From early childhood Maura O'Rourke always had a love of painting and drawing, participating and winning awards in competitions such as the Texaco Children’s Art Competition, alongside other wins in a Cadbury’s Creative Writing competition and the National Irish Fish Cookery competition.
Since Maura’s first Professional Solo Show in 1995 she has had over 20 Solo and International exhibitions and to date had sold over 2,500 paintings. Maura has received grants, bursaries, sponsorship and support from local development agencies, awarding bodies, commercial firms, trade associations and private individuals – many of which have been in the form of painting commissions. An unusual aspect to Maura’s art practice is the production of collections of work, such as the Tara Collection and the Famine Collection both of which were exhibited in the USA and have subsequently been sold as collections. Maura has been leading painting holidays throughout Ireland and France over the last decade, introducing students to new outdoor painting techniques and to a fuller appreciation of French culture, cuisine and the product of it’s vineyards. Maura has played a pivotal role in various arts development activities on a local, regional, national and international level. She has been involved in developing exhibiting opportunities for artists across Ireland, UK and USA, and in artist exchange, residency, and collaborative projects through the ‘Grasses’ and xChangeVisions projects
This historic peace mural was jointly painted by two artists whose communities were previously at war in Northern Ireland: Danny Devenny, former Irish Republican Army (IRA) prisoner, and Mark Ervine, son of David Ervine, former Progressive Unionist Party leader and Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) member. This step comes on the heels of the historic powersharing in government that began in May 2007, after nine years of struggle to implement the Good Friday Agreement. Ervine and Devenny’s right-hand man, Martin Lyons will paint live murals at iBAM!, which can be viewed in progress in the art gallery of the Irish American Heritage Center.