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Helen O’Leary Awarded Guggenheim Fellowship

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Helen O'Leary, Penn State professor of art and artist and painter, has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for 2010-2011, which will allow her to continue her research on Irish writer Samuel Beckett and to create a new body of work for exhibition that materializes Beckett's writing through her art. She has also been invited to serve as Irish Fellow in Residence at the Irish College in Paris, where she will spend the first three months of her year-long sabbatical. She is one of only three Irish writers and artists awarded the Irish Fellowship for 2010-2011.

While in Paris, O'Leary will immerse herself in the community where Beckett lived and worked and make material responses to his work using cardboard, wood, paper and paint. The Guggenheim Fellowship will permit O’Leary to then live in Berlin, a thriving cultural capital, and participate in the GlogauAIR Artist Residency, which will offer open studio and exhibition possibilities as well as public interaction with other artists.

O’Leary earned her M.F.A. and B.F.A. at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine and the National College of Art and Design in Dublin, Ireland. She has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Penn State College of Arts and Architecture Faculty Award for Outstanding Teaching, Joan Mitchell Award for Painting and two Pollock Krasner Awards. She has exhibited her paintings and collaborative projects in New York, Chicago, Denver and throughout Ireland.

Contact: Flora W. Marynak,