Waterford City & County Council and the Office of Public Works (OPW) recently held a portrait commission under the Per Cent for Art Scheme. In Phase 1 of this project, artist Blaise Smith RHA, was commissioned to paint a large scale view of Waterford City to serve as a companion piece to the famous painting in the Waterford Art Collection, View of Waterford by Willem Van Der Hagen.

For Phase 2, five highly regarded artists were invited to submit proposals. The intention of the commission was to provide imaginative space for the invited artists to respond to the brief in the most creative way possible so that the final work will demonstrate creative excellence in portraiture. The commissioned work will be housed in the context of the Waterford Gallery of Art and the Waterford Art Collection. The OPW and Waterford City & County Council are pleased to announce that Una Sealy RHA has been awarded the commission.

Una Sealy is an award-winning painter, and is an elected Member of the Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA). She has held eleven solo exhibitions to date, and her work has been selected for curated group shows in San Francisco, New York, Dallas, Britain and China, as well as many in Ireland, exhibiting regularly at the RHA Annual Exhibition. Her work is featured in many public collections including Fingal County Council, Galway City Council, NUI Galway, Dublin City University, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, the Haverty Trust, Boyle Civic Collection, Little Museum of Dublin, Office of Public Works, Commission for Energy Regulation, National Self Portrait Collection, and the Great Book of Ireland.

Una is a regular tutor on drawing courses in the National Gallery of Ireland and the RHA School where she has developed a teaching module on Anatomy for Artists in association with the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. She was a judge on both series of RTÉ’s Painting the Nation in 2016 and 2017.

The portrait will feature Waterford artist Caoilfhionn Hanton who is making a name for herself on the national art scene in a fast growing street-art movement.  Caoilfhionn has participated in Waterford Walls since its inception, and is currently a Fine Art student at WIT. The portrait will depict Caoilfhionn in her work clothes in front of one of her street-art installations in Waterford.

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