one work by Runcie Tatnall

Artwork by Runcie Tatnall will be among the pieces included in the annual 12X12 scholarship fundraiser of the SFA Friends of the Visual Arts. Silent bidding starts June 29, and the party and sale begin at 6 p.m. Saturday, July 16, in The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House.

NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Volunteers with the Friends of the Visual Arts at Stephen F. Austin State University are busy organizing this year's 12X12 scholarship fundraiser and are seeking sponsors to help make it successful.

The silent auction features 12-by-12-inch works of art created by approximately 70 artists from Nacogdoches, Lufkin and other areas of East Texas. The art will be on display beginning June 29 in The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches. Anyone may silently bid on the pieces. Bidding will continue until Saturday evening, July 16. At that time, there will be a party beginning at 6 p.m. at the art center. The public may attend.

This year's featured artist is Runcie Tatnall, former assistant professor of drawing and painting in the SFA School of Art. Tatnall recently left SFA to pursue other career interests, but he continues to support of the Friends of the Visual Arts and the organization's efforts to provide scholarship opportunities for deserving young artists.

Sponsors who have already committed resources to the fundraiser are The Daily Sentinel and Vida Raney. Other businesses or individuals interested in sponsorship may contact this year's event chair, David Cozadd, at (936) 715-0401.

"The purpose of 12X12 is to raise much-needed funds to help art students pursue their dreams of becoming successful artists," according to Jean Stephens, chairwoman of the FVA.

"The 12X12 fundraiser is important to both the FVA and SFA art students, because its success determines the amount of financial support we can give the students," Stephens said.

Within the past year, the FVA awarded more than $16,000 in Friendship Grants and scholarships to 46 students; the grants ranged from $200 to $400 per student, while the scholarships ranged from $750 to $1,000. The grants were awarded to help defray the costs of special projects for their art classes or MBA/BA exhibition. 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. This summer, the organization also awarded scholarships for several elementary school students to attend the SFA Art Academy.

The Cole Art Center is located at 329 E. Main St. For more information about 12X12, call The Cole Art Center at (936) 468-6557.