MOUNT MORRIS — A few weeks after the tragic loss of our fallen warrior a historic county-wide art gallery chose to honor her the best way they knew how.
Staff Sgt. Alexandria Gleason-Morrow, 25, of Dansville lost her life during a non-combat operation where she was stationed in Jordan on March 21. She was a mother, daughter, wife, sister, and friend. Her sacrifice was honored by her fellow veterans, community, family, and friends on March 25 at Williams Park. Shortly after that Livingston Arts in Mount Morris was approached by Livingston County Veteran Services Director Jason Skinner to do an art scholarship in her honor.
“Even after her passing, Airman Gleason-Morrow continues to serve, opening the door for others to a career in the arts, sadly one that she will never pass through herself,” he said. “Alexandria was a student artist in our Scholastic Art Show. Her enthusiasm and love for art enriched her entire community. We are honored to commemorate her by naming this scholarship as a memorial to her and her dream to become an art teacher.”
On April 5 Livingston Arts and Livingston County Veteran’s Services Agency jointly decided that the Scholastic Arts Scholarships will be renamed the Staff Sergeant Alexandria Mae Gleason Morrow Art Scholarship Awards.
The first prize-winning high school students to receive this honor on April 29 were Mira Sprinkle of Avon, and Kendra Gebo of Livonia. They each were given $200.
Two seniors pursuing an arts-related field in college will receive the Staff Sergeant Alexandria Mae Gleason Morrow Art Scholarship Awards. The scholarships are underwritten by Steed Energy. Any school in the county can nominate students for this award as long as they qualify.
On July 6 Coast Professional Inc. awarded Livingston Arts with $8,050 towards the fallen soldier’s scholarship.
Livingston Arts Executive Director Betsy Harris said this will keep the scholarship going for over a decade. They can now raise the award to $350 per-student who wins.
“It was really kind of Coast Professional to give us that money,” she said. “We are now allowed to do more than $200. We can do this for about 12 years on that donation alone.”
Harris said that this was the perfect way to honor Airman Gleason-Morrow since she aspired to be an art teacher once she retired from the military.
“She wanted to pursue art, so we can honor her by giving an award to those who pursue art,” she said. “We want her legacy to live on for as many years as possible. At first we didn’t have enough. We would’ve been out of money in five years, but thanks to this generous donation we have enough for 12 years.”
Harris added that anyone can donate to this scholarship, and all the finds go directly into a special account to be used for this purpose. The scholarship honors her lifelong interest in art and commemorates her legacy of service.
Harris said Airman Gleason-Morrow’s family will receive a lifetime membership at Livingston Arts, offering free admission and use of the facility.
Airman Gleason-Morrow is a former participant in the Livingston Arts Scholastic Art Show. Dansville Superintendent Paul Alioto has agreed to loan her vibrant and energetic mixed media work, “Chucks”, from Dansville High School to Livingston Arts for the use of the scholarship awards ceremony.
“We look at the grades of the nominated students, and if they want to pursue a career in the arts,” Harris said. “We are really excited to honor her this way.”
It has an extra special note since Gleason-Morrow was once on exhibit during the high school art shows when she was alive. Having her work be honored this way brings it back home.
“It was such an organic thing,” Harris said. “She was from Dansville, had studied art in Dansville, and been part of our student art show, and now her pieces are coming back to the gallery. The greatest thing is this is all going back into the community.”
For more information regarding the scholarship and exhibits, please contact Betsy Harris, Executive Director, Livingston Arts, at 585.243.6785 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
As of April 1 summer Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday, 11am-4pm and Saturdays 11am-3pm. Visit Livingston Arts at 4 Murray Hill Drive, Mount Morris, NY, 14510, email email@example.com or call 585.243.6785.