Art auction raises money to send students to Austria

Art auction raises money to send students to Austria

The air was filled with Tejano music in the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Center as singer Orlando Zepeda strummed away at his guitar while people dressed in suits and ties snacked away at cheese and wine, carefully examining the works of art organized throughout the room.
“There’s a lot of artists here who supported our project,” Santa Barraza, professor of art, said. “We had a lot of wonderful artists.”
Paintings, photographs, digital arts and ceramics were donated and up for grabs at Texas A&M University-Kingsville’s first art auction held on April 18 as a fundraiser for students to study art in Austria.
“I see us doing lots of these sort of things in the future,” said Chuck Wissenger, art professor.
Many established artists donated some of their finest work to support the cause, such as Liliana Wilson, an artist from Chile who moved to Austin and said she has shown her work all throughout the United States, Italy and Mexico.
“It’s very important (to study abroad),” Wilson said. “The United States is so isolated. Students need to see the world.”
“Traveling will open up their minds,” she added.
Wilson said creating art for her and other artists is not a career, but a vocation that needs to be honed.
“Many people get discouraged because people say it won’t happen,” Wilson said.
“Keep working at it. It will happen,” she added.
Well-known artists weren’t the only ones who donated their art, though. Some of AMK’s very own had to cut ties with their work to help raise money for this trip as well.
“Some of the pieces were difficult to let go of because I grew attached to them,” Richard Salinas, an art student who intends to travel to Austria, said.
Salinas said his teacher, Barraza, is one of his favorite artists because she knows no boundaries with her art.
“Going on this trip could broaden my horizons,” he said. “It’s a great experience to see the viewpoints of other cultures on art.”
In total the art auction raised about $7,000, according to Dr. Manuel Flores, chair of the Art, Communications and Theatre Deparment.
Flores noted the students are still lacking about $33,000. Flores said the art can still be purchased at the Speech Building and on a Facebook site that will take bids until May 15.
“It’s a great way to get our names out there to the public and the community,” Salinas said.