Until recently, Celtic art was nearly a lost art, a cultural remnant of Bronze Age warriors and early medieval monks. Today, due to the resurgence of all things Celtic, there are artists on both sides of the Atlantic who have mastered the elements of this ancient art form and are using these elements to express contemporary ideas, while retaining the essence of the style. The touring exhibition American Celtic highlights some of the foremost illuminators of 21st century Celtic art.
With their uniquely American perspective, artists Cindy Matyi, Steve O’Loughlin, Jen Delyth, Patrick Gallagher and Michael Carroll employ their Celtic art skills to convey the realities and conundrums of modern life. Their incorporation of traditional Celtic spirals, knotwork and patterns rich with symbolism creates visual storytelling unlike any you may have seen before. From 2000 to 2007, US viewers had the opportunity to see first hand these new creations. In 2010, American Celtic returned for its tenth anniversary tour; joining the original five members were fellow US Celtic artists Alec MacCrea, Ed Rooney, and Lisa Laughy.
Since the turn of the 21st century, the AMERICAN CELTIC group has sought to promote both practice of the ancient art and public awareness of its vital role in modern society. The artists of American Celtic invite you to join them on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/AmericanCelticArt/
CYNTHIA MATYI (Cincinnati,OH)
A Celtic artist as well as a painter of impressionistic landscapes, Cindy Matyi participated in many exhibitions in the United States, Canada and Europe. Matyi was among a growing company of post-modern artists whose original work is attracting international attention as part of a living tradition. In 1985, while on a visit to Scotland, she encountered a rhythmic style of Celtic art which has intrigued and dominated her paintings ever since. Interlace, spirals, and restless motifs used by ancient tribes and later transformed by monks into complex illuminated manuscript pages, would play an important role in the large oil paintings she created. But her contemporary works go well beyond replication.
"I feel that this style, with its fantastical variations on the interconnectedness of the natural world, adapts well to the themes of my work which include ecology, peace, renewal and creativity. The intricacy of the designs fascinate people, and I add many chromatic variations to delight and attract viewers on an aesthetic basis, first, while gently luring them into the world of the painting and the message it contains."
Born and raised in Ohio, Cindy was influenced at an early age by her Appalachian grandmother's stories which she said "really fired my imagination". She developed a love of history, legend and the supernatural, rooted in the Scots-Irish tradition. After a lengthy career in health care, she returned to school and earned a BFA in painting at Mt. St. Joseph College. She regularly gave workshops in Celtic art and was the founder of the touring art exhibition "American Celtic". Cindy's work has appeared in galleries throughout the US and in Europe. She has illustrated book and CD covers, posters and websites, played traditional Irish music with her husband Stephen Matyi in their band Silver Arm. She also founded and served as the artistic director of the Cincinnati Celtic World Festival for many years.
Our dear friend and founder Cindy Matyi passed away in 2014. We the artists of American Celtic respectfully and lovingly dedicate our future work to her memory.