Memory of legendary Omagh busker 'Arty G' lives on with charity portrait

William Smith

Reporter:

William Smith

Email:

william.smith@tyronecon.co.uk

REVELLERS at a local bar in Omagh will be in the warm company of musical legend, Arty G, who has been embodied a framed oil portrait for charity.

Painted by local artist, Brian Latchford, the oil portrait on canvas board of Arty G, 'Arthur McGonigle', has found its forever home in popular local venue, the Blind Cobbler.

Purchased by Cobbler owner, Andrew Short, and now proudly displayed on the wall of the bar, and the proceeds from the sale of the painting have been donated to Diabetes and Heart and Stroke Research.

A beloved son of Omagh, Arty G entertained passers by in Omagh for nigh on 30 years before his passing in 2007.

He was a regular feature outside the then Northern Bank in Omagh, and his inimitable style of music, singing self-penned lyrics to acoustic guitar, was combined with a ready wit and natural friendliness.

The fantastic portrait depicts Arty G as he is remembered, complete with his infamous acoustic guitar. According to artist, Brian, the background of the sea represents the late busker's "free spirit".

He said: "I've been trying to do a portrait of Arty for years, and I finally decided to do one thi year, to raise money for Diabetes and Heart and Stroke Research.

"I wanted to do this because I have diabetes, heart disease and Long QT syndrome. I put the finished painting up in Shane McGale furniture and flooring shop, next door to The Blind Cobbler, and then Andrew Short bought it.

"It couldn't have went to a better home, and Arty G is now in the bar on display for all to see!"

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