top of page


You are invited to the opening reception of the second annual CIACLA Irish Contemporaries Visual Art exhibition held on Saturday July 8th 2023 from 2 - 4pm at  Building Bridges Art Exchange, Bergamot Station, Santa Monica, Los Angeles. 

CIACLA - The Contemporary Irish Center Los Angeles, in partnership with Building Bridges Art Exchange and The MART Gallery & Studios Dublin, are proud to invite you to the launch of the visual arts group exhibition The Irish Contemporaries {ii}, curated by Ciara Scanlan and Matthew Nevin, which includes the highlighted showcase of new work by CIACLA’s Summer 2023 Artist in Residence Shane Keisuke Berkery.

Events include: Our Creative Network Meet Up is hosting a preview of the exhibition opening at 1pm on July 8th  and a Family Arts & Crafts Meet Up on July 15th at 2pm.

Featured Artists: Adam Brazil, Austin Ivers, Brenda Oona Welsh, Catherine Davison, Chris O'Mahony, Christopher Clery, Clare French, Colleen Keough, Conn McCarrick, Gail Ritchie, Greta Levins, Katherine Nolan, Maria Mollohan, Michael Comer, Ohhi Ohno,

Reuben Brown, Riki Matsuda, Rozarii Lynch, Shane Keisuke Berkery, Siobhán Ó Mócháin Breathnach, Sionnan Wood, Stephen Moynes,

and Tom Dowling

The Irish Contemporaries {ii} is a captivating exhibition that celebrates the diverse talents of contemporary artists based in Los Angeles County, USA, and a curated selection of artists operating out of four distinguished Artist Studios in Ireland: MART Studios, Sample Studios Cork, QSS Belfast and Limerick Printmakers.

“This exciting group exhibition showcases a mix of visual art; painting, sculpture, illustration, performance, print and film, a unique assemblage aiming to cast a spotlight on the captivating blend of techniques, narratives, and perspectives that characterises the contemporary art scene in both locales.” ~ Co Curator Matthew Nevin.

Family Arts & Crafts Meet Up – July 15th, 2 - 4pm. 

Join us for a fun afternoon of creativity and chats at our Family Arts & Crafts Meet Up on July 15th at 2pm. Coordinated by CIACLA's Education & Wellbeing Coordinator, Katriona Woods, we invite families to come along to meet, chat and casually engage with our exhibition in a fun creative environment. This meetup warmly welcomes all children along with their parents/guardians for some fun with arts & crafts, to foster their artistic skills through a variety of engaging activities. The meetup promises laughter, creativity, and even a chance to practise a few words ‘as Gaeilge’ (in Irish). To sign up for tickets to our Family Meet Up, simply send an email with your name, your children's names, and their ages to Places are limited. Don't miss out on this memorable experience. We can't wait to see you there!

Screenshot 2023-06-15 at 4.25.34 PM.png

Artist's Biographies:

Shane Keisuke Berkery is an Irish-Japanese contemporary artist based in Dublin, Ireland. His cultural background has been a major influence on his work and is a frequent theme in his paintings Berkery primarily works out of his studio in Dublin and is represented by The Molesworth Gallery. Named in the "Irish painters under 30 to watch" by RTÉ Culture - January 2017 | Winner of the 2016 Hennessy Craig Scholarship at the RHA annual exhibition | Winner of the 2016 Whyte's Award at the RHA annual exhibition | Painting purchased by the Office of Public Works (OPW) and placed in the Irish State Art Collection | Winner of the National University of Ireland (NUI) 2015 Art and Design Prize | Graduated from the National College of Art and Design in Dublin, Ireland  - 


Adam Brazil is a multi-ethnic, (Irish-American) multi-disciplinary artist primarily concerned with three-dimensional objects. His research interests include the question of automation and creativity, spatial theories of globalization, and cultural hybrids. His practice is not limited to one medium or outcome, preferring a collaborative approach with materials devoid of hierarchy between media, technique or process. This approach allows for open narratives and welcomes serendipitous discoveries that may alter the trajectory of the work. His work has been featured in recent group exhibitions including "Holy Crap!" at Modest Common DTLA, "If You See Something, Say Something," Katzen Art Center, Washington DC, "Capitalist Architecture in a Posthumanist World," College of William Mary, VA, "Art for a Future Future," Saddleback College Art Gallery, Mission Viejo, CA, as well as the exhibitions "Megalodon" and "Soft Reboot" at PROTO Gallery, Hoboken NJ. He has presented solo exhibitions at Proto-Gomez gallery in New York City, the Tjaden Gallery at Cornell University, and the Grayhaven Motel in Ithaca, NY. He holds a BFA in Sculpture from the Ohio State University, an MFA in Visual Art from Purchase College, State University of New York, and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Critical Studies in Architecture at the University of California-Los Angeles. - 


Austin Ivers is a Galway based artist and educator, lecturing in Contemporary Art at ATU. Having initially studied printmaking in Limerick LSAD and Cork CCAD, his practice has been almost exclusively digital (durational and still) objects for over 20 years. Austin has had one-person shows in the Galway Arts Centre, 126 and the Dock, Carrick-on Shannon and exhibited in group shows including the RHA Dublin & Tulca, Galway. He is also a participant in Greg Sholottes’ Imaginary Archive, a curatorial concept which toured to Graz, Philadelphia, Kiev and Friedrichshafen. - 


Brenda Welsh studied art at the Corita Art Center and Mt St. Mary’s University in Los Angeles and received her Bachelor in Science and Juris Doctor degrees from Glendale University College of Law, California. Her successful and demanding corporate career was the focus of her endeavors for many years. In 2002 she pursued making her art full time and since then her work has been seen in more than 85 exhibits, receiving several awards, including Best of Show. Her paintings are included in numerous private collections throughout the United States and in Europe. She is an abstract expressionist painter and true colorist, currently based in Los Angeles. She is influenced by her extensive worldwide travels, the visual aspects of nature, personal challenges and, as Welsh says, “everything life throws at us and everything life gives and takes from us”. Using bright and bold colors, she forms shapes and places them deliberately or allows the paint to dictate where it wants to flow, drip or puddle. No matter how the shapes occur, her objective is to create movement, depth and unity over the painting surface. By the time the work is complete it will have multiple layers of paint, various textures and /or collage elements and, it will have gone through numerous directions and stages. Her preferred mediums are acrylic paint, watercolor, collage, India ink and assemblage.


Catherine Davidson - Born in Castlereagh, Davison received a BA honors in Fine Art from the University of Ulster in 2001 and completed a postgraduate course at Leith School of Art, Edinburgh in 2005. Since graduating she has been a member of Queen Street Studios in Belfast and has received a number of awards from the N.I. Arts Council through the individual artist award program. Over the years Catherine has taken part in a variety of group shows from Cork to New York and in 2015 she received support from the British Council through their International Residency Program Award to participate as an artist in residence at Largo das Artes for one month in Rio de Janeiro. This expansive experience has influenced and formed the basis of her current work which explores the vitality of life through the colour and line of nature. - 


Chris O’Mahony is an artist based in Los Angeles, CA. His work investigates the relationship of current events with a deeply rooted past. His upbringing in an immigrant household lends to his practice and creative process. O’Mahony’s work has been included in exhibitions at MOAH (Museum of Art & History Lancaster), Gallery 825/LAAA, CIACLA (Contemporary Irish Art Center LA), Art Share L.A., stARTup L.A. representing Los Angeles Art Association, Orange County Center For Contemporary Art, Loft at Liz’s, Space Gallery and SCA Project Gallery. Temporary Public Art Installations at Space Gallery in the Pomona Arts Colony and for the city of Atascadero’s Art & Wine Tour of San Luis Obisbo County/Central Coast region. Chris O’Mahony’s metal sculptures are also included in private historic mid-century homes of Palm Desert and Los Angeles. - 


Christopher Clery - “I graduated in fine art printmaking and contemporary practice from Limerick school of art and design in 2019. I am currently a member of the Limerick Printmakers where I create work and enjoy being in the printmaking community. I explore my perception and understanding of sexuality, masculinity and the male gender within my work. I focus on etching, silkscreen, photography and collage processes. I express my own sexuality and idea of masculinity in my work. My practice is inspired by depictions of religion, Greek art, culture, mythology and antiquity. I create imagery that is depicting male figures within tropical pastoral settings that have been corrupted and I have recently been exploring hellscape imagery and representation of sin and body/animal splicing to convey my outlook on queer life as a millennial.” 


Clare French graduated with a first class BA in Fine Art from City & Guilds of London Art School, London in 2018. Prior to her art training Clare studied received a first class Social Anthropology MA, focussing on photography and visual anthropology, from Goldsmiths College, London. She moved to Belfast from London in 2020. During her Fine Art BA Clare was shortlisted for the Skinners Co. Philip Connard Travel Award and the Artists Collecting Society Award. She was also selected to participate in The Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers, Decorative Surfaces Paint Technique Practical Workshops. Clare has curated and exhibited in London and internationally. Her first solo show was held in London in 2019 and her second in Belfast in February 2023. Her work is held in public and private collections in the UK and abroad. - 


Colleen Keough is an artist working in lens and time-based media, performance, installation, digital arts, and hybrid art forms. Her work explores the intersection of pop culture, identity, myth and technology through integrated media works which investigate poetic feminisms, new materialism, technoculture, and environmental phenomena. Her works have been included in national and international exhibitions and festivals including the Ann Arbor Film Festival, MI / Athens Video Art Festival, Greece / Galway International Arts Festival, Ireland / Novi Sad Cultural Center, Novi Sad, Serbia / Yan Gerber International Arts Festival Weichang County, China / Athens International Film & Video Festival, OH / New York City Independent Film Festival, NY / Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY / Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA / Loop Video Art Festival, Barcelona, Spain / Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA / and the E-Poetry Festival London, Kingston Upon the Thames, UK.


Conn McCarrick is an emerging Irish artist and recent graduate of the National College of Art and Design in Dublin. He is a member of MART Studios and has exhibited his work across Ireland and the UK. Conn is delighted to be showing his work in the USA with CIACLA for the very first time. Conn’s photography focuses on the experience of queer young people in Ireland and draws from his background in campaigning for social and political rights. - 


Gail Ritchie - Born Newtownards, Co. Down, Northern Ireland. Studied at University of Ulster (BA Hons. 1991) and at Queens University (MA Arts Management 2013). In 2022 gained a PhD in International Relations from Queen’s University Belfast for practice-based research into a memorial for the Northern Ireland Troubles. Previously, Gail was a member of Backwater Artists Group Cork before relocating to Belfast and joining Queen Street Studios in 2003. She has received awards from Arts Council Ireland Ireland, Arts Council Northern Ireland, Cultural Relations Committee , the British Council and the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Currently, Gail continues her research into memory, memorials and the commemoration of conflict which includes political and environmental concerns.-   


Greta Levins is a visual artist based in Dublin, graduating with a BA honours degree from NCAD in 2021 where they specialised in Fine Art, Print. Their work stems from personal, queer experiences. The feelings and emotions we find ourselves unable to manage at times, the curiosity which is then always followed by the feeling of apprehension. Through a range of mediums, they try to portray these emotions into a visual form, hoping for the viewer to find an understanding within the image. 


Katherine Nolan is an artist, lecturer and curator. Working primarily in live and lens-based performance, her art practice investigates gender and embodiment across live and digital spaces. She has exhibited internationally in Europe, America and Asia. Recent exhibitions include Fluid Flesh (2021) and The Mistress of the Mantle(2017) solo shows at MART Dublin. She regularly curates with MART, Livestock Performance Art Platform Her research practice occurs at the interstices of lens-based media, performance and digital culture. Recent publications include Fear of Missing Out: Performance Art through the Lens of Participatory Digital Culture(International Journal of Performance Arts & Digital Media); and Life on Pause: Entanglements of the Maternal and The Mortal in a Global Pandemic (chapter in the edited volume Performance in a Pandemic, 2021). She is currently Co-Investigator on the Full Stack Feminism in Digital Humanities project (AHRC/IRC funded); and Lecturer in Creative Digital Media at the Technological University Dublin. - 


Maria Mollohan is a photographer, designer, 3-D artist, ceramic tutor, printmaker and member of the limerick printmaker’s studio. Born in leitrim she attended Sligo IT receiving a degree in Fine art painting. She taught ceramics and jewelry at Trinity arts workshop, was a band photographer for publications such as Hot Press and Camera Op in production Company’s. She started G Isama Designs in 2001 making silk and leather products collaborating with the Leitrim Design House and the Arts Council. After ill health, she left newspaper photography to work in antiques. In an enlightened moment in 2019 while climbing Croagh Patrick she decided to retrain in printmaking and attended LSAD, Limerick on a BA in contemporary print in 2022. Her prints and photography uses elements of quantum reality and philosophy working alongside UL scientists on Ed-smART for science week at the Hunt Gallery in 2021. Her etchings and woodblocks featuring black musicians were selected for Halftone in 2020 and 2021 and she attended ITS LIQUID Rome in December with her Xerox photography series. 2023 sees her exhibiting her prints and working on films in an Art department capacity. - 


Michael Comer is a Dublin based visual artist, born and raised in the Irish midlands. After a decade of teaching in Asia he returned to Ireland two years ago. Since his return he has been pursuing a career in painting. - 


Ohhi Ohno is a professional artist based between Limerick and Laois, in Ireland. Receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Printmaking from Limerick School of Art and Design in 2019, she continued her practice by becoming a member of Limerick Print Makers, making use of their facilities to this day. Louise regularly creates murals for communities, organisations and individuals and as of 2023, shares a new artists studio space in the centre of Limerick City with 3 other professional artists. Her ethos is to adorn the community and spaces with meaningful and high quality work that enhances the community and the lives of those within it. She regularly explores the myth surrounding and powerful effect of 'uisce' - 'water' in Irish - by exploring its quality through a myriad of mediums including mural painting, 3D sculpture, digital work and AI. - 


Reuben Brown (b.2001) is a queer sculptor and new media artist, specialising in 3D-CG (computer- generated) animation, interactive installation and performance, based in Belfast, N.Ireland. He is currently a studio-holder at QSS Artist Studios and Gallery; Belfast and a member of two Belfast-based artist collectives Catalyst Arts and Flax Arts, he also recently completed a residency at the Digital Art Studios; Belfast. Interested in the generation of ephemeral installations, Reuben utilises 3D-CG animation as a tool of activation, having worked with London-based queer-rave collective “RIPOSTE” in February, Dublin- based ephemeral-architecture collective “TEMPORARY PLEASURE” in August, and most recently, a Belfast- based production company who utilised Reuben’s 3D-CG filmography to generate a ephemeral club- space. - 


Riki Matsuda is a Japanese-Irish artist based in Sample-Studios, Cork. Her work plays with miscommunication and utilizes minimal linework and text to tell a story. Matsuda has built an approachable visual language based on the limitations she experienced being raised in a culturally mixed environment. The work is a recording of these observations and her newfound awareness of the nuance and humor found in misunderstanding. - 


Rozarii is an art photographer based in the Pacific Northwest. From her native Ireland, Rozarii’s passion for travel and world culture has taken her around the globe to live and photograph on 5 continents. Along with creative inspiration comes her sense of responsibility to use her imagery as a powerful tool for change. With a successful career over the past 20 years and work ranging from commercial to documentary, Rozarii now focuses exclusively on fine art photography. Her work has been widely published and her art is in many private collections. She has exhibited at the Annenberg Space for Photography in LA, Photographic Center Northwest, Seattle Center, McCaw Hall and Benaroya Hall in Seattle, and the Community Gallery at Tacoma Art Museum. Work from her fine art project “Paper Glass Paper” was exhibited in the Ireland Glass Biennale and her 2 exhibited pieces were acquired by OPW for the Irish State Art Collection. Rozarii is a former Blue Earth Alliance documentary photographer. She is a member of the American Society of Media Photographers and currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Photography Program at University of Washington. The imagery she creates is about observing, exploring, presenting the ordinary as extraordinary and presenting a unique perspective that invites the viewer to reconsider the scene. Her imagery also explores themes of identity, connectivity, and celebrates our human aspirations. - 


Siobhán ÓMócháin Breathnach - Born in Manhattan to Irish American parents with grandparents from Galway and Tipperary, I studied political science and history in college, taught history and art in Watts, and drama to high school youth with disabilities in LA. I enjoyed being a development professional for non-profit arts and multicultural organizations in Los Angeles, including the Bilingual Foundation of the Arts (BFA) and The Noah Purifoy Foundation that I co-founded with Assemblage sculptor Noah Purifoy. I’ve been a theatre actor, performer and writer. In honor of my Galway-born grandmother, I use her Irish name for expression in the spirit of her immigration and imagination. - 


Sionnan Wood - Sionnan's current practice focuses on painterly intuition informed by a rigorous representational skillset. She balances formal methods with her spontaneous, abstract process. Her body of work encompasses portraiture, still life, and abstract imagery. Her aesthetic concerns draw from an understanding of neuroaesthetics, and extensive knowledge of art traditional and emerging materials and techniques. - 


Stephen Moynes - Although primarily working in watercolour and acrylic, Stephen has long followed the work of Los Angeles artist Casey Rees and his generative art pieces. Stephen treats code as another medium of expression, one that enables us to create complex visual systems and emergent behaviour from simple elements that evolve over time in unexpected ways.


Tom Dowling (b. 1949, Newark, New Jersey, U.S.A.) is a visual artist who lives in Southern California and West Cork, Ireland. Raised in Los Angeles since 1954, he attended North Hollywood High School, L.A. Valley College, University of California at Santa Barbara (BA 1978), and University of California at Irvine (MFA 1980). Dowling is known primarily as a second generation West Coast minimalist with particular ties to a movement known as Baroque Minimalism. Influences include Tony Delap, Craig Kauffman, Doug Edge, and John Paul Jones. As an exhibiting artist for over 40 years, Dowling has shown frequently throughout California and in shows abroad. Balancing his teaching and artistic careers was key: he served as faculty at numerous California universities and colleges over a 38-year period. He led numerous study abroad trips to Italy, England, and Ireland. While in Europe he re-established his ancestral connection to Ireland where he obtained citizenship, and now spends half of each year. With active art studios in both countries, he continues to pursue his own unique aesthetic of combining the high and low elements and ideas to create paintings, sculpture, photography, and mixed media pieces. -

This exhibition has been made possible with support from the Government of Ireland Emigrant Support Programme, Culture Ireland, California Arts Council, LA County Arts Commission, CIACLA, MART Gallery & Studios and Building Bridges Art Exchange.

bottom of page