Discussion: Public Art and Irish Influence on Art in Boston
Featuring artists Caoimhghin Ó Fraithile and Michael Dowling at the Central Library in Copley Square
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For Immediate Release
September 15, 2016
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For More Information Contact:
BPL Communications Office

On Sunday, September 18, at 2 p.m. Boston Public Library President David Leonard will welcome Caoimhghin Ó Fraithile (Ireland) and Michael Dowling (Boston-US/Ireland) to the Central Library in Copley Square for a discussion about public art, the Irish influence on art in Boston, and their work which is featured in the temporary public art project, Tír na nÓg, now on view in the Back Bay Fens.

“Over the past year, we’ve seen incredible energy around public art installations in Boston,” said Julie Burros, Chief of Arts and Culture for the City of Boston. “Projects like Tír na nÓg promote public discourse, bringing people together in conversation and helping us reach the goals of the Boston Creates Cultural Plan. We are thrilled to see it in the Fens and look forward to hearing from the artists.”

“The Boston Public Library is a supporter of arts and culture in the City of Boston and we’re thrilled to lead this conversation exploring themes of creativity, healing, public art, space, and inspiration with these two internationally acclaimed artists who are enlivening one of Boston’s beloved parks this summer and fall,” said David Leonard, President of the Boston Public Library.

Caoimhghin Ó Fraithile is a visual artist who creates drawings and large-scale temporary and permanent site-specific works that reflect the transient nature of the world, humanity, and our place within nature. His work is also featured as part of Hy-Brasil: Mapping a Mythical Island, an exhibition currently on display in the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library. For twenty five years, Michael Dowling has been harnessing his art and his artistic vision to create needed places for people to gather and to heal. He has served as the Artist in Residence at multiple organizations, most recently at Brandeis University.

Medicine Wheel Productions, a community-based arts organization in South Boston, is the lead organization for the Tír na nÓg  project and is working in collaboration with the Fenway Alliance, a non-profit membership service and advocacy organization dedicated to the prosperity and growth of the Fenway Cultural District. The two artists were commissioned by Medicine Wheel Productions under the curatorial support of MWP Chief Curator Kathleen Bitetti to create two site-specific artworks in the Back Bay Fens section of Boston’s Emerald Necklace Park System designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. Ó Fraithile’s floating piece, "South of Hy-Brasil," and Michael Dowling’s piece, "Well House,” can both be viewed from the banks of the MFA Lagoon in the Back Bay Fens. 

Tír na nÓg is part of Culture Ireland’s 2016 Centennial - a global initiative to mark the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising which set Ireland on it path for independence.

WHERE: Rabb Hall, Central Library in Copley Square, 700 Boylston Street, Boston

WHEN: Sunday, September 18, at 2 p.m.


  • Boston Public Library President David Leonard
  • Caoimhghin Ó Fraithile
  • Michael Dowling
  • Stephanie Cyr, Assistant Curator of the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library





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