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Jole Bortoli, is a visual artist, art-facilitator and director/founder of Art to Heart. Art to Heart has many collaborators, friends and followers who help to dream up ideas and projects which you find on this site.

Jole Bortoli was born and grew up in Italy where she trained as a visual artist. She attended the Art School for Fine Art and Pottery in Castellamonte, Turin (1966-70), and Visual Communications and Art of the Book in Urbino (1971–74). After graduating she co-founded and worked for over ten years in Fuorischema, Pesaro, one of Italy’s most renowned graphic design studio during the late 70’s – early 80’s.

In 1985 she moved to Ireland and in 1987 helped establish The Graphiconies (1987-95), a graphic design studio working mainly for the artistic and cultural sector. In 2006 Jole founded Art To Heart, an organisation that works with children and adults in educational, community and art settings.

Jole has extensive experience in working with children and with adults through the arts. She leads pioneering visual art workshops in The Ark, a cultural centre for children in Dublin, and she has art-directed the interior design of children-centred spaces such as the A&E Department in Temple Street Children’s Hospital and the Office for the Ombudsman for Children.

Jole is currently working in Dublin and the Burren, Co. Clare and every week she leads workshops for children and adults. Jole also runs art weeks in different locations in her native Italy.

In Dublin she regularly works with the Ark as artist-facilitator in their visual art programmes and their CPD training courses for teachers. She facilitates visual art projects with both Primary and Secondary schools. Jole also runs workshops for adults in her studio.

In the Burren, Co. Clare she runs workshops every fortnight and every summer she holds several weeks of training in her workshop.

Jole illustrates and writes her own stories, which she self-publishes. Her first book “Iria” was launched in April 2010 and an exhibition of the original illustrations has been touring regularly since then. Jole is now working on her second book “Rua” and “Nunali – A Place Where people live”, a collection of prints inspired by the art and folklore of the Inuit peoples. .

In 2016 Jole spent a month art residency in Iceland which resulted in a joint exhibition with fellow artist Barbara O’Meara titled  ‘Ratljóst – Enough Light to Navigate By‘ at the Russell Gallery in Co. Clare, Ireland. A short visit to Montreal, Canada in the same year produced ‘Shapeshifters‘ exhibited at Glór, Blanchardstown and at The Ark, Dublin in 2017. Jole is working on a new exhibition that will take place in the Autumn 2020.