Connor Maguire was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland in 1977. A former pupil of De La Salle secondary school, Connor attained all his GCSE and A-level exams and continued on to study at the University of Ulster in Belfast. Taking a year away from his studies to work and travel, he spent a period of time in New York working in the United States.
Returning home Connor has now been working steadily as a freelance artist specialising in painting from watercolours to oils, printmaking in the form of woodcuts, linocuts and drawing in charcoal and graphite exhibiting on a local and national level.
Shortlisted Artist of the year 2017 in association with Artist & Illustrators magazine where he will be exhibiting in the Mall galleries ,London.
Connors paintings are inspired from anything ranging from everyday events, personal experiences, friends or family or just an idea of what something is.
After having his first solo exhibition in the Down Arts Centre in May 2003 he has continued to exhibit taking part in solo and group shows alongside Irelands most respected artists such as Neil Shawcross, Basil Blackshaw, Carol Graham and many other acclaimed painters recognised throughout Ireland. He will also be exhibiting with Neil Shawcross , Thomas Ryan, Denise Ferran and 16 other acclaimed irish artists who were asked to participate in an exhibition in Dublin which focuses on contemporary portraiture which opens January 2017.
Connors work has also been published by Californian fine art Company featuring in a book entitled “Creative minds”. Winning the Chairman’s award in 2003, Connor has gone on to win the "Stephens Award", "Anna Cheyne Award" and the "Carnathan Galleries Award" amongst others. He is the youngest member to gain membership to the Ulster Watercolour Society and exhibits on an annual basis with his paintings selling in each show.
After exhibiting in Hillsborough Castle he has received a personal letter from Prince Charles of Clarence house congratulating him on his participation and contribution to “The Prince’s trust” after representing his charity in the event. He has produced a limited edition range of work making his images more accessible to the public in the form of greeting cards and limited edition Giclee Print range which are available throughout several retailers in Northern Ireland such as the Wickerman in Belfast and Painted Earth in Newcastle.
In his own words: "I originally became interested in art at an early age where I would watch my Grandfather sketch and draw out ideas for projects who I greatly admired.
My Grandfather, an accomplished draughtsman, carpenter, designer and painter could do anything that he appied himself too and was the one who introduced me to pencil drawing and charcoal. Inspired and captivated seeing what he could accomplish with a pencil and a paintbrush I too attempted to paint as good as he did and believe Im still trying.
Over the next year I am hoping to concentrate a lot more on portraiture and introducing more figures into the paintings with a more realistic finish. Perhaps working on a larger scale .Who knows? At the moment I am still experimenting with a lot of different things and searching for what works best. I guess I will just wait and see what happens".
Recently Connor has been interviewed and taken part in BBC Radio 4 programmes talking about his work with broadcasting Journalists Perminder Khatkar and Helen Marks. He was shortlisted as Artist of the year in 2013 in association with Artists & Illustrators Magazine exhibiting in Londons prestigous Mall Galleries alongside some of Britains greatest Artists and has just recently been told that he has been shortlisted for a second time as Artist of the year 2017. He also had the opportunity to exhibit once more with some of Irelands finest artists which was in the MAC Theatre in Belfast in March 2014 which included a controversial piece by Damien Hirst who was also on show.
His work is to be featured in an Art cookbook in 2017 alongside some of Irelands finest like Philip harris and just recently exhibited with the Royal Hibernian Academy in Dublin which finished in June 2016. He was accepted into the Royal Ulster Academy exhibition which takes place in the Ulster Museum in Belfast in October 2016 which continues until Jan 2017.Connors work continues to progress and develop and continues to exhibit in galleries locally and nationally and is currently working towards a solo show consisting of woodcuts, drawings and paintings in the Framewerk gallery in Belfast which opens on the 13th April 2017.
Exhibitions & upcoming events
•Down arts centre ,solo exhibition, Downpatrick- 28th May 2003
•Mullans bar ,solo exhibition ,Downpatrick - 14th August 2003
•Hillsborough castle - 12th October 2003 •The Wickerman ,Belfast- 5th November 2003
•Armagh city Hotel - 4th December 2003 •Wellington park hotel ,Belfast - 18th February 2004
•Holy trinity centre ,Belfast -20th until 21st February 2004
•The Tile Refinery gallery , Belfast - 23rd until 28th February 2004
•Belfast Harlequins Art Exhibition, Deramore park, Belfast - 21st until 23rd April 2004.
•The Tile Refinery gallery - NIVAF exhibition 26th April until 8th May 2004
•The John Hewitt ,Donegal street, Belfast-solo exhibition,5th July 2004
•Meath & Adelaide hospital, DUBLIN-Group Exhibition,5th October 2004
•Ulster Watercolour Society ,Old Belmont school, church road, Belfast ,19th August 2005
•Anna Cheyne award ,Civic Arts Centre ,Lisburn ,1st September 2005
•Ulster Watercolour society exhibition,Holywood,18th August 2006
•Ulster Watercolour society exhibition, Newry arts centre,18th August 2006 •UWS -The Gordon gallery -Derry sep 2007
•Solo exhibition "A Collection so far"-The Down Arts centre -Downpatrick 8th May 2008 •Ulster Watercolour society group show"-The Old Northern Bank building Cathedral quarter -Belfast 29th May 2008
•Down Arts Centre Exhibition, Downpatrick, Co.Down, N.Ireland - Nov 2008
•Ulster Watercolour Society Exhibition -Letterkenny, Co.Donegal, Republic of Ireland - Nov 2008
•Exhibition of Paintings by Northern Ireland Artists - Harlequins, Deramore Park, Belfast, Co. Down , N.Ireland ,7pm 31st March
•Ulster Watercolour Society Exhibition -Northern bank building, Donegal street , Belfast ,May 2009
• UWS -Ulster Watercolour society exhibition-Down Arts Centre , October - 2009
• Christmas Group Exhibition - Down Arts Centre , Downpatrick, November - 2009 •Group Exhibition - Red Rag Gallery , Stow in the Wold, Cheltenham , England - 2009
•Charity Auction Autumn Ball Exhibition-Ufford Park Hotel, Woodbridge ,England , 25th September -2009
• UWS -Ulster Watercolour society exhibition-Northern bank building,Waring street Belfast- 7.30pm 22nd May 2010
•Tuesdays Child Christmas Art Exhibition- in the Northern Bank building,2 Waring St, Belfast 14th December 2010
•Tuesdays Child Christmas Gala Ball Art Auction-Opened by Lord Mayor Cllr Pat Convery,Paul Clark from UTV is MC and music is by Siobhan Pettit and her 9 piece swing band in the Belfast City Hall-18th December 2010
•Yard Gallery Christmas Exhibition, Holywood, Co.Down, N.Ireland- Tuesday 23rd December 2010
•RUA -Royal Ulster Academy exhibition of Irish artists - Ulster Museum ,Belfast, 21st October 2011
•One foot square exhibition - Higher Bridges Gallery, Enniskillen- 1st December until 21st December 2011
•Group show arranged by Katie Larmour BBC presenter- Marine Court Hotel ,Bangor, Co.Down, N.Ireland -October 2012
•Group shown Exhibition Commencing on the 12th MAR to 15th MAR 2013 in the BELFAST HARLEQUINS CLUB
•UWS -ULSTER WATERCOLOUR SOCIETY-Waterfront Hall ,Gallery 2,Belfast .Open to public 13th NOV 2013
•ARTIST AND ILLUSTRATORS ARTIST OF THE YEAR AWARDS EXHIBITION,-THE MALL GALLERIES, London, JAN 2014
•NSPCC Group show of Ireland Artists taking place in THE MAC THEATRE Belfast.Open for viewing only on the 24th,25th,26th March 2014 between 10am until 7pm
•Belfast Harlequins Exhibition of Northern Irish Artists-Deramore Park, Belfast 22nd April 2015.
•Shortlisted for the Royal Institute of Portrait Painters - Mall Galleries, London ,June, 2015.
•DRAWINGS & WOODCUTS Exhibition - Down arts Centre, Downpatrick, 14th May. Click HERE to check out my blog
•Charity Exhibition for Children with Cancer with Ross Wilson and Irish Arists - Spa primary School, Ballynahinch, 10 th Feb 2016.
•ROYAL HIBERNIAN ACADEMY - Ely Place, Dublin, Ireland. Opening night 21st March and finishes on the 11th June 2016.For more details click HERE
•ROYAL VICTORIA HOSPITAL Therapeutic Art Gallery - Falls Road, Belfast. Opening Early April 2016
•ROYAL ULSTER ACADEMY-Ulster museum, Belfast - 8th October and continues until 7th Jan 2017
•EXHIBITION OF CONTEMPORARY PORTRAITURE-IGS building ,Dublin - Jan 28th 2017
•ARTIST OF THE YEAR 2017-Mall Galleries, London - Jan 2017
•DRAWINGS,PAINTINGS & WOODCUTS SOLO SHOW-Framewerk gallery,Newtonards road, Belfast - April 13th 2017
•HARLEQUINS NORTHERN IRISH ARTISTS-Harlequins Rugby club, Belfast - 25th April until 30th April 2017
•Bushmills Gallery - Bushmills, Coleraine, Co. Antrim, N.Ireland
•White Image - lisburn road , Hillsborough, Co. Down, N.Ireland
•The Yard gallery - Holywood ,Belfast , N.Ireland
•The Norman gallery - Wexford, Republic of Ireland
•The Old Schoolhouse gallery - Dundrum, N.ireland
•The Kenny gallery- Galway, Republic of Ireland
•The Red Rag gallery - Stow in the Wold, Cheltenham , England
•Lavelle Art Gallery -Clifden , Connemara , Galway, Ireland
•Ireland art- Newtonabbey , Belfast
•The Wickerman - Belfast , N.Ireland
•Painted Earth - Newcastle , N.Ireland
•Canvas Galleries - Stranmillis Road, Belfast
•Black canvas gallery - Holywood, Belfast
•Received letter of congratulations from Prince Charles as well as having it published in the Hillsborough Castle exhibition catalogue
•Work published by American Art publisher to be featured in book "Creative Minds" December 2004
•Awarded membership to the Ulster Watercolour Society August 2004
•Work in collection of Island Civic Arts Centre, Lisburn
•Work sold to famous Irish artist and collector Jim Fitzpatrick
•Northern Ireland Pure Home Magazine feature July 2008 issue
•Irish News Full featured interview by Jenny Lee 10/05/08
•Interview by Culture Northern Ireland 15/05/08
•Interview by Marie Louise Muir BBC Radio Ulster 07/06/08
•Tiger Aspect Productions using paintings as back set for BBC programme "MEGANANNY-Undercover Dads" to be featured on Sunday morning television beginning in July 2009
•SHORTLISTED for ARTIST AND ILLUSTRATORS ARTIST OF THE YEAR AWARDS EXHIBITION,-THE MALL GALLERIES, London, JAN 2014
•INTERVIEW with PERMINDER KHATKAR BBC RADIO 4 ABOUT MY ART AND DOCUMENTARY ON THE EAST COAST OFF N.IRELAND OCT 2013
•Work to be published in Art cookbook alongside Ireland's finest Artists in Dublin 2017
•SHORTLISTED for ARTIST AND ILLUSTRATORS ARTIST OF THE YEAR AWARDS EXHIBITION-THE MALL GALLERIES, London, Jan 2017
•LONGLISTED for Jacksons Art Open Painting Prize April 2017
•Awarded Down Chairman's Award March 2003
•Awarded F.B Steven award August 2005
•Awarded Anna Cheyne award September 2005
•Awarded Carnathan Galleries award ,UWS August 2006
•Shortlisted Artist of the Year Award with Artist & Illustrator Magazine 2013
•Shortlisted Artist of the Year Award with Artist & Illustrator Magazine 2017
•Arts Council NI award 2017
•Recieved West Dean College award at Artists of the year Exhibition-The Mall Galleries, London, Jan 2017
Curiator Art Gallery