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Laura Dahl, Director
P.O. Box 430, Goodwell, Oklahoma 73939
Phone: 580-349-1354 * Fax: 580-349-1350
Email: lola@opsu.edu

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**For Immediate Release**
Bryon Test Receives Prestigious Award
-released by OPSU Campus Communications 11-30-05
by Laura Dahl

Goodwell, OK - Bryon Test, Chair of the Art Department at Oklahoma Panhandle State University, received the Arts and Education Award from Governor Brad Henry. Test participated in the 30th annual Governor’s Arts Awards yesterday at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. Sponsored by the Oklahoma Arts Council, the Arts and Education Award recognizes professional educators who support and promote arts education for Oklahoma’s students.

Test graduated from Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford in 1981 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree and then returned to his hometown, Guymon, to begin his professional career as an artist. Test exhibited his wildlife paintings at festivals and private showings from 1981-1994. He realized a personal goal of winning a duck stamp competition by the time he was 30 years old. In 1989, his painting of two blue-winged teal was chosen for the Florida Waterfowl Stamp. His career continued to flourish as he was commissioned by Kansas Ducks Unlimited to create original artwork for their waterfowl stamp in 1991. In 1994, he started researching his Cherokee Indian heritage and began producing artwork with Native American themes.

Test joined the OPSU faculty in 1995 following the tragic, unexpected death of his 13-year-old daughter. No longer able to hold a paintbrush steady, he said, “I was horribly depressed and barely functioning. I pulled all of my artwork out of the 50 galleries representing me at the time and planned to be at OPSU only two years.” Instead, he became an integral part of a newly formed Art Department, and the healing that occurred has allowed him to become an even more prolific artist.

Test shares an extraordinary amount of artistic talent with OPSU students, and also passes along lessons learned during his own professional career. Part of the art curriculum includes teaching students practical skills such as marketing their art, identifying their patrons and learning how to be comfortable around them. Test’s experience led to the development of the Paul Farrell Memorial Art Auction, a formal event held annually for OPSU art students to apply what they have learned in the “real” world.

“I am proud to be part of the Art Department and proud to be a part of OPSU. We’re a harmonious group and it makes work fun,” Test said. OPSU is proud to have an artist and teacher of Test’s caliber leading the OPSU Art Department.

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