Nelson College for Girls student Grace Wiegand, 15, has been selected to take part in the Pinnacle Programme, a scholarship for the country's most talented teenagers. Photo: Andrew Board.

Young artist amongst NZ’s most talented


Grace Wiegand loves art. She loves to sketch, loves to paint and especially loves to design. So it’s rather fortunate that she’s exceptionally good at it.

So good in fact, she’s been picked from hundreds of applicants from around New Zealand, as a finalist in the Pinnacle Programme, and is in with a chance of winning a unique scholarship to make a career from her art.

Grace, 15, will now head to the Spirit of Adventure and Outward Bound courses with some of the other 20 finalists, before the group gets whittled down to just four. Those four will get a scholarship, tailored to help them succeed in their chosen discipline.

A modest Grace says she is delighted to have had her application picked and hopes that the experience will help her grow in confidence and ability.

“I’ve always loved art and over the years its developed into something that is more than a hobby, it’s a passion, and I’d love to have someone who can teach me more about it.”

The Pinnacle Programme started in 2005 by Hyundai New Zealand and is open to people aged from 15 to 18. It started as a sports foundation and its aim was to help the country’s most talented young people. But it has since been opened up to talented teens from arts, academics, science, business and sport.

Although Grace has already been selected as a finalist, there are opportunities for other young Nelsonians to apply to the foundation, and Bowater Hyundai is hosting an information evening on the programme at its showroom on Rutherford St. There to speak will be Grace, former Silver Fern Bernice Mene and Mike Allsop.

Jayne Collier from Bowater Hyundai says the information evening is a great opportunity for those who want to get some help realising their dreams, and she says Grace is proof that locals can foot it with the best in the country.

“It’s a fantastic programme and it’s great that it really is for our most talented. It’s really for those who have the passion, determination, potential and talent,” says Jayne.

The information evening is being held from 5.30pm to 7pm, on November 13. To RSVP, contact Jayne on 545 8032.