Mick O’Dea is one of Ireland’s best-known artists, President of the Royal Hibernian Academy and a winner of countless awards, including the Arnotts National Portrait Award and the Ireland-US Council/Irish Arts Review Portraiture Award. See our interview with the artist, Irish Arts Review Spring 2010, and his award-winning portrait of fellow artist Stephen McKenna in Irish Arts Review Summer 2013.
As both a portraitist and a landscape artist who thrives on working en plein air, O’Dea is uniquely placed to take on the role of visual artist in residence for the 2015 Kilkenny Festival. Throughout the ten days, O’Dea will portray key Festival artists, while also capturing the sights, sounds and atmosphere of the Festival, sketching performances and events as they happen.
Mick O’Dea’s studio will be located in Kilkenny’s historic James Stephens Barracks, home of the 3rd Infantry Battalion and just a few minutes’ walk from most venues. Festival-goers are invited to visit each afternoon until Sunday 16 August. As the Festival progresses, Mick’s completed paintings and sketches will be on display in a range of venues around the city. Seen here are festival musicians Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill.