ART Plus aims to aid students with work from alumni

ART Plus aims to aid students with work from alumni

Sara Plummer
ART Plus aims to aid students with work from alumni

OSU Institute of Technology’s School of Visual Communications is hosting the 5th annual ART Plus, an art show and sale featuring work done by alumni that benefits the Visual Communications student scholarship fund.

ART Plus is April 6 from 5 to 9 p.m., at Fly Loft, 117 N. Boston Ave., in the Tulsa Arts District downtown. Proceeds from the sale go to the Visual Communications Student Scholarship Fund.

In its first four years, the event has raised more than $50,000 for scholarships aimed at second-year students, so they can continue their education, said James McCullough, dean of the School of Visual Communications. So far, 20 students have been awarded nearly $20,000 in scholarships with proceeds from ART Plus.

“It’s a continuing problem. Students come in and have funding for the first year. For a lot of them, there’s no funding beyond that first year. We’ve seen some of our best students— our most promising students— have to step out. They leave, and it’s extremely hard for them to come back,” said McCullough. “Those that come to the show, not only are they investing in our students, but they get to take home a really great piece of art.”

Visual Communications alumni will also be on hand making on-site screen-printed T-shirts from five original designs done by alumni. Those who purchase an art piece or donate $25 or more will get a T-shirt with the design of their choice.

Stephen Williams, who graduated from the Graphic Design program in 1997, will be making the T-shirts.

“I’ve always wanted to contribute to ART Plus, but almost everything I create is for a specific commercial purpose. A few years ago I bought a bunch of screen printing equipment to play with so I’m thrilled to be able to contribute by doing live screen printing at the event,” Williams said.

Tulsa native and OSUIT alumnus John Hammer will have artwork as well as some of his signed pop-art prints for sale during ART Plus.

There will also be signed art and books from nationally renowned vintage-style poster artist Joel Anderson from Anderson Design Group in Nashville.

“Joel is all about giving back to students and scholarships and raising up the next generation,” he said. “He’s going to be on campus giving a presentation to students and alumni the day before ART Plus.”

McCullough said close to 25 Visual Communications alumni and instructors are donating about 40 pieces for ART Plus this year.

“We’ll have everything from pencil drawings to watercolors to large oil paintings to photography. There should be something for everyone,” he said. “We know that the talented people that come through this program are simply artists, regardless of how that is defined.”

Williams said ART Plus is a testament to how much the faculty and alumni care about students.

“This event was put together to help students finish school who clearly have the talent and the drive to make it in the industry,” he said. “The donated art by the alumni is how our funds are raised. By donating art, our alumni can contribute to the community while also helping students who are in a position that our alumni have likely been in themselves— wanting to finish college and get their lives started but just needing a little financial help to reach graduation.”

McCullough hopes having ART Plus during the First Friday Art Crawl in the Tulsa Arts District will not only bring in more people to possibly purchase art but also raise awareness of the School of Visual Communications.

“It’s a great outreach and awareness opportunity for us to be down in the Tulsa Arts District and be part of the First Friday event,” he said. “There are large crowds and excellent interaction between our current students and our alumni.”

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