Following a call for Cork artists to create a mural to mark Down Syndrome Ireland’s 50th Anniversary, the Cork branch is delighted to announce that local artist Paul La Rocque has been chosen to create the commemorative piece. The 10ft artwork will feature on Cork City Library, Grand Parade in October and span the width of the building.
Originally from Canada, Paul has been living in Cork for 35 years and lives in Passage West with his wife and three children. Having studied Art & Computer Science, Paul uses a mix of art and technology in his modern vibrant pieces and works from The Cork Printmakers on Wandesford Quay. As an art teacher Paul has extensive experience working with people of all abilities and backgrounds and currently teaches inmates in Cork Prison which he finds very rewarding.
Speaking about being chosen, Paul says, “I’m honored to have been chosen to create such an important piece for the city which I hope will resonate with families of people with Down syndrome and the wider public. I’m looking forward to working with some of the members of Down Syndrome Cork at its Field of Dreams who will feature in the artwork.”
Manager of Down Syndrome Cork, and Field of Dreams Ray O’Callaghan says, “We are really excited to get this project off the ground and to have secured an iconic building like Cork City Library is fantastic! I want to thank Cork City Council for giving us this opportunity and I know Paul La Rocque will deliver an eye-catching piece that will get people talking and drive awareness of the many people with Down syndrome in our city, who make valuable contributions to our communities.
Patricia Looney, Senior Executive Librarian of Cork City Libraries says, “Cork City Libraries ethos of access and inclusion provides welcoming spaces for people with disabilities, so The City Library is the perfect location for the artwork to spread awareness, encourage discussion and highlight the wonderful work of the organisation. We are privileged to provide the canvas for Paul La Rocque’s work highlighting Down Syndrome Ireland’s 50th Anniversary.”
This is the second mural in the country created on behalf of Down Syndrome Ireland. A mural by renowned street artist Joe Caslin over the Summer, on Dublin’s Harcourt Street, featuring Amanda Butler had huge national appeal. The murals are part of the charity’s 50th celebrations which includes the launch of The Upside campaign which focuses on four key aspects of life for a person with Down syndrome: health, education, employment, and life in the community.