Work is well underway to make this year's 12x12 Scholarship Fundraiser for the Friends of the Visual Arts at Stephen F. Austin State University another success.
The silent auction features 12-by-12-inch pieces of art created by approximately 80 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.
"The 12x12 event is the main fundraiser for the FVA," says Hicks. "It's a fun and lively night, and the FVA members work for months to collect the art and plan the evening."
Silent bidding ($250 minimum) begins Tuesday, July 2, at The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House and will continue up to the day of the art party, which is planned for 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, July 20, at the art center. Starting bids drop to $100 the night of the event, and raffle tickets will be sold five for $20.
"You could possibly take home a valuable piece of art for a $20 investment," said Lisa Steed, events coordinator for SFA art galleries.
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.
The awards 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 Italy. The organization also awards scholarships for elementary school students to attend the SFA Art Academy.
"The FVA's mission is to support the arts in our community," said Hicks. "Thanks to events like the 12x12 and other initiatives throughout the year, we're able to see firsthand how the funds we raise benefit students and art lovers alike."
The annual 12x12 art auction and party is a summer favorite of many East Texans, but no one appreciates the effort that goes into the planning and the donated art more than the students who benefit from the work of generous volunteers and artists.
"I became involved in the 12x12 event when I was an adult student at SFA," said Michelle Filer, donating artist. "I saw firsthand how the scholarships and grants allowed students the opportunity to create art and follow their dreams by enabling them financially to afford to do so. I believe a sign of a strong and thriving community shows through the viability of its support of the arts."
"Local artists, as well as former students and professors, provide original works of art for this event," Hicks said. "It's a blast to rub elbows with the artists and other art lovers. The 12x12 show is more than just a fundraiser; it's a way to celebrate and grow the art community in the area."
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