Laois Nationalist – Art exhibition features portraits of 20 senior Laois people

One of Kevin McCann’s babysitters, Assumpta Broomfield, with husband and poet Arthur Broomfield

Artist Aishling Hennessy pictured with one of her models Billy Kelly

Director of the Center des Arts Dunamaise Michelle de Forge during the launch of Fadó Faces

Some of the people who attended the launch of Fadó Faces

Photos: Stan Henderson

Artist Mike Rafter pictured with one of his models Martin Cuddy

By Stan Henderson

PART TWO of the Fadó Faces art exhibition was launched last Thursday at the Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise by its creator Kevin McCann and his friend, former TD Ruth Coppinger.

The paintings on display are by ten local artists, including Kevin, who painted the portraits of 20 elderly people from Laois. A synopsis of each subject’s life story is also boxed below each painting. This additional information gives the viewer an extra dimension when looking at the portraits, making the exhibition a unique experience.

Fadó Faces took place outdoors at Portlaoise Plaza for its inaugural year in 2021 due to Covid restrictions. However, this year the pieces of the exhibition are in the spotlight on the walls of the Dunamaise gallery.

During his speech at the launch, Kevin said that the goal of Fadó Faces is to celebrate the lives of 20 older people each year for five years until there are 100, and then to turn the project into a book, which will present a vision of the county’s social history.

Over 50 people attended the launch and many more came and went as the evening progressed.

Speaking at the launch, Dunamaise Arts Center Director Michelle de Forge said: “It is a great privilege to welcome everyone to what is only our second gallery reception since we we came out of confinement. It’s wonderful to have so many Laois artists and many of their subjects on display here.

This exhibition is the second release of Fadó Faces, the second of several years before a very exciting adventure.

“The Dunamaise Arts Center is supported by the Arts Council of Ireland and Laois County Council and this particular exhibition comes to us with the support of Creative Ireland Laois under the Creative Ireland programme.

“I would like to send our congratulations to all the artists from us and Laois Arts Officer Muireann Ní Chonnaill, who sends her best wishes as she could not be here tonight.”

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