Mick O'Dea

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Mick O'Dea (born 1958) is an Irish artist best known as a painter of portraits and historical subjects.

The second youngest of five children, O'Dea grew up in Ennis, County Clare, the son of Mick and Margaret O'Dea. He displayed talent for portraiture at a young age, recalling "I drew incessantly."[1] From 1976 to 1981 O'Dea studied at the National College of Art and Design, and the University of Massachusetts. He continued his studies in Barcelona and at the Winchester School of Art, where he was awarded an M.A. in European Fine Art in 1997.[2]

O'Dea has received numerous awards, and has exhibited internationally. Among the public collections in which his works are included are The National Gallery of Ireland, Arts Council of Ireland, Royal Hibernian Academy, Bank of Ireland, Trinity College Dublin, University of Limerick, The National Self-Portrait Collection, The National Drawing Collection, and Limerick City Gallery of Art.[3] He has taught at the National College of Art and Design, Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology, The National Gallery, Portlaoise Prison, the Lyme Academy College of Fine Art and the Royal Hibernian Academy, of which he is a member.[4] From 2008 to 2011 he was the first School Principal of the RHA.[5]In 2014 he was elected President of the Royal Hibernian Academy.[6][7] He is a member of Aosdána.[8]

In 2009 O'Dea was commissioned by the National Gallery of Ireland to paint a portrait of playwright Brian Friel.[9] Recent historical themes have included paintings depicting the Black and Tans and the Irish War of Independence.[10]


  1. ^ Portrait of a contented man, Independent.ie, July 22, 2012
  2. ^ Mick O'Dea, RHA, Clare County Library
  3. ^ Clare County Library
  4. ^ biography, RHA Archived 2010-02-27 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ RHA School Archived 2012-11-18 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Kevin Kavanagh Gallery » Mick O'Dea PRHA". www.kevinkavanagh.ie. Retrieved 2018-06-05.
  7. ^ "Members". RHA. 2013-04-17. Retrieved 2018-06-05.
  8. ^ "Members | Aosdana". aosdana.artscouncil.ie. Retrieved 2018-06-05.
  9. ^ Ministry of Culture unveils portrait of Brian Friel at National Gallery, National Gallery of Ireland Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Trouble, The Irish Times, April 27, 2012


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