Amergael Mid-Winter Art Exhibit at Island Library

Mar 07, 2018
Artwork by: Mary Blakeslee ‘Irish Cottage’ by Mary Blakeslee evokes quaint Irish hamlets.

If you don’t like shamrocks or rainbows, leprechauns and folktales, misty Irish mornings in quaint village streets, green pastures and smiling, pretty lasses; then what the heck? You need to cheer up! Visit the Island Library between now and March 29 to see what Amergael artists have on exhibit.

Amergael is a local society formed by Bernadette Callanan, Jim Curley and Peggy McNally to promote Irish culture. Each year they hold an Irish festival of dance music and art that was at the Ocean Acres Community Center last week, but the art then travels to the Island library for a month.

Callanan said she had many more artists exhibit this year, and the works are large ones to make you smile. The theme was “Irish Women,” and there are two paintings that evoke the fiery revolutionary spirit the Irish are also known for. One by Carol Freas, “Saoirse” (Freedom), pays tribute to Molly O’Brian, “who raised the flag at Easter Rising.” In another painting, an “Irish Lass” by Dennis Millar wears an expression of rebellion.

Otherwise, the paintings are calming appreciations for Irish life and culture. Callanan’s portrait of her niece, “Nuala Maeve,” with a fair complexion and red hair, proclaims typical Irish beauty. A collage of paint and paper, “Bees,” is also by Callanan, as well as an Irish cottage and landscape. Mary Blakeslee paints a typical whitewashed stone cottage, and Freas, using pen and ink and watercolor, takes us inside a cottage to a well-stocked kitchen cupboard with an Irish kitchen blessing.

Paul Hartelius painted an Irish coastal scene with a lighthouse.

Pat Seeber references an Irish folktale where a man’s daughters are turned into swans. Her collage, using painted corrugated cardboard to depict feathers, is striking.

A favorite in the show is a naïve folk-life painting of sheep crossing an Irish lane by Peggy McConnell. She also captures the green of a hillside and a cottage in the sun.

And for a painterly expression of joy, enjoy Paul Daukas’ “Love the Irish.”

Stop by the library before St. Patrick’s Day and get a “bit o’ the Irish” to refresh your soul. —P.J.


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