A scholarship dedicated to helping young island artists

The Thomas McAleer Visual Arts Endowed Scholarship was launched when “painter Fred Poisson wanted to create a scholarship for Block Island teens and young adults to attend Rhode Island School of Design, where he is an alumnus. Mac was the perfect person to honor since he brought his love of art to so many people,” said Sue Black.
The scholarship was created in 2015. McAleer passed away suddenly while painting in a park in Bristol on Aug. 12, 2014 at the age of 56. About 1,500 people attended the popular painter’s funeral in Jamestown.
McAleer was a plein air painter who plied his craft on a daily basis. He was inspired by nature and the artists from his art program at Top Drawer Art at The Brass, a studio and art gallery for individuals with disabilities located in Warren, Rhode Island.
“Fred Poisson, Kaylan McAleer Transue and I headed up the scholarship fundraising committee and held a couple of art shows to sell donated paintings. Lots and lots of local artists donated pieces,” said Black. To date, the group has “raised $100,000 for the endowment. The endowment investment generates about

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