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.
Artists & Illustrators magazine
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. In August 2017 Connor participated in a book launch entitled "The Artists Cookbook" which consisted of 100 Irish artists contributing a piece of art in the form of their favorite recipe. Other Irish artists who were involved were Gordon Harris and PJ Lynch who is currently Irelands Laureate na nÓg. Sales of the published book were donated in aid of Syria/Iraq victims.
Connor has just finished a commission for Australian progressive rock band "Caligulas Horse" designing and painting their album cover which is due for release worldwide in September 2017, which will be available in both vinyl and CD format. You can read more about this on his blog by clicking here.
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", "Carnathan Galleries Award", "West Dean College Award" amongst many 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 applied himself too and was the one person 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".
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 prestigious Mall Galleries alongside some of Britains greatest Artists. He was shortlisted once more for a second time as Artist of the year 2017 with the same magazine winning the West Dean College Award exhibiting again in the Mall Galleries in London.
He exhibited with the Royal Hibernian Academy in Dublin in 2016 alongside Irelands finest painters like Blaise Smith, Conor Walton, Fergus Ryan and many others. In the same year he was accepted into the Royal Ulster Academy exhibition which took place in the Ulster Museum, Belfast in October 2016 which continued until Jan 2017. Once more Connor was accepted into the Royal Ulster Academy where he will be exhibiting in the Ulster museum, Belfast in October 2017 exhibiting amongst irish artists like Colin Davidson, Denise Ferran, Nicholas Robinson, Gareth Reid (Sky portrait Artist of the Year) and many others. Connor had a solo show exhibiting his work in April 2017 consisting of 35 charcoal drawings in the form of portraiture in the Framewerk Gallery which is curated by Dawn Richardson located in Belfast.
Connor welcomes commissions of any kind and continues to progress and develop his work exhibiting in galleries locally and on a national level.