Blackrock artist creates piece of local art history at Kilsaran shop

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Unknown to himself, Dave Rice, an artist and painter living in Blackrock, made history repeat itself when he walked into Joe’s shop in Kilsaran and offered to refresh dilapidated Coca-Cola advertisement on the gable wall of the shop.

Some 20 years earlier, in 1990, the then owner Pat Macken,from Annagassan, had a similar offer when a female artist from Dublin, whose name he cannot recall, came into the shop and proposed a mural for the gable wall that would enhance the premises.

Not wanting to have any old ad only his gable wall, Pat brought Coca-Cola Ireland on board and helped create a unique mural based on a 1950 American Coca-Cola poster.

Pat engaged fully with the project and rather that paint directly onto the wall he created a frame of marine plywood giving the art and the artist the canvas they deserved.

There is no Coca-Cola advertisement like it in Ireland.

The design itself was the work of a great American master of illustrative design Gil Elveren who was a prolific artist from the 1930s to the 1970s and did this work for the Coca-Cola company.

“The painting created much local interest with the children of the community who watched the daily progress of the artist,” said Annagassan man Pat.

“This was a unique experience for everyone - the painting of a poster and the fact that the image was the only one in Ireland .

“Indeed when finished local Coca-Cola executives entertaining American visitors, ensured their journey went through Kilsaran for the conversational piece and to show off the painting.”

Twenty years later Dave Rice too passed through Kilsaran and noticed the unusual billboard and stopped to examine it.

Dave has painted many murals, the best known locally would be “The Supporters” at the entrance of Harrisons in Blackrock.

Recognising that the poster was a painting and in need of much love, Dave offered his services to the current shop proprietor, repeating the events of 1990s.

Dave produced a proposal that would see the restoration and show the history and uniqueness of the Kilsaran landmark.

The local children again got the chance to see an artist at work and many of the adults reminisced about the original artist and their own childhood.


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