An artist known for his exuberantly hued paintings, as well as energetic teaching and lectures, Thomas Brent Funderburk is a Charlotte, North Carolina native (a twin) who has lived and worked for three universities in three states, and has taught in U.S. national parks and in Italy. His art practice engages painting, drawing, collage and multimedia performances.
Funderburk is a William L. Giles Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Mississippi State University where he taught for 36 years and was recognized with the University’s highest academic, teaching and research honors, including the Southeastern Conference Faculty Excellence Award, the John Grisham Teaching Award, the Ralph E. Powe Faculty Research Award, and the Burlington Northern Faculty Excellence Award, among others.
His studio artwork deals with nature as crux, crucible, and in crisis- on the verge of the 6th Mass Extinction, and yet, Funderburk’s credo holds that art, as an advanced spiritual symbol system, is the efflorescence of the nature/human/God nexus, and initiates and sustains hope, healing, and human evolution. Practicing a robust studio life and travel, the artist wanders nature passionately, and expresses as a “bridge” artist, making painted objects and converging still images into sequential, digital visual presentations with commissioned live or recorded music. Further, Brent Funderburk’s work has been published widely, in publications such as Watercolor Magazine, Artists Magazine, Creative Quarterly: The Journal of Art and Design, Studio Visit, and Splash: The Best of Watercolor. He has presented 32 one-person exhibitions across the U.S, and has been represented by galleries in Atlanta, Charlotte, New Orleans and Memphis (etc.), with work in public and private collections across the U.S. Funderburk has curated and written for exhibitions that have toured U.S. museums. Further, his work has been juried into over 100 regional, national and international shows, with numerous awards. Funderburk was named the Official Artist of the 2010 USA International Ballet Competition, and in 2015-16 his art toured China in seven museums.
The artist is also a color photographer, haiku conjurer, amateur paleontologist and connoisseur of Arts & Crafts design and philosophy, who has directed art and creativity workshops across the U.S. and in Italy.
Funderburk has spoken or performed multimedia presentations/performances in over 100 venues, including museums, galleries, universities and regional/national conferences. His areas of expertise include American watercolor painting, the art of Walter Inglis Anderson, and early modern American visionary artists such as Oscar Bluemner, Will Henry Stevens, the Group of Seven, the Taos Society of Artists, Robert Henri’s circle, and the Transcendental Painting Group.
The artist is married to dancer/choreographer Deborah Wyatt Funderburk who teaches dance and dance history and guides a dance theatre company. They have two grown sons.