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FSU Museum of Fine Arts brings Irish contemporary art to Tallahassee

Published January 22, 2024


A piece of artwork features a plant painted over a rich blue background.

Miriam de Búrca. “The Land Remembers for You.” 2018. Acrylic ink on watercolor paper. 12.5 inches x 9.5 inches. Image courtesy of Miriam de Búrca and Cristea Roberts Gallery.

Florida State University’s Museum of Fine Arts (MoFA) presents a multidisciplinary exhibition that considers relationships between people, language, land and sea through the work of 10 Irish artists.

Two people are holding up sticks on a beach

Siobhán Ní Dhuinnín and her father Pádraig Ó Duinnín in rehearsal for Bád Shiobhán (2021). Image courtesy of Siobhán Ní Dhuinnín.(Photo by Claire Keogh)

“Talamh agus Teanga: Land and Language in Contemporary Irish Art” will be on display from Jan. 25-May 18, with an opening reception from 6-8 p.m. Jan. 25. This exhibit comes as the Florida State Seminoles football team prepares to take its first-ever trip to Ireland this August for the Aer Lingus College Football Classic.

“I am a proud speaker of the Irish language, and I have enjoyed working with each of these artists and MoFA staff to bring this exhibit to MoFA,” said Kristin Dowell, curator and art history professor. “This is an opportunity for visitors to see work by leading artists within the field of contemporary Irish art, some of which is being exhibited for the first time in the U.S. I’m excited to share this celebration of Ireland’s language, art and culture with the Tallahassee community.”

Talamh agus Teanga (pronounced Tall-uv awe-gus tain-gah) means “Land and Language” and is a way for the community to see how artists engage the Irish language in contemporary creative practice to reflect on our interconnected worlds.

“This exhibit features a wide variety of work including visual art, dance and film –– there’s something for everyone,” said Michael Carrasco, interim director of the museum. “With two other exciting exhibits on display as well, including a show celebrating our 50th anniversary, there’s never been a better time to visit MoFA.”

A piece of art hangs in a gallery. This art is a sphere covered in all kinds of plants.

“Talamh agus Teanga: Land and Language in Contemporary Irish Art.” Installation view of Méadhbh O’Connor’s work, Florida State University Museum of Fine Arts, 2024. Courtesy of the artist. (Kelly Hendrickson)

Gathering artists who are both native speakers and learners of Irish, the exhibition explores the ethos of “fite fuaite,” the Irish phrase meaning “interwoven or inextricably connected,” through visual art, dance, film, installation and performance.

Artists featured in the exhibition are Kari Cahill, Ceara Conway, Liadin Cooke, Dorothy Cross, Miriam de Búrca, Katie Holten, Siobhán Ní Dhuinnín, Méadhbh O’Connor, Éimear O’Keane and Kathy Scott, director of The Trailblazery, a forum for Irish cultural activism.

The exhibit and opening reception are free and open to the public. Visitors can also explore “50 Years of Collecting,” a special exhibit highlighting the museum’s permanent collections, and “All Hands on Deck: 15 Years of Collaboration at Small Craft Advisory Press.”

On Feb. 8, the museum will host its second annual Roaming Art and Wine Tour. This fundraising event will offer a taste of all three of the museum’s current exhibits alongside curated wines from local downtown Tallahassee wine bar Poco Vino. Tickets start at $75 and are available online.

For more information and a full list of events coming to MoFA this spring, visit

This project is sponsored in part by the State of Florida through the Division of Arts and Culture, the FSU Council on Research + Creativity, Culture Ireland, FSU’s Native American and Indigenous Studies Center, FSU’s Department of Art History and an Emigrant Support Programme Heritage Grant through the Government of Ireland’s Global Irish Program.  

Additional funding for this program was provided through a grant from Florida Humanities with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this exhibition do not necessarily represent those of the Florida Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.