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ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: Bill Mangum

William Mangum poses for a photo.Bill Mangum is returning – at least, his paintings are – to his hometown of Pinehurst. His “North Carolina Beautiful Art Show,” will run Oct. 31-Dec. 21 at the Broadhurst Gallery. He’s one of North Carolina’s most celebrated artists, and also an alumnus of Sandhills Community College. Bill studied art and graduated in 1973. He currently resides in Greensboro, North Carolina.

“SCC developed my most formable roots and lasting friendships. It gave me the courage to further my education and pursue my dream as a professional artist.” Jack Acton and Carli Tart were two instructors in particular who helped shape his future. “They recognized my talent but also inspired me to dream big and align myself with the professional artist that I aspired to be.”

Bill was active on campus. He recalls as a member of the Key Club, “It was fantastic as we had the opportunity to meet community leaders and grow our leadership skills.” He was even a cheerleader for the men’s basketball team. “It was the first time SCC had male cheerleaders,” he said.

After Sandhills, Bill went on to earn his BFA and MFA from UNC-Greensboro. He’s been a professional artist for over 40 years and has created over 3,500 original paintings that can be found in home and private collections. Nine books and two films have been published on his artwork, and over the past six years, he was licensed by Klaussner Home to create nine Artist Inspired Home Collections.

The majority of his paintings are landscapes, so it’s no surprise that he draws inspiration from nature. “Winslow Homer, Thomas Eakins, and Singer Sargent are some of my favorite masters. On a contemporary vein, the medium of acrylics has been like learning a foreign language. I love it and every day it humbles me!”

“When I travel, I use watercolors for field studies. My signature paintings are created in my studio where I have control and access to a volume of paints and materials.”

Another passion of his is homelessness. He explained, “For 32 years I have been creating a special painting for my Honor Card program. Today it supports 13 different outreach agencies across North Carolina and has raised over eight million dollars. In 2015 North Carolina honored me with their highest award, The Order of the Long Leaf Pine and in 2017 I was presented an Honorary Doctorate from UNC-G.”

Despite Bill’s numerous accolades and accomplishments, he’s not putting down his paintbrush any time soon. “My latest goal is to be the artist for the 150th Open at St. Andrews in Scotland.”

For art students who want advice from an experienced professional, “Take some business courses to complement your artistic goals. You are really a mini manufacturer and unless you understand your cost basis and return on investment, it’s slim that you can succeed. I use an acronym when I lecture, it’s The ART of Business. A is for Alliance, find successful people, businesses and align yourself with them. R is for Resourcefulness. You must learn to leverage your work, living off just the original is tough, learn to publish or be published. T is for Tenacity. Don’t read the news in the morning, find something that will jump-start your day and inspire you. Artists have very shallow egos and need constant reinforcement!”

When he’s not painting, he spends time with his three grandchildren, “I relish the opportunity to put a paintbrush in their hands and encourage them to look, imagine and explore.”

Meet Bill at the show’s opening weekend at the Broadhurst Gallery, Thursday, Oct. 31 or Friday, Nov. 1 from 4-7 p.m., or Saturday, Nov. 2 from 11-2 p.m. Find more information at https://www.williammangum.com/blog/north-carolina-beautiful-show-at-broadhurst-gallery-pinehurst.

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