Una Sealy RHA

Una Sealy is a graduate of Dun Laoghaire College of Art and Design , (now IADT), in Fine Art, Painting, 1980, and UCD (Higher Diploma in Arts Administration, 1989), and Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, (RCSI) MSc in Anatomy for Artists 2021. She was elected an Associate of the Royal Hibernian Academy in 2010, and a full member in 2016. She was appointed the first ever Professor of Art at the RSCI in 2021.

She was the winner of the Adam’s Award for the Artist with the most potential for Future Appreciation at the RHA Annual Exhibition 2015, and she was one of 12 finalists shortlisted for the Hennessy Portrait Award in 2014. At the RHA in 2011 she was awarded the Ireland-U.S. Council/Irish Arts Review Award for Outstanding Portraiture. She has been awarded several Arts Council bursaries including a Travel and Training award for a period of study in France in 2013.

During her career to date, she has been involved in many aspects of the arts while maintaining her commitment to painting throughout. In 1982, she co-founded Studio 16, one of the first and longest running group artists’ studios in Temple Bar, Dublin. During the 80’s she was very involved in the community arts movement, and was manager of the City Arts Centre, Dublin, from 1985 to 1991. Una lectured in painting at Dun Laoghaire College of Art and Design from 1991 to 1996, after which she moved to San Francisco where she painted and exhibited for two years.

She has held eleven solo exhibitions including those in The Ashford Gallery (RHA), (2000 and 2016) the Molesworth Gallery Dublin, (2003 and 2006) and Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise (2004)

She had a major mid-career review exhibition at Draiocht, Dublin in 2012/2013, and her most recent solo exhibition was at the RHA Ashford Gallery in July/August 2016.

Una's work has been selected for curated group shows in San Francisco, New York and Britain as well as many in Ireland, exhibiting regularly at the RHA annual exhibition since 1991.

Her work is featured in many public and private collections including The Haverty Trust, Fingal County Council, Boyle Civic Collection, Little Museum of Dublin, Office of Public Works, Commission for Energy Regulation, National Self Portrait Collection, and Great Book of Ireland

Una has been a visiting lecturer to many 2nd and 3rd level colleges, and is a regular invited tutor on drawing courses in the National Gallery of Ireland and the RHA School where she has developed a teaching module on Anatomy for Artists in association with the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.

She was a judge on the RTE series Painting the Nation in 2016 and 2017.

Una Sealy: Northside Swim    Una Sealy: The Priests Chair    Una Sealy: Barbara Warren    Una Sealy: Cock-a-Leekie Soup

Solo Exhibitions

2019, Dialogues, Laois Art House, Stradbally, Co. Laois

2018 Here,Now, Lavit Gallery, Cork

2016 The Edge, Ashford Gallery, RHA, Dublin

 2012 A Piano in the Kitchen and other Stories, Draiocht, Blanchardstown Centre, Dublin

 2006 Days Like These, Molesworth Gallery, Dublin

 2004 A Year on Main Street, Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise, Co. Laois

 2003 New Paintings, Molesworth Gallery, Dublin

 2000 New Paintings, Ashford Gallery, RHA, Dublin

 1998 The Linenhall, Castlebar, Co. Mayo

 1993 Pleasants Factory, Dublin

1991 City Arts Centre, Dublin


 Selected Group Exhibitions

1992  2017  

RHA Annual Exhibitions, Dublin , (except 2002 and 1999)


Boyle arts Festival, Co. Roscommon, invited artist


Inaugural Hennessy Portrait award exhibition, National Gallery of Ireland, shortlisted artist

2004  2017  

Hermione  Exhibition, Alexandra College, Dublin


James English RHA and Friends, Greenacres, Wexford

 OAK, Killenure Castle, Co. Tipperary

12 x 4, curated by Bernadette Madden, Gormleys Fine Art, Dublin


Undressed. 3 person exhibition with Mick ODea RHA and James Hanley RHA,          Greyfriars Gallery, Waterford.

Work from Life, Arts Complex, Edinburgh

Work from the RHA life room, Bourn Vincent Gallery, University of Limerick

Togra Inis Leacan/The Inishlacken Project, Culturlann McAdam O Fiaich, Belfast


 Boyle Arts Festival, invited artist, Co. Roscommon

The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, Cultural legacy exhibition, Joan Clancy Gallery, Co. Waterford


 Inishlacken: The Last Parish, Redhouse Arts Centre, Syracuse, New York

 Fis, Contemporary Irish Art Exhibition, Novas Conteporary Urban Centre, Liverpool


Inishlacken, A Place Apart, Galway Arts Centre

Not in Alphabetical Order, Fingal Public Art Collection Exhibition, Farmleigh, Dublin

Boyle Arts Festival, invited artist, Co. Roscommon

Eigse, Carlow, artist in residence

 2002 2008

Christmas group shows, Molesworth Gallery, Dublin

 2006 2009

 Summer Exhibitions, Newtownbarry House Gallery


Blink, 5 years of the Linenhall, Castlebar General Hospital, Mayo


 RHA Banquet Exhibition


 4 Irish Painters, Project Artaud, San Francisco

 Mission Cultural Centre Life Drawing Exhibition, San Francisco


Academy without Walls, RHA, Dublin


 Siolru, Holles St. Hospital Centenary Exhibition, Dublin


 Aer Rianta Gateway to Art, Dublin Airport


RHA Banquet Exhibitions, Dublin


 Great Book of Ireland Exhibition, IMMA, Dublin


 National Self Portrait Collection Exhibition, National Gallery, Dublin


 National Self Portrait Collection, university of Limerick 

1986 -1988

 Arnotts Portrait Award Exhibitions, Dublin

 1982  Exposure 2, ILAC Centre, Dublin

 1981  Exposure 1, Bank of Ireland, Baggot St, Dublin



Awards and Residencies


2016 Fingal County Council residency award, Graphic Studio Dublin


2014 Adams Award for the artist with the most potential for future appreciation, RHA, Dublin


2014 Hennessy Portrait award, National Gallery Dublin -  shortlisted artist

2013 Arts Council Training and travel Award, period of study in France


2011 Ireland-US Council/Irish Arts Review Award for Outstanding Portraiture


2008 Invited Artist in Residence, Eigse, Carlow


2008 Inishlacken Project Residency,  invited artist


2007 Cill Rialaig Residency,  invited artist


1996 Arts Council Travel Award Portugal


1995 Arts Council Studio Rental Grant


1993 Abbey Stained Glass Studio Award for a Work of Distinction by an Artist of Promise, RHA Annual Exhibition





The Haverty Trust

Fingal County Council

Galway City Council

Little Museum of Dublin

Boyle Civic Collection

Office of Public Works

Aer Rianta

Commission for Energy Regulation

National Self Portrait Collection

Great Book of Ireland



Selected Bibliography


Edges and angst under the surface in Howth, Aidan Dunne, Irish Times July 25, 2016

The Edge, Isabella Evangelisti, Irish Arts Review, Summer 2016

Una Sealy The Edge,John P. OSullivan, Sunday Times, Culture, July 17, 2016

Together Apart, Isabella Evangelisti Irish Arts Review, Summer 2011

On Days Like These, Sophie Gorman, Irish Independent, September 30, 2006

A Year on Main Street, Aidan Dunne, The Ticket, November 12 2004

A Year in the life of an artist, Naomi Elster, Laois Nationalist, November 19, 2004

Portrait of the artist as a Howth Resident, Irish Times, March 28, 2002

Dancing, Shifting light, review by Aidan Dunne, Irish Times,  July 12, 2000

Una Sealy, New Paintings, review by Marianne Hartigan, The Sunday Tribune,  July 16, 2000

Una Sealy, Linenhall, review by Ian Wieczorek, Irish Times, May 27, 1998

Una Sealy, City Arts Centre, review by Aidan Dunne, The Sunday Tribune,  October 13, 1991

Una Sealy, Pleasants Factory, review by Bruce Arnold, Irish Independent, July 20, 1993

Sealy and Greenaway at the City Centre, review by Brian Fallon, Irish Times, October 24, 1991

Static Realism with more feeling, review by Bruce Arnold, Irish Independent, October 28, 1991

The Portrait Painters, Orna Mulcahy, Irish Times, May 9, 1989