Olwen O’Herlihy Dowling was born in Dublin Ireland and emigrated with her family to the United States. She grew up in Malibu California. Her primary inspirations in art are Mary Cassatt and Winslow Homer. Olwen paints images in oil and watercolor of the West of Ireland, as well as, North Chester where she lives in the Berkshire mountains. She is also a printmaker in Intaglio and is a Member of the Zea Mays Printmaking Studio. Olwen is also a member of the National Association of Women Artists.
Olwen’s paintings are in Private Collections in the United States and Europe. In recent years, she has exhibited at The James Joyce Gallery and The Hallward Gallery in Dublin, Ireland; Smith College Alumnae Gallery, Hosmer Gallery Northampton MA ; The Watkins Gallery Northampton MA; Olwen’s intaglio artwork is represented by the Zea Mays Flat File Project and her recent print work has been represented in group shows at the APE Gallery in Northampton and The Ferrin Gallery Pittsfield, Massachusetts. At the Lenox Gallery Massachusetts Olwen received Honorable Mention in the Fem in Art Show. Olwen has also worked for over two decades in the professional theatre. She has designed scenery and backcloths for theatrical productions. For over 20 years, Olwen has been producer, managing director, production manager and stage manager for professional theatrical institutions, as well as, director of The Northampton Center for the Arts. She graduated as a Studio Art Major with a minor in Biology from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. Olwen has also studied at the L’Ecole d’Art, Vallauris, France and the Sun Valley Arts Program in Hailey, Idaho. Olwen is currently represented by her own gallery in North Chester Massachusetts and works as an arts consultant. Olwen lived for ten years in Cleveland Ohio where she was Production Manager at The Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival and helped move the company downtown Cleveland to Playhouse Square.
For artist’s resume with complete list of exhibitions, press and collections, click here.
"All commendable art, in whatever form, falls into two major classes: the first is defined by a sense that everything depicted is in its rightful place and has been set there by the rules; the second begins where the first leaves off and above every other quality, disturbs the senses. Like Beethoven's, Olwen Dowling's works are roiled by powerful forces. Whatever the medium, her paintings disrupt one's sense of ease. Light and darkness clash on her canvasses and demand our attention. As with the Ireland they convey, we are sometimes inspired, at others amazed or gladdened but at no time are our emotions left unmoved. Hers are paintings that compel remembrance."
– Paul Elisha, NPR, WAMC