Political muralists from Northern Ireland to visit St. Bonaventure University as artists in residence
Three muralists whose work draws thousands of visitors from across the world to the Northern Ireland city of Derry will bring their skills and experiences to Western New York this month with a weeklong stay as artists in residence at St. Bonaventure University. With buildings in the Bogside area of Derry as their giant canvases, Tom Kelly, his brother William and their friend Kevin Hasson spent 12 years commemorating more than 30 years of civil strife and conflict in the six counties of Northern Ireland. The trio has become known as The Bogside Artists.
The 12 murals of what has been dubbed The People’s Gallery stretch in a line the length of Rossville Street in the Bogside area of Derry, which experienced the worst of the troubles throughout the long conflict.
Coinciding with their visit to campus will be an exhibit of their murals, the senior project of St. Bonaventure art major Karen Vester. The exhibit, “Peace and Reconciliation: For Them, For Us, For Me,” will feature large photographs of each of the murals taken by Vester. Other elements of the exhibit will feature creative work by area school students.
The exhibition opens Monday, March 19, and runs through Tuesday, March 27, in the San Damiano Room of Francis Hall. Hours for March 19 are 6 to 9 p.m.; during the remainder of the show, the exhibition will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
While on campus, the Bogside Artists will be joined by students from the Department of Visual and Performing Arts to complete a mural for the university. The theme will be “Freedom of Speech” and the public is invited to stop by, watch the artists paint and ask questions about their work.
A presentation featuring the Bogside artists will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 21, in the San Damiano Room. The program is free and open to the public and will be followed by a reception.
The artists’ visit and the display of their work is made possible through the joint efforts of Vester, the Mychal Judge Center for Irish Exchange and Understanding at St. Bonaventure, and the Lenna Foundation.
St. Bonaventure has a strong Irish legacy, which dates back centuries to its founder Nicholas Devereux, who emigrated from County Wexford, Ireland, in 1806.
To learn more about the Bogside Artists, visit www.bogsideartists.com.
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