Bray-based artist Róisín O’Farrell has been named the IBAM Chicago 2023 Visual Artist of the Year.  Nominated by Cork gallery owner, Ken Buckley, and artist Phillip Gray, the prestigious award is to be presented at a Gala Awards Dinner at the Irish American Heritage Centre in Chicago on November 18th next.

Other winners of IBAM awards this year include Colm Tóbín for literature, Eileen Dunne for broadcasting, and author and filmmaker Dr. Mary Pat Kelly, as Person of the Year.  A weekend IBAM festival programme will showcase Irish art, painting demonstrations, live music, book reviews and author talks, as well as the awards ceremony.  

Róisín O’Farrell has enjoyed a meteoric rise to become one of Ireland’s most successful artists, both commercially and artistically popular.  She is known for her vibrant, emotionally resonant works, in jewel-like colours, that capture the essence of home, family, and the human spirit. 

Personalities including Jeremy Clarkson, Máiréad Ronan, Gavin Lambe Murphy and the late Sir Jack Leslie have collected her work, and Róisín’s paintings regularly pop-up in films, TV and advertising.

Her bright, colourful paintings in textured, buttery oils feature light-filled period interiors, with vintage furnishings and china teacups, as well as her charming whimsical gatherings of Wellington boots on door steps and in hallways.

The artist’s recent work features abstract landscapes that reflect a new and contemporary development in her work, and reflect a new life-stage for the Irish artist, who now spends a large part of the year abroad, hosting transformative art retreats for creative women.



A Rare Breed

Obviously delighted with the international recognition, Róisín O’Farrell is hoping the U.S. award platform will extend awareness of her art and teaching work.

I am among a rare breed of Irish artists, managing to make a living doing what I love, creating and teaching art.  So, I do count myself fortunate.  Being awarded this prize in Chicago is like the icing on the cake, and a super honour when you think of Irelands immense artistic talent.”

Award organiser, IBAM Chicago, is a non-profit organisation dedicated to celebrating Irish Books, Arts and Music, since 2009.   Previous award winners include Liam Neeson, Gabriel Byrne, Jim Sheridan and Stephen Rae for Performing Arts; musicians Sharon Shannon, Maura O’Connell, and Daniel O’Donnell; writers Colum McCann, Marian Keyes and Tim Pat Coogan, and artists Phillip Gray, Jim Fitzpatrick and Robert Ballagh.

Róisín O’Farrell’s family, from Dalkey and Kinsale, is steeped in art.  Her mother, Patricia Aherne O’Farrell, is also a talented artist.  Living in Wicklow, between the sea and the mountains, Róisín says the light and landscape on the east coast fuels her artistic energy.

Ironically, being made redundant in 2009, propelled the talented Irish artist from the world of business into creative pursuits.  Posting her works on social media quickly led to gallery representation and a first sell-out solo show in 2010.  

Since her discovery, Róisín O’Farrell’s work has been widely exhibited in established galleries across Ireland and the UK, with sellout exhibitions in London, Edinburgh, Amsterdam, Barcelona and in the United States. 

A mum to two daughters, Róisín O’Farrell is both a passionate artist and teacher, deeply committed to nurturing creativity in others.  She teaches and, more recently, hosts inspirational artists retreats in Ireland, the U.S.A., and in Malta.

More detail is available on and at