Dublin artists to showcase artwork at national exhibition 

by Rachel Cunningham
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Rachel Cunningham

Two Dublin artists have been selected as part of a social enterprise dedicated to connecting the disability community through the arts.

Samuel Hilliard, a talented artist from Tallaght, and Clement Yang, a 20-year-old artist from Taiwan living in Ballsbridge, are two out of ten artists who were involved with this year’s Connecting Artists programme.

Connecting Artists is a 10-week online programme designed by Miriam Spollen, the founder of Connections Arts Centre. The Terenure resident created this online programme for visual artists nationwide with intellectual disabilities who wish to develop their creative practice.

The programme culminates with an exhibition of the artists’ work at the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland (RCSI) in Dublin, taking place from Sunday, July 16, to Tuesday, July 18. 

“Showcasing my art talents to the world and making my family proud is a goal of mine,” said Mr Hilliard.

“Being involved in the Connecting Artists 2023 programme has been a great opportunity for me to do this. I look forward to showing my work to a larger audience in the RCSI. It is an amazing opportunity for me.”

“My influences are diverse and include Greek/Spanish painter El Greco, French painter Bernard Buffet, and Irish abstract artist Sean Scully”, commented Ms Yang.

“I draw inspiration from my own life experiences and Taiwanese culture, focusing my recent works on native Irish animals.

“I produce at least five pen-and-ink drawings daily, and I complete an acrylic or oil painting on average every week.” 

Ms Spollen emphasised the immersive and supportive environment the programme provides, empowering artists to explore their art, learn from each other and prepare for exhibiting and selling their work.

“We are thrilled for Samuel and Clement and all the participating artists of the 2023 programme and to see their fantastic artwork exhibiting at a national level,” she stated.

“The response from the general public, both business and community, has been brilliant. We are also delighted to learn that the exhibit will be showcasing in Belfast and no doubt in more counties around the country during the year.”

Visitors are encouraged to visit the exhibit and experience the artwork of Samuel and Clement and the other participating artists. Artwork will be available for purchase during the event and online.

Entry is FREE, but booking in advance is essential. For more information, visit: www.connectionsartscentre.ie.

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