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Artist Helen O´Leary was born in County Wexford, Ireland, and studied at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin before coming to the United States. She came here to continue her studies at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and then attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (BFA 1987; MFA 1989). O'Leary went on to join the faculty of the School of Visual Arts at Pennsylvania State University in 1991, where today she is a professor of art.
Helen O'Leary has participated in group exhibitions around the world: National Gallery of Art (Limerick, Ireland); the Glasgow Museum of Art; the Scott Pfaffman Gallery (New York); the Galerie le Petit Port (Leiden, Netherlands); the Contemporary Arts Centre (Sydney); and in Shanghai, where she participated in Cead in China, a traveling exhibition that started in Gallery 411.
Among the many venues that have mounted solo exhibitions of O'Leary's work are The Zolla/Lieberman Gallery (Chicago); the Michael Gold Gallery (New York); the Victorian College of the Arts (Melbourne); The Beverly Art Centre (Chicago); the Sanskriti Foundation (New Delhi); and the Catherine Hammond Gallery (Cork, Ireland)