Don’t Forget You’re Irish

Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to help me launch this new Irish-Canadian exhibit.

Thank you to Melynda Jarratt who wrote the following press release:

« Don’t Forget You’re Irish » New exhibit at Doucet Hennessy House July 2018

(June 24, 2018) – A new exhibition by Bathurst artist Sharon Olscamp explores the role of memory in recapturing cultural identity through the experiences of an Irish-Canadian family in northern New Brunswick. The exhibit will be on display at the Doucet Hennessy House during the month of July and is free to the public.

Sharon Olscamp is the Artist-in-Residence this summer at the Doucet Hennessy House. She explains her inspiration came from childhood memories of her grandmother, Mrs. Beatrice Hennessy, saying « Don’t forget you’re Irish. »

« At the time I didn’t know what she meant and I didn’t really think of it much all these years until I was asked to create an exhibit as the first Artist-in-Residence of the Doucet Hennessy House, » says Olscamp.

« My art begins with the biological fact of being born into an Irish-Canadian family. A distant Irish past is long lost to most of us except in old stones and books. All I really have left are the words of my grand-mother. I realize now how important her stories were in shaping me and influencing my art. I sketch from old photos while trying to recall details about my particular Irish-Canadian family along a timeline that might offer very different memories for other members of the same family. » she says.

« Don’t Forget You’re Irish » will be open to the public from Tuesday, July 3 to Saturday, July 28, 2018 at the Maison Doucet Hennessy House, 375 St. Peter Avenue, Bathurst, NB.

The artist will be on site, every Tuesday through Saturday from 10am-4 pm, by chance or by appointment.

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2 thoughts on “Don’t Forget You’re Irish

  1. Marc-André Chiasson says:

    Hi, Sharon. Congratulations for your appointment as the first Artist-in-Residence at the Doucet-Hennessy house. I also think that the theme you have decided to explore about your Irish Canadian genesis is very interesting. If I do make it up to Bathurst this month, I’ll make it a point of dropping by. Also, I’m wondering if you saw the message I sent you a few weeks ago on Messenger. I had also sent an email to Gilles and never received an acknowledgement. Best wishes and hugs, my friend.

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    • Thank you Marc. Sorry but we’ve been very busy these past few months. Thankfully I had Gilles helping me by making the beautiful frames and keeping the house in some order while I madly painted and researched and wrote. A one-of-a-kind book I am working on is an important part of this exhibit.

      We had a very successful opening on Friday evening. It was a real Irish gathering and pretty exciting. I had hoped to have a wonderful Acadian fiddler there to play Celtic tunes but there was simply no budget. However, I was pleased and honoured to have an impromptu music session with Diane Rennie on stand-up bass, Jim Hennessy on guitar, Gilles Olscamp doing back-up and our Acadian friend Suzanne Cyr playing some fiddle tunes on her violin. We also had a little girl dancing what looked like a cross between Acadian step-dance and Irish jig. Interestingly, this child is a descendent of both the Doucet and Hennessy ancestors.

      I have no idea who all was actually invited to the opening because the Doucet-Hennessy House executive issued the invitations. Anyone who would wish to be invited to future cultural events might join the organization to ensure that they are not forgotten when invitations go out.

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