A Tiny Biography
FIND award-winning artist Tara O’Neill in tiny, mitten-size Goodland, one of just a handful of working fishing villages remaining on Florida’s west coast; a place she describes as being filled with “history, mystery, and endless inspiration.” Born the ninth of ten children to an Irish immigrant father and grammatically-fussy mother, the household balance of runaway creativity and intellectual structure were paramount in the young artist’s development - and the tropical palette of her Florida childhood permeates her work. Although most noted for her vivid oil paintings, O‘Neill is truly a multi-disciplined artist. Her work is installed in private and corporate collections around the world.
BEFORE earning baccalaureates in both Fine Arts (studio) and English (writing) from University of South Florida, O’Neill had formal studies in art at Brookes College at Oxford University, England; as well as museum workshops in Dublin, Ireland; Florence, Italy; and Naples, FL. She also studied art most informally in Central America, the Caribbean Islands, the U.S. western high dessert, and several places quite off the map. (The artist confidently recommends the Scottish Highlands for cobalt blues, apple greens, and exquisite whisky.)
EXHIBITIONS and PUBLIC INSTALLATIONS include Marco Island History Museum; Blue Mangrove Gallery, Marco Island, FL; Harmon’s & Barton’s Gallery, Portland, ME; Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa, FL; Hillsborough Public Library Fine Art Gallery, Tampa, FL; USF Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa, FL; Leadership Marco Wet Paint Live!; Marco Island Center for the Arts; Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Center, Naples, FL; Goodland Post Office Mural Project, Goodland, FL; Naples Gators Galore and Marco Island Dolphin Debut public sculpture projects; presenter at Tommie Barfield Elementary School’s Artist & Writers Workshop, Marco Island.
AWARDS have been garnered by individual works at numerous national juried art exhibitions and, in 2000, O’Neill received the Marco Island Chamber of Commerce’s Beautification Award for an 85’ x 22’ mural spanning the Island’s municipal water tank. In 2010 she received the inaugural Arts Afire Flame Award from the City of Marco Island for individual contribution to the arts community. In 2015 she was named Artist of the Year by Marco island Foundation for the Arts.
United Arts Council of Collier County
Marco Island Art League, Center for the Arts, drawing instructor
Naples Art Association, Von Liebig Art Center
Marco Island Foundation for the Arts
Marco Island Area Chamber of Commerce
Goodland Civic Association
Marco Island Historical Society
Phi Kappa Phi