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A native of North Carolina, Mangum began his career while earning his bachelor's and master's of fine arts degrees. Best known for his architecture and landscape paintings, Mangum describes his style as "realistic expressionism," using an unlimited number of colors and moods, vivid details and soft, abstract forms to draw the viewer into the painting. The majority of his more than 1,300 paintings come from outside of the United States including both European and Asian locales.
A watercolorist, Mangum's paintings have been exhibited by notable museums and art organizations, including the National Arts Club, the Society of Illustrators, Allied Artists of America, the Salmagundi Club and the Knickerbocker Artists League. He has participated or exhibited in the Aqueous Open in Louisville, the New Realists show in Chicago, the Butler Institute of American Art and the International Exhibition in London.
William Mangum has set himself apart from many others as a self-published artist and gallery owner. He typically produces seven to eight limited edition prints per year along with an annual calendar. Mangum's first book, North Carolina: Behold the Beauty has recently been followed by Carolina Preserves. This 164-page coffee table book, containing 130 paintings, is a collection of stories by 48 North Carolinians ranging from Elizabeth Dole and Billy Graham to Sharon Lawrence and Rick Dees. Each story is accompanied by a painting or paintings reflecting the memories and thoughts of each of the story contributors. This collection is about preserving those things that are a part of the heritage and beauty of our state.
A recently written piece by American Artist Magazine Editor-in-Chief M. Stephen Doherty describes it best. "Mangum is part of a great tradition in American watercolor painting. Since the 19th century, artists have used the medium for both documentation and creative expression.. That's exactly what William Mangum does each time he enters his studio with paints, brushes, paper and ideas. He creates a lasting record of the world around us."