Aspiring costume designer wins scholarship
by Christina Waldner, Airdrie CityView
Katherine Funk has been named this year’s recipient of the Karin Simpson Memorial Scholarship for Creativity. The 17-year-old said she plans to pursue a career as a costume designer.
“I’d like to go to school at Olds (College). They have a Calgary campus for fashion, so I’d like to stay in the area,” she said. “I’d love to be a costume designer.”
Karin Simpson was a well-known Airdrie artist and founding member of the Creative Airdrie Society. Simpson passed away in 2014. The $500 scholarship is awarded each year to an Airdrie graduating student who is pursuing a post-secondary education in the arts, including visual arts, drama, music, musical theatre, film, new media, literature, design and dance.
Costume design is a natural choice for Funk, who said she’s always had a love of history. She began making costumes for her dolls, gradually progressing to making costumes for herself.
“Historical drama is my passion. Depending on the time, I always have different favourite eras, but at the moment I’m really into the 1860s,” she said. “I really love the crinoline underneath (the skirts) and the really huge, fluffy style of the time – they’re just so extravagant and I really love that.”
Funk’s mother is Veronica Funk, a nationally recognized visual artist. Funk said her mom has been a source of inspiration.
“She helps me out and we work on projects together. Right now I’m making a bustle dress so she created a stamp for me so I could stamp my own fabric,” she said.
For Veronica, her daughter winning the scholarship has special meaning, as she and Simpson were friends.
“I've been rather weepy about the whole thing; that it's my girl and the beautiful way she thinks about fashion and self-esteem, and that it's the Karin Simpson scholarship as she was a friend,” Veronica said.
Funk said she was thrilled to be chosen to receive the award.
“It means so much because I know it’s really tough to get into the arts and to succeed. It’s just really, really nice that so many people have been supporting me,” she said. “I wasn’t actually expecting to get this at all.”