Mickayla Love of Cecilia is 2023 recipient of Lisa Chesser Borders Scholarship

Mickayla Love of Cecilia is this year’s recipient of the Lisa Chesser Borders Endowed Scholarship and Meraki Award,established in 2019 by Natchitoches artist James Borders to honor his late wife.  Love is a graduating senior at Northwestern State University and Borders’ former drawing student.   

“We celebrate the academic scholarship recipients who have demonstrated exceptional qualities of determination, discipline, structure and relentless work ethic,” Borders said. “They understand that a person’s worth is in the integrity of their work.The recipients of Lisa’s Meraki scholarship are particularly deserving of recognition.  They honor Lisa’s memory through their commitment to developing their work and our families are proud to support them.”  

The scholarship presentation took place April 24 in the Lisa Chesser Borders Permanent Student Art Collection gallery in the Academic Success Center, located on the first floor of Eugene P. Watson Memorial Library.  The space features a permanent exhibit of student artwork.  

Later in the day, Love’s senior show featuring paintings and textiles opened in Gallery II of the Creative and Performing Arts Center. The show will run through Friday, April 28. Love said after a lifetime of making art for other people, her senior show is a study in self-expression.   

“These pieces are for me, talking about myself, showing things about me that I’ve never really spoken about before,” Love said.  

James Borders established the Lisa Chesser Borders Scholarship in memory of his wife, who lost her battle with cancer in 2018 at age 49.  In addition to a cash prize, award winners receive signed framed prints depicting a sculpture titled “Faith” that Borders created at Trinity Baptist Church in memory of Lisa.  

Borders said he hopes to inspire future recipients “to continue Lisa’s legacy by maintaining high standards in their pursuit of a beautiful and creative life.”  

“We hope all recipients past and future will take ownership of Lisa’s scholarship and use it as a catalyst for achieving excellence in their academic and professional pursuits,” he said. “I would also like to thank the ladies in the scholarship offices, Judge Desiree Dyess, Michael Scott, Romulus Roquemore and the Borders and Chesser families as well as the countless donors that support Lisa’s scholarship.”  

Information on NSU’s Department of Fine and Graphic Art is available at www.nsula.edu/art.