“The Art of Feng No. 3” opens at the Radford University Art Museum

Z.L. Feng with one for his paintings

In his third art exhibition at the Radford University Art Museum, Z. L. Feng brings the local landscape inside the gallery.

“The Art of Feng No. 3” is a new exhibition opening at the university’s Art Museum in the Covington Center Jan. 29. It features watercolors and oil paintings by Feng, who is an internationally renowned artist and a Radford University professor. The show includes work created during a fall sabbatical from teaching. His main subject matter is the New River, the surrounding area and Blue Ridge Mountains.

“During my recent sabbatical, I was able to take advantage of the time by exploring different places to get new inspiration to create the new works for this show,” he said. “Thus these works will be unveiled for the first time to the public at the show.”

Creating a new body of work for a large exhibition has its challenges. When beginning a new painting, Feng often finds his first attempts do not pass his critical eye for perfection. These are stowed away out of sight. This means it is difficult to produce the necessary number of artworks that meet his approval for such an undertaking.

Finding inspiration, however, is not a challenge. He finds it in his surroundings.

“I find that the trees, rivers, and nature itself are beautiful and have good Feng Shui,” he said. “This means that wind and water are so important to our life and that is why these things are often the centerpieces of my works.”

Feng, who grew up in Shanghai, studied painting and experimented with different mediums before choosing watercolor and oil. Before coming to the U.S. in 1986, he received his BFA degree from Shanghai Teacher’s University and taught in its art department for four years. He completed his MFA at Radford University in 1989.

He is an international award-winning artist. His most recent honors include best in show at Grand National Exhibition in Mississippi; second place and Artists Choice awards at Montana National Watercolor Exhibition; NEWS Member Award (second place) at the NEWS International Watercolor Exhibition; High Water Model (fourth place) at the Red River Watercolor Society National Exhibition; Merry Award at Northwest Watercolor Society International Open Exhibition in Seattle; Memorial Award at Adirondack National Exhibition of American Watercolors; Honorable Award and Purchase Award at Kansas National Watercolor Exhibition in Wichita; and the National Watercolor Society Award at the Pennsylvania International Juried Exhibition.

Feng’s artwork is in many private and corporate collections, including Walt Disney, the U.S. Gulfstream Aerospace Center, and Orlando International Airport. His work is also in the permanent collections of the Springfield Art Museum in Springfield, Missouri; the Radford University Art Museum and other private and corporate collections in Singapore and China.

“The Art of Feng No. 3” is on exhibit from Jan. 29 to March 4. The museum is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and weekends from noon to 4 p.m. Half the proceeds from art sold during the “Give Your Heart to Art” event and the duration of the exhibition is being donated to The Zheng L. Feng International Scholarship Endowment in Art. Feng established this scholarship to help attract international and graduate art students to Radford University.

The university community and public can meet Feng at his opening reception between 5-7 p.m., Jan. 29. Both the reception and admission to the exhibition are free.

For those wishing to preview the work in advance and support the arts, there is a special “Give Your Heart to Art” event Jan. 28. Drinks and dinner are included as is an artist talk by Feng. The evening starts at 6 p.m. in the Covington Center for the Arts. Proceeds from the $100 per person admission support new purchases of artwork for the museum’s collection.

Since Feng’s first university exhibition in 1998, his namesake scholarship is awarded to an international student in art every year. This year’s show will create another scholarship for the Department of Art and the College of Visual and Performing Arts to help attract more students to the program.

For more information about “The Art of Feng No. 3,” contact the museum at 540-831-5754.

For more information about "Give Your Heart to Art," to purchase tickets or make reservations, contact Brea MacBrien at bmacbrien@radford.edu or 540-831-5914.

Jan 21, 2016