winners Jack Gurdebeke and Justin Cristofaro and director Dave Bailey.

The Amherst graduate will be attending Mohawk College in Hamilton for graphic animation. He said the bursary will not only help with his tuition but will also help for added expenses such as computers.

“It’s going to take a huge chunk out of what I need to spend,” he said.

Gurdebeke said he has always had an interest in art and began thinking about it as a career when he entered high school. He said that he always had an interest in video games and eventually developed an interest in how the games were designed and the artistic side of the game.

He hopes to enter the television industry and design ads for companies.

Cristofaro, who is enrolling in the College of Creative Studies in Detroit, said he was very surprised to receive the bursary.

“I’m just very excited I won it,” he said.

Cristofaro said earning the bursary makes him want to work harder.

“This inspires me to pursue my design career,” he said.

The Villanova graduate said a degree from the College of Creative Studies would allow him to able to design cars, trains, boats and planes.

Cars have always been a passion of Cristofaro’s and designing them would be a dream come true.

“I’d like to stay in the automotive field and design for GM, Ford or Chrysler,” he said. “I’d like to pursue it and be successful. It seems like a really exciting job.”

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