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The Montenotte Hotel
Cork City

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Jo-Anne Yelen welcomed as Artist in Residence at The Montenotte
The South-African born contemporary painter creates art that uplifts and evokes a positive response
 Thurs 17th August 2023

Pictured: Artist Jo-Anne Yelen and Frits Potgieter, General Manager of The Montenotte

This August, The Montenotte welcomes renowned contemporary painter, Jo-Anne Yelen for a six-month exhibition within the hotel’s lobby. Passionate about supporting the arts, The Montenotte’s long-standing Artist in Residence programme aims to showcase the very best of Iocal and Irish-based artists to guests. The programme – now in its sixth year – is in partnership with The Gallery Kinsale, a local art gallery that represents the best local and national talent who have left an indelible mark on the Irish art scene and continue to push the boundaries of creativity – having recently hosted the likes of Nathan Neven and Paul Christopher Flynn.

Originally from a remote village in South Africa, Yelen and her family moved to Ireland in the late 1970s and settled on the Ring of Kerry. Having emigrated from her home, Jo-Anne and her family started a new life in Ireland, and it was when she was battling from the shock of moving that Yelen started to notice artworks in public places which, while expertly rendering the environment and climate, were doing little to remedy her mood. Inspired and invigorated by this, Jo-Anne started to paint, making a promise to herself that any painting she produced must, as part of its purpose, uplift the viewer and evoke a positive response. She comments that “My purpose as an artist is to uplift the viewer and evoke a positive response from their psyche. I have always held true to this fundamental, notwithstanding the natural style changes and evolution, that an artist must go through to maintain their own interest and, thus, a freshness in their work.”

Her artistic talent was recognised and nurtured by her mother who was an art-enthusiast and talented painter. Becoming a budding artist at the age of 18 with a unique style, Jo-Anne nicknamed her artistic style as ‘Thru-ism’ due to the fact that viewers can see both the outside of the scene, and through to the inside. Today, her art can still be described as naïve with a colourful twist, instantly recognisable, it appeals to viewers on so many levels she depicts local scenes and villages in a myriad of vibrant colours and ensuring that the spectator walks away from the work with a smile on their face. Jo-Anne’s works are exhibited in a number of galleries and private collections across the world.

Frits Potgieter, General Manager of The Montenotte, says: “As a hotel with a passion for design and the arts, we are very proud of our Artist in Residence programme to support local talent, and to showcase some of Ireland’s best and up-and-coming talent to our guests. Jo-Anne Yelen’s colourful work is an uplifting treat, something that mimics our offerings here at The Montenotte as Cork’s leading urban resort. We have no doubt our guests and staff will enjoy her work!”

Ken Buckley, Director of The Gallery Kinsale, states: “We are thrilled to be continuing our ongoing Artist-in-Residence programme at The Montenotte with this exhibition from esteemed artist, Jo-Anne Yelen. As a painter who has an incredibly colourful and uplifting style, we know that guests will enjoy seeing her splashes of colour and intricate scenes throughout the hotel’s lobby.”

The Montenotte is the ideal destination in Cork for art-lovers and culture-seekers, inviting guests to visit the multi-award-winning, design-led urban resort on their next trip to Ireland.

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