With a name like Desmond O”Hagan and a mug to match it would be a surprise to no one to learn that the Colorado fine artist has roots to Ireland not far from the tree. “My father is from a small town in Donegal called Dungloe, and my mom is from Dublin. During WW2, my father watched the American bombers flying over northern Ireland. As a young boy from Dungloe, this was endlessly fascinating and impressive. He knew that when he was old enough, he would come to this country, join the Air Force and be part of the American dream. He emigrated to the U.S. when he was 18 and joined the Air Force some time later. After a few years in the service, he returned to Ireland, met my mother and got married. They were soon stationed at an Air Force base in Wiesbaden, Germany, where my sister and I were born. After a couple of years we returned to the states where my brother was born. We lived in Virginia, Alaska, and New Mexico, where eventually my father retired. Most of our extended family still lived in Ireland and England which led to frequent trips abroad to visit family”. In 1980 Desmond moved north along the Rockies to Denver. “I was studying at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque perusing a degree in architecture and fine art when I decided I didn’t want to be an architect. Through a series of fortunate events, I discovered the Colorado Institute of Art. At the Institute, I studied Advertising Design. After graduating, I embarked on a career as a graphic artist and worked for an advertising agency for four years”. During those years with the advertising agency Desmond”s artistic sensibilities pointed him in a new direction of expression. “Through those early years and around 1985, the interest in fine art deepened and with the support of a fearless wife I changed careers and decided to become a fine artist. I freelanced in graphic design for the first year to support myself during the transition and was represented by a few local galleries. Eventually, I was being represented by national galleries and entered several professional competitions which help build my career”. Desmond works in several media including oils, pastels, acrylics, and watercolors, but his favorites are oils and pastels. He paints a wide range of subjects with particular inspiration. “I’ve always been drawn to subjects that challenge me in painting. I especially enjoy urban scenes, figurative, interiors, and still lifes. The study of light is a constant element in all of my paintings. Whether it is the subtle colors at dusk, or a simple stream of light in a dimly lit interior, all these effects motivate me to capture the scenes on canvas or paper. When I travel, I’m constantly seeking out scenes containing intriguing effects of light. My travels have brought me to much of the U.S., many cities in Europe, and the Caribbean”. . The scenes that Desmond has captured have also caught the attention of fine art fans in the U.S. and Abroad. Listed in Who’s Who in American Art, he has been often honored in his profession. “My paintings have won national awards including the George Innes, Jr. Memorial Award for a Pastel from the Salmagundi Club in New York City, and the Connecticut Pastel Society Award and Hudson Valley Art Association Award both from the Pastel Society of America. I was also awarded the Prix’d Pastel Award from the International Association of Pastel Societies”. Irish America magazine included Desmond in their Top 100 Irish Americans issue n 2003. He was given a full page article in the issue showcasing his art. “This was terrific exposure for me and a thoroughly enjoyable experience. I flew to New York for their banquet at the Plaza hotel, and met some very interesting people. The people profiled in the magazine came from all walks of life including actors, writers, fireman, opera singers, and politicians. After 20 years as an artist, I’ve been very fortunate to have been featured in numerous national and international magazines and books which has been instrumental in creating a successful career, and Irish America was a terrific honor”. In a continuing effort to expand his business network and stay connected to his Irish roots Desmond recently joined Irish Network Colorado (INCO). INCO is one a number of networks that have organized across the country this year in response to an Irish government initiative to help network Irish Diaspora and friends of Irelands businesses and resources. He spoke enthusiastically of the Network. “I’m looking forward to experiencing all that the INCO is planning. It is a great concept for all those interested in connecting with businesses in Ireland. Locally, I’ve already met some great people thanks to the INCO’s social gatherings. I’ve participated in international shows in Japan, China, and France, and am always interested in international business connections which is what attracted me to INCO. It also brings together a segment of the Denver Metro business community that has common networking goals and a mutual interest in their Irish heritage”. Desmond”s fine art is represented in three galleries across the U.S. including Santa Fe, New Mexico, Ogden, Utah, and Boca Raton, Florida. He also will sell paintings through his Denver studio and through his website www.desmondohagan.com. He is happy to meet those interested in his art. “I always enjoy meeting new people and showing them the kind of work I do. My studio phone number is 303.691.3736 and is by appointment”. On Friday, November 19, 2010, Desmond will offer his annual one man studio show in Denver at 2882 South Adams Street. The Friday opening is from 6pm to 9pm, and 12pm to 4pm on Saturday the 20th. The show is titled “An Urban View” and will show paintings depicting scenes of the city including Denver, New York, and Paris. This show is open to the public. For more information, please go to www.desmondohagan.com (INCO members and those interested in joining will meet Saturday, November 20, at 4pm for wine, cheese, and view some of Desmond”s work at his studio2882 South Adams If you plan to attend please RSVP now to [email protected]) (From November 2010 Celtic Connection Newspaper)

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