Local artist Vincent Devine is one of a large number of artists to support the Tullamore Lions Club online art auction on Friday, April 14, to raise funds for Esker Arts Centre, and he is pictured in his Tullamore Studio with Lions Club members, Dymphna Bracken and Christy May, and Managing Director of Midlands 103 and presenter of the 'Midlands Today Show' Will Faulkner, who is also supporting the fundraising event.

High profile response to Tullamore Lions Club online art auction

Acclaimed local artist, Vincent Devine, whose portrait of cervical cancer awareness campaigner, the late Vicky Phelan, raised €58,000 at a charity art auction, is just one of many high profile artists who have responded to the call from Tullamore Lions Club for donations to their online art auction on Friday, April 14, to raise funds for Esker Arts Centre.

The online auction is part of a trio of fundraising events - along with a Gala Concert and a monster raffle - all of which will take place on April 14, to mark the much-anticipated opening of Esker Arts Centre in Tullamore.

Vincent Devine, who is a native of Clara, has donated a bespoke commission to the online art auction, which will be sold to the highest bidder. Having recently had a sellout show at the Irish debut of his 'Manifesto' collection to one of Ireland's most prominent art collectors, he said he wants to "paint something you cannot hold in the palm of your hand or see with the naked eye" for the lucky purchaser of his online donation.

His work has been lauded by many well-known stars from the world of showbusiness such as Shakira, Will.I.Am and Alanis Morrisette, and he has also had work commissioned by Tyra Banks, Roisin Murphy and Iggy Azalea. Vincent's works has also featured on Madonna's 'Rebel Heart' tour.

Among his other works is a portrait of the founder of the SDLP, the late John Hume, which had a price tag of €50,000 when it was exhibited at the Art Source event in the RDS last year, and was subsequently sold. The John Hume portrait was exhibited alongside Andy Warhol's iconic 1975 portrait of Mick Jagger, signed by both artist and singer and valued at €125,000, and two Banksy prints 'Stop and Search' and 'Naphalm'.

Another well-known local artist who has donated to the Lions Club online art auction is architect and town planner, Fergal McCabe, who is a member of the Watercolour Society of Ireland. His compelling work features a mixed media image of all the great architecture of the Irish monastic period, including Clonfert Cathedral; Cormac's Chapel; Glendalough and Clonmacnoise. This unique work is sure to be of both local and national interest.

Friday, April 14, will begin with the online art auction being organised by Tullamore Lions Club and supported by local auctioneer, Brendan Hannigan of LSL Auctions. The auction will be promoted by Midlands 103 radio and members of the public will be able to view each piece of art online prior to making a bid, or they can see many of the works for sale on display in various business premises in Tullamore as part of the Lions Club Art Trail.

Up to 40 pieces of art have already been donated for the online art auction and the organisers of this unique event are still accepting donations of art works by artists from across the Midlands. Any artist wishing to donate a piece of their work should contact www.tullamorelionsclub.com as soon as possible.

On the evening of Friday, April 14, a Gala Concert will take place in Esker Arts Centre, and this will be the inaugural event at the newly-opened venue. The historic concert will feature the Dublin Welsh Male Voice Choir, appearing in Tullamore for the first time, along with two local choirs, the Tullamore Academy of Music Choir, under the direction of Ciaran Brady, and the Tullamore Stage School Ladies Choir, under the direction of Regina McCarthy.

The Gala Concert, tickets for which sold out within 48 hours, promises to be a unique and historical occasion for the town and its environs. The €50 tickets include a champagne and canapé reception on the night.

The monster raffle, which also takes place on the night of the Gala Concert, has a first prize of €1,000 as well as numerous other prizes including weekends away, colour TV, and golf and meal vouchers. Tickets for the raffle are now available from Lions Club members and from selected outlets.