Kerry Whitsett, member of the SFA Friends of the Visual Arts and chair of the annual "12 x 12" scholarship fund-raiser, shows off a sample of the approximately 50 12-inch-square artworks to be sold through the event Friday, July 8, through Saturday, July 16.

NACOGDOCHES, TEXAS - Beginning Friday, July 8, East Texans can place their silent auction bids on any of the over 50 12-inch-square pieces of art included in the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Art's annual "12 x 12" fund-raiser.
For the past month, SFA art faculty, alumni and graduate students as well as East Texas artists have been dropping off their creations at The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House where the pieces will be displayed without the artists' names.

Among the participating artists are SFA faculty members Gary Frields, Robert Kinsell and Piero Fenci; SFA graduate student Dan Longtin; and area artists Carol Athey, Roger Hughes, Wally Knight and Karen LoStracco.

"During the week leading up to our closing party on Saturday, July 16, patrons can come in any time during our normal hours to view the variety of art and/or participate in the silent auction," said Kerry Whitsett, member of the SFA Friends of the Visual Arts and chair of the fund-raiser.

"The fun really begins at 7 p.m. on July 16," Whitsett continued. "Any piece not yet bid on is then available for only $100 on a first-come, first-served basis. Since the minimum bid during the silent auction is $250, the closing reception price is quite a bargain. However, the piece you want may not be available, or you may be too slow to claim it!"

Later that evening, at 8:15, any remaining pieces will be sold through a raffle. Regardless of how a piece is sold-through the silent auction, direct purchase or raffle-the name of the artist will not be revealed until the piece is claimed by its new owner. An emcee will keep the crowd informed of each purchase.

"This is one of my favorite events sponsored by the Friends group," Whitsett said. "Everyone has a great time while raising funds for much-needed art scholarships. Plus, people go home with original pieces of art!"

The Cole Art Center is located at 329 E. Main St. in downtown Nacogdoches. Regular gallery hours are 12:30 to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.

For more information, call Whitsett at (936) 468-6557.