Philadelphia Showcase for Donegal Designer-makers

Philadelphia Showcase for Donegal Designer-makers
Philadelphia Showcase for Donegal Designer-makers

In November, five Donegal designer-makers travelled to Philadelphia to showcase their incredible creative talents at the gala ‘Straight out of Ireland’ event organised by the Irish Immigration Centre.

Jewellery makers Hannah McGuinness and Anne Vekins and knitwear specialists Bernie Murphy, Michelle McCarroll and Edel MacBride were among almost 40 Irish and American artists and makers who showcased work inspired by contemporary Ireland.

The Greater Philadelphia area has one of the highest concentrations of Irish Americans in the country. Kathleen Kenneally is President of the Board of the Irish Immigration Centre of Philadelphia, and she says the Irish Immigration Centre of Philadelphia wanted to bring people together to get a first-hand experience of Ireland’s contemporary culture:

“We feel it is important to help people look beyond Ireland as a land of shamrocks and Guinness and see it as a globally trendsetting hub for business, art, fashion and more.” she said.

Head of Enterprise in Donegal, Michael Tunney, said the Local Enterprise Office in Donegal was delighted through the Creative Coast initiative to support the five local designer-makers in attending the gala showcase:

“Over the past number of years through the Diaspora and other projects we have been growing stronger links between Donegal and the Irish community in Philadelphia and this event provided another opportunity to build upon those links,” he said.

Straight Out of Ireland aimed to bring the evolution of traditional Irish art to life by exhibiting a range of aesthetics that highlight the modern style and soul of Ireland including ceramics, drawings, glass, jewellery, lace, paintings, photography, fashion and more. 

Funds from Straight Out of Ireland will benefit the Irish Immigration Centre of Philadelphia, enabling the organisation to continue carrying out its mission to support the Irish immigrant community in Philadelphia and strengthen the heritage on a local, national and international level.

More information about the event can be found online at