The Columbus Foundation is proud to be the home of hundreds of scholarship funds established by donors to help make a difference in the lives of young people. Here’s a spotlight on one such student:
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself? Where did you grow up and what high school did you graduate from?
My name is Miles Balfour and I was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. I graduated from Fort Hayes Metropolitan High School in 2019.
Where are you attending college and what is your major?
I’m currently attending the Columbus College of Art and Design, majoring in illustration.
Has art always been something that has interested you? Can you share a little about how you got started and why art is important to you?
Surprisingly, it wasn’t always a passion I felt I could envelop myself in. I originally had a passion for science, particularly marine biology, but I decided to invest in my artistic pursuits because I believed it would not only challenge me but also be a greater component in my efforts to share and connect with other individuals around me and, more grandly, the world. Art became important for me as I soon realized that my values and ideas could have tangible weight in this world—and more importantly, that I do.
Who has inspired you on your journey as an artist?
I have many great inspirations that have influenced me as an artist, the earliest being filmmakers and directors such as Tim Burton, fine artists such as Monet, and most recently, Jean-Michel Basquiat, who himself is a Haitian artist. He used captivating social themes and nuances that still inspire and, at times, baffle me as well. It’s something that I would like to translate into my medium as well someday.
What do you plan to do after you graduate?
My goals are to work towards better situating myself to work as part of the creative and entertainment industry on the west coast, typically in the Los Angeles area. Possibly for some small studios; I’m just searching for opportunities to work. I’m not opposed to traveling or moving. I’m grateful for the impact and connections I’ve made in Columbus, but there are more areas for me to explore and travel to and seek inspiration from. There’s a part of me that still finds interest in possibly returning to seek further higher education.
You have been the recipient of numerous scholarships from funds at the Foundation. What have these scholarships meant to you?
The awards and scholarships have been the opportunities of a lifetime. I would not have been able to have attended the Columbus College of Art and Design without them. During the years 2020 and 2021, my scholarships provided me with crucial financial support that I had not found available elsewhere. These scholarships have been lifesaving beyond all expectations and I am immensely grateful for the support they have provided. As well, they act as a reminder of my time and dedication to the communities I immerse myself in and the resources and education that I receive from them—and the inherent value in such. I can’t describe just how transformative these awards have been to me, as an individual, scholar, and member of my community.
Miles has been awarded scholarships from the following funds at The Columbus Foundation:
Rahsaan Roland Kirk Scholarship for the Arts Fund
Gideon Development King Lincoln District Scholarship Fund
Dorothy Cage Memorial Scholarship Fund