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September 7, 2012

Watercolors exhibit raises money for scholarships

STILLWATER, Okla. — Oklahoma State University architecture professor Moh’d Bilbeisi is displaying 29 watercolor pieces at the Oklahoma State University Foundation’s Malinda Berry Fischer Gallery until Sept. 30. Twenty percent of each sale will benefit College of Engineering Architecture and Technology scholarships.

Several of his works have Oklahoma themes, including Oklahoma City Thunder basketball player James Harden, former Oklahoma State football player Justin Blackmon and Old Central on the OSU campus. The signed prints sell for $40 each.

His works also include flowers, automotive racing, dreams, figures and destinations around the world.

The gallery, located inside the Foundation building, 400 S. Monroe, is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“Ever since I was a kid, I constantly caught myself doodling,” he said. “It was my own way of trying to figure out the world around me.”

Bilbeisi said his style of art requires quick strokes.

“Quickness is intregal to my process,” he said. “It is truthful. It tells the story as quickly and honestly as possible.”

Bilbeisi said he chooses to do watercolor because it is challenging and the hardest medium to work with.

“Water does what it wants to do and you learn to accept that,” he said. “It takes patience and maturity to do watercolor. It’s very spiritual in a way. You have to accept what will happen on faith.”

Bilbeisi said he does not have a favorite.

“They are all very special and unique in their own way,” he said.

Bilbeisi earned his bachelor’s degreee in architecture from OSU in 1988 and his master’s degree in 1989.

Bilbeisi, a native of Amman, Jordan, has taught in the United States, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Jordan.

In 1998, Bilbeisi returned to Oklahoma State, where he teaches and conducts research in design, graphic communication and history/theory of Islamic architecture.

“Oklahoma State is something I cherish and believe in,” he said.

Bilbeisi and his wife, Suzanne, work together as OSU architecture professors and have a private practice, Bilbeisi Architects.

“My goal is to be a happy person when I meet the Creator,” Bilbeisi said.

“And to know that I taught my students to capture the beauty in their everyday lives.”

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