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Irish muralist Tom Kelly to speak Oct. 16

Bogside Artist Tom Kelly will visit Georgia Southern University Tuesday, Oct. 16, at 7 p.m. to present ‘Protest, Peace and Reconciliation: Murals by The Bogside Artists of Northern Ireland.” His talk takes place in the Performing Arts Center, corner of Plant and Chandler Roads, and it is free of charge and open to the public.

Kelly’s presentation is in conjunction with the current Georgia Southern Museum exhibition, ‘From Protest to Peace: Murals by The Bogside Artists of Northern Ireland.”

The display includes large-scale digital reproductions of 11 wall-paintings located on buildings along Rossville Street in the Northern Ireland city of Derry. The murals depict events from the recent troubled history of Northern Ireland, drawing visitors from around the world.

Tom Kelly grew up during ‘the Troubles,” a time of conflict between Northern Ireland’s Protestant unionists and Catholic nationalists that began in the late 1960s and continued throughout the 20th century. Kelly, his brother William Kelly, and their friend Kevin Hasson, known collectively as The Bogside Artists, painted 11 stunning murals that record events from this troubled time. The “Troubles” began in Derry in 1968, when the Protestant authorities attempted to curtail or ban Catholic civil rights marches that emulated the pacifist example of Martin Luther King Jr.

‘In recognizing and acknowledging a troubled past, the images of the artists serve as healing instruments in the difficult reconciliation process, ‘ said Bob Frigo, assistant director of the University Honors Program and a co-curator of the exhibit. ‘What sets The Bogside Artists apart from other muralists in Northern Ireland is their use of the mural as a peace-building tool in local cross-community workshops. Their workshops are a model for advancing the peace and reconciliation process on a grass-roots level in Northern Ireland.”

The exhibit of The Bogside Artists’ murals can be viewed at the Georgia Southern University Museum Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m. Admission is free. The murals will on display through January 6, 2008.

More information about the ‘From Protest to Peace” is available at http://class.georgiasouthern.edu/irish/murals/

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