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Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1929
Biography synopsis
In 1951 Audrey Dear-Hesson was the first black Canadian to graduate from the Nova Scotia College of Art (NSCAD). She got her start as an artist when her ninth-grade teacher, artist Elizabeth Tolson, submitted her name for high-school art classes at the Nova Scotia College of Art where she was awarded a full time scholarship. She studied at NSCAD from 1947-1951, majoring in crafts (jewellery, metalwork, woodcarving, and pottery). Dear-Hesson was not only among the first graduates of the college�s new Art Education program, she was one of the top-graduating students of her class. A highlight of her time at NSCAD was being commissioned to make a Moroccan leather case for a commemorative booklet that was presented to Princess and the Duke of Edinburgh on their visit of the war cruiser the HMCS Ontario.
Media used
Jewellery making
Wood carving
Nova Scotia College of Art, 1947 - 1951
File & Archive locations
CBC Digital Archives

Writings about
Barnard, Elissa. Hesson shattered racial barriers as NSCAD grad The Chronicle Herald Halifax, Nova Scotia: 31 Jan. 2013.
Chisholm, Colin. A Trailblazer for African Nova Scotia art speaks. The Chronicle Herald Halifax, Nova Scotia: 2013.
Nova Scotia College of Art. A Living pioneer. Halifax, Nova Scotia: Nova Scotia College of Art, 2013.

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