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Paul Funge

Paul Funge, born in 1944 in Gorey Co Wexford, studied under Sean Keating, Maurice Mc.Gonigal and John Kelly in the National College of Art and Design.

While a student in N.C.A.D. he was awarded an Italian Government scholarship to study in Florence and won many Royal Dublin Society Awards for painting.

He had his first one-man show during the Wexford Opera festival, since than he has been exhibiting worldwide including Amsterdam, Santa Barbara, Sao Paolo, Murcia, Zamora, Madrid and in numerous places in Ireland.

Paul Funge has long been involved in art education. He taught in many schools including Clongowes Wood College, Newbridge College, National College of Art, University of California Santa Barbara (U.S.A), Kunsthistorisch Instituut Amsterdam and was director of the Waterford School of Art. He was an Inspector for Art in the Department of Education for some years.

He was one of the prime movers of the art centre "idea" in Ireland as one of the founder directors of the Project Arts Centre in Dublin. He established the Gorey Arts Centre in 1970 and was on the board of directors of the Wexford Arts Centre. He was a founder of the Belltable Arts Centre in Limerick while being the Regional Arts Officer for the Mid-West.

He ran the Gorey Arts Festival - a three week summer arts festival - for over 15 years.

Paul wrote his basic thoughts about art down in his essay "A Perspective on Art", a text he his currently revising.

Funge is known as a portrait artist. His sitters include U2's Adam Clayton, Frank McGuinness, Colm Tobin, Seoirse Bodley as also many ministers and academics . One of his most intriguing portraits is " The Abuela" a portrait of the grandmother of a friend of his in Zamora, which painting belongs to the collection of the United Arts Club Dublin. Amongst other collections containing paintings of Funge are D.C.U., Droichead Arts centre, National Concert Hall, National Self-Portrait Collection, Fitzwilton Collection, R.T.C Athlone, Gate Theatre.

Paul Funge's work also includes landscapes. Richard Ames - Los Angeles Times - commented on his Californian landscapes, "Funge has a freshness that is thoroughly beguiling. It visualizes an appreciation of life in Southern California which makes us glad to be alive".