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Irish American painter to present diverse artistic styles



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Irish-American painter Patricia Leitch Cole will have an opening reception for "Oil Paintings, Monoprints, Watercolors & Drawings" on Feb. 2 at the Thomas Gallery. The gallery will be open from 5 to 8 p.m. every Friday in February  and also by appointment.  Courtesy Photo Buy Photos

Irish American painter Patricia Cole will have an opening reception for "Oil Paintings, Monoprints, Watercolors & Drawings" on Feb. 2 at the Thomas Gallery. The gallery will be open every Friday in February from 5 to 8 p.m., and also by appointment.

“Mostly considered a neo-expressionist, she often chooses subject matter that is often somewhat different for the form,” Thomas Gallagher, owner of the Thomas Gallery, said.

Born in Belfast, Ireland, Cole came to the United States at age three and settled in northern Indiana. She received a bachelor of fine arts in painting from IU and a master of fine arts in painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art.


Irish-American painter Patricia Leitch Cole will have an opening reception for "Oil Paintings, Monoprints, Watercolors & Drawings" on Feb. 2 at the Thomas Gallery. The gallery will be open from 5 to 8 p.m. every Friday in February  and also by appointment.  Courtesy Photo Buy Photos


“Cole’s work deals with issues of dislocation and the redeeming power of nature, love and relationship,” according to her Ivy Tech website biography.

In 2001, Cole served as president of the Bloomington Common Council. She authored Indiana’s first Percent for Art Ordinance in 1994, which proposed improvement projects where part of the project budget is committed to public art, according to her Ivy Tech website biography.

Cole also played an active role in establishing the Buskirk-Chumley Theater and the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center, according to her Ivy Tech website biography.

Cole traveled and studied in France and across Europe in 1977 and 1978 before she established her studio in Bloomington that year, according to her Ivy Tech website biography.

She has received awards and residencies, including Visiting Artist at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa, and L’Ecole des Beaux Arts in France. She is a recipient of the Andrew Carnegie Prize for Painting at the National Academy of Design and Artist’s Development Grant from the Indiana Arts Commission, according to her Ivy Tech website biography.

Cole has presented her work in the Grunwald Gallery at IU, the Blueline Gallery in Bloomington and the Indianapolis Museum of Art, as well as museums in Japan and across the United States.

Gallagher said that art exhibits, like Cole’s, do much for the cultural enrichment of Bloomington.

“A community rich in the arts does much to enhance the quality of life,” Gallagher said. 

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