IRELAND GOT AN OFFICIAL cultural ambassador on St Patrick's Day 2010 as internationally renowned, award-winning actor Gabriel Byrne started working the crowds with his new appointment. As an American living in Ireland, I'd be enthusiastic about the quality and imagination of Irish artists. Although I'm not a professional art critic, I do feet lucky to be able to find the work of mid-career Irish artists in free venues across the country. I snapped the work of Alissa Kleist (at left) in the Limerick City Gallery of Art (a favourite venue) and I work with creative students who may commandeer a white cube for their own digital expression. There's a vibrant part of the Irish art scene that proves to me the creative nature of the green gene. Young conceptual artists, energetic film makers, people writing who wouldn't have written when I first came ashore in Ireland 15 years ago--I've seen that scene emerge when I worked in Arthouse and through Broadway productions that are Irish. American is a giant English-speaking market for Irish culture. It's a market with good will that extends well beyond Paddy's Day. To a great extent, vibrant Irish culture defines the Republic. I think Irish visual culture makes strong indelible mark on what it means to be Irish. I wish Gabriel Byrne good luck in advancing the cause of Irish culture abroad.