Watercolor paintings garner national, global recognition for Funderburk

Mississippi State University William L. Giles Distinguished Professor of Art Brent Funderburk stands with one of his award-winning watercolor paintings, “Oaxaca.”

Colorful creations by Mississippi State University’s William L. Giles Distinguished Professor of Art are featured this spring in multiple national and international exhibitions.

Brent Funderburk, a longtime faculty member and former head of the MSU College of Architecture, Art and Design’s Department of Art, received a “Judge’s Recognition Award” in the recent 11th Biennial National Art Exhibit at the Visual Arts Center in Punta Gorda, Florida.

His watercolor work “Today” was selected by juror Steven J. Levin as one of 136 works out of 547 entries from 35 states and four countries. Biennial prizes totaled nearly $8,000 in a show considered one of the nation’s most prestigious exhibitions. Levin noted in the exhibition awards program that Funderburk’s work presented “an unusual concept enhanced by wonderfully vibrant color.”

Also, Funderburk’s painting “Montem Somnia” will appear in the upcoming 42nd Annual Transparent Watercolor Society of America’s National Exhibition. Chosen by juror John Salminen, the work will be available for viewing May 5-Aug. 5 at the Kenosha Public Museum in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

One of more than 7,100 submitted entries, Funderburk’s watercolor painting “Oaxaca” is a Still Life/Interiors Award recipient for The Artist’s Magazine 34th Annual Art Competition. Selected by juror Jaye Schlesinger, the piece appears with 42 others in the March 2018 issue and will be featured in future issues of the international publication.

Another of Funderburk’s watercolor paintings “Passiflora” will be featured in the National Watercolor Society’s 2018 Member’s Exhibition at the NWS Gallery in San Pedro, California. The jury-selected piece can be seen in the exhibition that runs from May 3-June 30 with a reception and awards ceremony on May 5. Juror for the show is Dreamworks Animation artist/designer Mike Hernandez.

A North Carolina native, Funderburk is retiring this May after nearly 36 years at MSU. Over the decades, he has been honored by the university with the John Grisham Faculty Excellence, Burlington Northern Teaching Excellence and Ralph E. Powe Research Excellence awards. He also is a 2016 Southeastern Conference Faculty Achievement Award recipient.

Funderburk, a fine arts graduate of East Carolina University, also has served as the art department’s fine-arts thesis coordinator. Courses he has taught include painting survey, watercolor, watermedia, senior thesis and advanced studio.

In 2010, Funderburk was named official artist for the Jackson-based USA International Ballet Competition. For additional biographical information, visit www.brentfunderburk.com.

Celebrating its 50th year, MSU’s Department of Art is the Magnolia State’s largest undergraduate studio art program. For more, visit www.caad.msstate.edu and follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @CAADatMSU.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.

Sasha Steinberg | Public Affairs

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