ART Plus Auction by OSUIT Alum to Raise Money for Student Scholarships

ART Plus Auction by OSUIT Alum to Raise Money for Student Scholarships

Nour Habib

Originally published by Tulsa World | Paintings, pencil illustrations and photographic art pieces will all be up for grabs Thursday at a silent auction that will benefit students at OSUIT’s School of Visual Communications.

About 20 artists, all of them alumni of the Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology, are providing more than 40 pieces of art for the auction. The event will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday on the 16th floor of the Mayo Hotel, 115 W. Fifth St.

The event, called ART Plus, is the second annual art auction held by OSUIT’s School of Visual Communications to raise money for student scholarships.

James McCullough, chair of the School of Visual Communications, said the event raised a little more than $10,000 last year, of which about half has already been awarded in scholarships. The school hopes to raise $15,000 this year.

The scholarships go to students who have already started the program but may not have enough money to complete it, McCullough said. “We hate to lose a student for $100 or $500, or even $1,000,” he said. “Instead of losing really, really good students at the wrong time, we can keep them.”

The event also serves as a way to raise awareness about the school’s three programs — graphic design, photography and 3D modeling and animation.

McCullough said many of the alumni contributing art to the event work in graphic design and other creative services agencies by day.

“By night, they get to do their own work,” he said.

John Hammer, who worked in graphic design for 25 years before making the leap to become a full-time artist, is providing three pieces for the auction.

“This opportunity is great because it’s a way for artists to help other artists,” he said.

Hammer participated in last year’s auction, providing cowboy and OSU-themed pieces. This year, he said he chose something that might have a broader appeal — Batman villains. His three bold, vibrant acrylic paintings feature the Joker, the Riddler and the Penguin.

Hammer currently has a studio at the Hardesty Arts Center. He earned a graphic design degree from OSUIT in 1985 and said the years he spent in the field helped shape the artist he is now.

Hors d’oeuvres will be served at the event, and a cash bar will be available. Credit cards, checks and cash will be accepted at the auction. For more information, visit

Nour Habib