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Young Harris College art show delves into Irish beliefs, superstitions

YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. — Piseog is an Irish term referring to a belief, superstition – or maybe even worse – a curse, used by the natives of Ireland. It’s also the name of a new art exhibit which opened last week at the Campus Gate Art Gallery on Young Harris College campus.

Piseog features the work of Adam Gabriel Winnie, an artist from Decatur GA. The exhibit opened Sept. 28 at the Campus Gate Art Gallery.

“I was inspired when I worked a residency in Ireland,” said Winnie. “In Irish culture, piseogs involve practices or customs believed to bring good or bad luck, ward off evil spirits, or influence events.”

Winnie began developing the charcoal drawings in this exhibition during his time at the Burren College of Art in Ballyvaughan, Ireland, in the summer 2022. During his travels along the countryside, he spoke with historians and local guides. As a result, his art attempts to tell a narrative of the country, from Ireland’s culturally significant Hawthorne trees to the period of time referred to in history books as the “Great Famine” from 1845-1852, or as the people of Ireland referred to it: “The Great Hunger.”

“Ireland was a land that was invaded and conquered many times,” Winnie said, “in many ways the country is still dealing with the impact of the ‘Great Hunger,’ even today.”

Winnie draws primarily, using charcoal and darker colors in his work, but also employes photography, painting and sculpture in his work.

“In these 16 pieces, I used shading to create a play of light and shadow that mirrors the duality often present in superstitions – the balance between good and ill fortune, protection, and vulnerability,” Winnie said. “Like many cultures around the world, Ireland has a rich history of folklore, mythology, and superstitions that have influenced their beliefs and practices.”

Piseóg – a celebration of the beliefs, stories, and traditions that have shaped Irish culture for centuries – will be at the Campus Gate Art Gallery until Oct. 26. The gallery is open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

You can learn more about Winnie on his website as well:

About Young Harris College

Young Harris College is a private baccalaureate and master’s degree-granting institution located in the beautiful mountains of North Georgia. Founded in 1886 and historically affiliated with The United Methodist Church, Young Harris College educates, inspires, and empowers students through an education that purposefully integrates the liberal arts and professional studies. The College has four academic divisions: Fine Arts; Humanities; Mathematics, Science, and Technology; and Professional Studies. Approximately 1,400 students are enrolled in its residential and Early College programs. The College is an active member of the NCAA Division II and remains a fierce competitor in the Conference Carolinas. For more information, visit