CORVALLIS - The Coca-Cola Foundation has provided a grant of $20,000 to the Department of Art at Oregon State University to help support an innovative visual arts scholarship program for talented high school students.

The grant will create Coca-Cola Gold Ribbon Awards to help deserving students attend Jumpstart, a three-week, pre-college visual arts workshop conducted each summer at OSU.

Jumpstart is "an accelerated educational opportunity that reinforces the enthusiasm and focuses the energies of young artists," said program director John Maul. During the three weeks, students work at computer illustration, digital photography, graphic design, sculpture, oil painting, printmaking and other forms of visual arts.

"Jumpstart offers many areas of study not commonly found in high schools," Maul said, "especially since so many school districts have been paring budgets."

Coca-Cola is involved in "bridge" programming to help students make a successful transition to higher levels of education, company officials say.

"We wanted to support this arts education program because it brings high school students to campus to develop their talents on a college level," said Michael Bivens, education director for the Coca-Cola Foundation.

For Coca-Cola Gold Ribbon Award applications or more information about Jumpstart, call the Department of Art at OSU, 541-737-5013. Selection for the awards will be in late May.

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John Maul, 541-737-5013