Apr 2, 2018

Panhandle State Communications

You are Invited to a Paint Party!

Goodwell, Okla. — Images Art Club is offering a Sip and Paint Party on Friday, April 6th at 6 p.m. Hosted by Dancer’s Liquor, the event will be held at the Holiday Inn Express in Guymon, Okla.

Oklahoma Panhandle State University faculty and students will teach and participants will be able to choose from two painting: Bryon Test’s Wine Painting or Yvonne Sanster’s Flamingo Drinking Wine Painting.

To register for the event visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/opsuimages-paint-party-tickets-44157544404. Cost is $60 and and all of the supplies are provided.

J. Bryon Test was born in the Oklahoma Panhandle—Guymon, Oklahoma, to be specific. He grew up in that wide-open space of the prairie following his dad through the stubble fields and brush to hunt pheasants and quail and over the dams of the scarce ponds to hunt ducks and geese. What developed from these excursions (and the guiding faith of his mother) was a deep appreciation of the landscape and wildlife which surrounded him. He began at a young age to recreate the images of wildlife and the prairie with paper and watercolor paint.

Bryon left the security and seclusion of the Panhandle after his high school graduation in 1977. He left to obtain a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford, Okla. He achieved that goal in 1981.

Bryon returned to Guymon with his degree to begin his professional art career and start a family of his own. He exhibited his wildlife paintings at many festivals and private showings from 1981-1994. In 1989, he achieved a personal goal of winning a duck stamp competition by the time he was 30 years old. His painting depicting two blue-winged teal was chosen for the Florida Waterfowl Stamp. In 1991, Bryon was commissioned by the Kansas Ducks Unlimited to create the artwork for the waterfowl stamp for that state. His artwork placed high in the ranks of many state duck stamp competitions and the federal duck stamp competition during that 13-year period. Conrad Vollertsen, outdoor journalist for Outdoor Life, Sports Afield, and Peterson’s Hunting magazines wrote of Bryon: “Bryon does have something unique going for himself in his love, understanding, and artistic capture of a place called No Man’s Land, a place for wild things.”

In 1994, Bryon began researching the Cherokee heritage he had been told he possessed through his father’s ancestors. As he searched, he became more and more interested in depicting Native American scenes in his paintings. His field of painting expanded and his artwork became more diverse.

Unfortunately, his art career came to a standstill when his 13-year-old daughter passed away in late 1994. After this tragedy, Bryon found he could not hold a paintbrush steady enough to paint the detail he was accustomed to—the detail required to win duck stamp competitions. He feared his career as a professional artist was over.

In the fall of 1995, Bryon began teaching art classes at the university ten miles from Guymon. At Oklahoma Panhandle State University, the administration knew him and knew what he was capable of creating with a paintbrush. Bryon discovered he could teach the techniques of painting and drawing and share experiences of promoting and selling artwork. Even though his hands would not cooperate for the intimate details of a duck’s wing or a pheasant’s tail, he could share with the students the knowledge he had gained from participating in the art world. This passage of knowledge and sharing of talent helped heal or at least cover the wound of his loss, and Bryon began to paint again.

In the year 2000, Bryon achieved another educational goal. He received his Master of Arts Degree from West Texas A & M University. He now heads the Oklahoma Panhandle State University art department, which is teaming with talent and expectations. He paints landscapes and wildlife scenes, most with a Native American accent. He still enters an occasional duck stamp contest—when the demands of preparing his students for the real world of art allow him the time.

Bryon continues to live in Guymon with his wife, Kelli, and his two sons, J. B. and Jacob. He has partnered with a friend and some of his former students to create Artist Incubation, Inc. in Guymon and this organization has been instrumental in opening two incubator galleries. The Soaring Eagle Gallery opened in late 2002 and Wild Horse Gallery opened in April 2003. In 2005 Bryon received the Governor’s art award for education. Bryon is also the founder of the Paul Farrell Memorial Art Auction. The auction has raised more than $200,000.00 in scholarships to aid in the education of Panhandle State art students.

One can visit Bryon at the Wild Horse Gallery where he dips a brush in paint and creates with a more-experienced hand a more mature and influenced artwork than ever before—for he has learned that life is an art in itself.

Yvonne Sangster, daughter of draftswoman and illustrator Doris Wright, inherited her mother’s talent and love for art. Her earliest and most fond memories consist of sitting on her mother’s lap and watching her draw. Yvonne says, “Drawing has always come naturally to me. Art has been an important part of my life since I was a small child.”

After graduating from El Monte High School in California, Yvonne moved back to her hometown of Amarillo, Texas, and began her education at Amarillo College. While attending college, she met and married Don Sangster of Texhoma. In 1977, the first of Yvonne’s four children was born, and she felt it was time to put her art career on hold in order to make her family her first priority. Yvonne began her re-introduction into art in 1984 when she took her first of many pastel workshops under the renowned artist, Ben Konis. Since that first workshop, she has studied approximately 350 hours under Mr. Konis. After many successful exhibits, encouragement from Mr. Konis, loving support from her family, and with her faith in God, Yvonne found the confidence to return to school in order to achieve her degree in art.

Mrs. Sangster lives only 17 miles from Oklahoma Panhandle State University. When she discovered Bryon Test was the head of the Art Department, she enrolled in classes and began school in the fall semester of 1999. As an avid admirer of Bryon Test’s work, Yvonne knew her education under him would not only be adequate, but exceptional. She graduated cum laude in May of 2003 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Oklahoma Panhandle State University and in May of 2007 she received a Master of Art Degree from West Texas A&M University. Yvonne is currently employed at Oklahoma Panhandle State University as an Instructor of Art. She does pastel demonstrations and teaches workshops in Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas.

The All Fired Up Gallery in Guymon, Oklahoma, the Mac Creed Gallery in Bennett Springs, Missouri, represents Mrs. Sangster’s works. She has participated in art shows has and won many awards including People’s Choice and the Ben Konis Memorial Award. The has won two first place award the last few years in Wildlife Division in the Lone Star Pastel Society Show and Best of Show in the 2015 Show. Her works hang in homes and businesses in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas, California and Poland, as well as the Oklahoma State Capitol. She was also a featured artist in the PBS documentary on KAVC TV called “Ben Konis the Artist’s Artist.”


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