**For Immediate Release**
Fire Sparks Creativity
- released by OPSU Campus Communications 08-09-07
by Laura Hays
Goodwell, Okla. — Yvonne Sangster, a well-known and celebrated local artist, lives just south of Texhoma in Sherman County, Texas. Wildfires in the spring of 2002 came within 300 yards of the family home, and the raging flames inspired a series of artwork entitled “Wildfire!” that took 10 months to complete.
Sangster used the Wildfire! project as the thesis project for her master’s program. Currently on display at the Wild Horse Gallery in Guymon, the paintings reflect the horrible splendor of the flames and the devastating aftermath. She used a variety of media in the project including oils and pastels, and several of the paintings pay tribute to the men and women who extinguished the fires. She said, “I am grateful to the men and women who at a moment’s notice ready themselves to fight the blazes.” A portion of the sales of the Wildfire! series while it is on display in Guymon will benefit Oklahoma Volunteer Firefighters and to the Texhoma Volunteer Fire Department.
The artist graduated cum laude from Oklahoma Panhandle State University in May 2003 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Two-Dimensional Art and then went to work at OPSU as an art instructor. The artist returned to school and graduated this past May with a Master of Arts degree in Art from West Texas A&M. Yvonne has been honored many times with awards such as Grand Champion and Reserve Champion at the Panhandle Expo, the People’s Choice Award at the Best of Southwest Show in Amarillo, and the Ben Konis Memorial Award for a pastel portrait entered in the 2007 Best of the Southwest Show, also in Amarillo. Her work hangs in numerous homes and businesses in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado, and she also has pieces represented by the McCreed Gallery in Bennett Springs, Missouri.
Yvonne plans to continue growing as an artist and teaching. She said, “Nothing gives me greater pleasure than teaching and watching students grow.” Few things give an art lover more pleasure than admiring her creativity expressed on canvas.