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Conservation student scoops prestigious award

14 December 2018

Conservation student

Outstanding MSc Conservation Practice student awarded 2018 Zena Walker Scholarship

A Cardiff University postgraduate student has been awarded the prestigious 2018 Zena Walker Scholarship by The Arts Society.

MSc Conservation Practice student Kristjana Vilhjalmsdottir receives the sum of £3,000, which is awarded to an outstanding postgraduate student towards final year studies.

Launched in 2006 through a legacy left by the designer Zena Walker, the scholarship is awarded to an outstanding postgraduate student to assist with the cost of course fees and related discipline equipment.

An early activist for the Arts, gifted designer Zena Walker helped to set up four societies in her home county of Yorkshire for the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies, the organisation that would become The Arts Society. A former Art College student in Leeds, her colourful early career included a spell as a fellow wartime Army camouflage painter, working alongside Hardy Amies, who became dressmaker to Queen Elizabeth II on her accession.

Alison Galvin-Wright and James Wilkins of The Arts Society Grants Committee commented: “We were hugely impressed by Kristjana's passion for her practice and aspirations for her future career. We are delighted to be able to support her financially during this crucial time in her studies.”

Award-winner Kristjana said: “I am very grateful and honoured to have been chosen for the The Arts Society’s Zena Walker Scholarship. My time at Cardiff University has allowed me to develop my conservation and academic skills and this award will be an immense help for me to continue doing so in my final year. It will allow me to undertake professional development outside Cardiff.”

Head of School of History, Archaeology and Religion at Cardiff University, Professor James Hegarty said: “We are incredibly grateful to The Arts Society for their support, lent via the Zena Walker Scholarship. Its provision will make an untold difference to the selected postgraduate and their MSc Conservation Practice studies.”

The Arts Society works to create a better, healthier and more connected society. The leading arts education charity brings people together through a shared curiosity in the arts to contribute to and preserve artistic heritage through a global network of 385 societies and more than 90,000 members worldwide.

Designed as a conversion programme for humanities and science graduates seeking a career in Conservation, the MSc Conservation Practice is one of a range of degrees dedicated to teaching the next generation of conservators from undergraduate to postgraduate level at the university.