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Stephen F. Austin State University


Annual 12x12 event raises funds for SFA art scholarships

The piece "Fleeting" (far right) by Southlake art student Shelby Locklin, recent recipient of the Gary Q. Frields Art Scholarship, is among the works featured in this year's 12x12 scholarship fundraiser hosted by the SFA Friends of the Visual Arts at Cole Art Center.
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Silent bidding in this year's 12x12 scholarship fundraiser for the Friends of the Visual Arts at Stephen F. Austin State University is underway at The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.

The silent auction features 12-by-12-inch pieces of art created by approximately 70 artists from Nacogdoches, Lufkin and other areas of East Texas. Anyone may silently bid on the unique one-of-a-kind pieces, according to Crystal Hicks, event committee chairwoman.

"There are few outlets for amateur artists, and the 12x12 affords them an opportunity to have their work displayed in a public forum," Hicks said. "This event brings together artists and art lovers for a fun evening where they can mingle, discover the talents of their neighbors, and take home a unique work of art."

Initial bidding ($250 minimum) will continue until the fundraiser's concluding party and reception at 6 p.m. Saturday, July 15. Slight changes will take place in the auction format at this year's party, Hicks said.

"In years past, there would be a 'running of the hundreds' when the doors would open at 6 p.m. on the evening of the reception," she said. "People would be allowed to run in and claim a piece for $100. This year, the first to come will still have the chance to claim a piece for a starting bid of $100, but bidding will continue for another hour. This will allow people more time to peruse all of the offerings, and those who aren't able to arrive precisely at 6 p.m. will have a chance to claim their favorite piece."

Texas state Rep. Travis Clardy is once again scheduled to be the evening's master of ceremonies and will announce the winners of the art pieces. The public is encouraged to attend this free event.

The purpose of 12x12 is to raise funds for the FVA scholarships and grants that that are awarded to SFA art students. Between $12,000 and $15,000 is awarded annually in scholarships to deserving students in the School of Art.

"We rely on the generosity of the artistic community to provide the pieces for the auction," Hicks said. "And, of course, the generosity of art lovers in the area is paramount. We're fortunate that both artists and art appreciators alike continue to make this a successful event."

The grants help students defray the costs of special projects for art classes or M.B.A./B.A. exhibitions. Some recipients have attended conferences or gone on school trips that will help with their professional development. This has included Maymester trips for art students to go to Big Bend for a special photography project. The organization also awards scholarships for elementary school students to attend the SFA Art Academy.

Among this year's sponsors are The Daily Sentinel, Fredonia Brewery and Birdie's Bakery.

The Cole Art Center is located at 329 E. Main St. For more information about 12x12 or to become a sponsor, call The Cole Art Center at (936) 468-6557.