The 18th Annual Paul Farrell Memorial Art Auction was truly a special event. Many of the artists who had pieces for sell are pictured here. —Photo by Danae Moore

Mar 26, 2018

Panhandle State Communications

Art Auction Provides Opportunities for Students

Goodwell, Okla. — March 2nd marked the 18th Annual Paul Farrell Memorial Art Auction at Pickle Creek Event Center in Guymon, Okla. and this year certainly did not disappoint. Making history with the fastest recorded ticket sellout, guests from all over the region were at the event from Missouri, Kansas, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, and of course Oklahoma.

Instructor Brent Shoulders said, “It was such a great time. We had people from all over the area. It was a great cultural event and learning experience for the students at Panhandle State. The community has been so accepting of the event and the patrons have really stepped up to help us with this auction and its success.”

The annual event all started as just a discussion among faculty and students many years ago. A local man and very talented artist named Paul Farrell had been painting, doing sculptures, and woodwork before being diagnosed with melanoma in one of his eyes. He ended up losing an eye and his wife encouraged him to take some courses at Panhandle State in an effort to regain some depth perception, a key tool for artists. He began taking classes and in his own quiet way would impart tidbits of wisdom to the students he was around. When he passed, a group of the students that had come to dearly love him gathered together and organized the Auction in his memory.

The auction originally featured artwork from faculty and students at Panhandle State and has blossomed into featuring the artwork of those students who graduate and want to continue to contribute to the event. Each year, a wide variety of work is submitted to a jury for the opportunity to be selected as an auction item. Pieces range from drawing and painting to photography, sculpture, ceramics, and encaustics. This year, the auction had 52 items up for sell. Additional items were available through the silent auction, a fairly recent addition to the annual event.

This year, the auction featured graduate Danielle Robinson who originally came to Panhandle State to study Psychology and play softball. She added a few art classes to her schedule with the thought of pursuing art therapy and what started off with a few classes turned into a degree in art. Following graduation at Panhandle State, Danielle attended graduate school at Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kan. and she is currently an adjunct professor there.

The high selling item of the night “Pressed for Time” at $1700 was made by Brent Shoulders. It featured a handmade oak tortilla press, oak cutting block and high carbon steel chef knife; stoneware tortilla warmer, salsa bowls, wine/margarita goblets, and mortar and oak pestle. Acrylic paintings by Test and Instructor Yvonne Sangster were also among the highest selling items. In total, the live and silent auction saw over $24,000. The money raised at the auction is split with 50 percent going to the artist and the other 50 percent for various scholarships, awards, and equipment expenses.

Instructor Bryon Test announced during the event that he was stepping down as department chair with the intention to get back into working as a full time artist, a career he started prior to his post in establishing the current art department. Test will continue to teach classes at Panhandle State while Shoulders will take on the duties as the Department Head.

It truly was a special evening a such a great learning experience for students.

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