Cork artists feature in major touring Irish Art Exhibition

5 December 2015
By Bryan T. Smyth

Arts update on

Cork artists Frances Leach and Patrick Stevenson feature in one of the most significant exhibitions of Irish artists in recent years, 30 Years, Artists, Places, which will be launched in glór Ennis on December 7th ahead of an extensive nationwide tour.

The exhibition marks 30 years since Local Authorities embarked on providing for the arts locally, featuring 30 artists and 30 places.

Renowned artists such as Tony O’Malley, Alice Maher, Robert Ballagh, John Kindness, Norah McGuiness, Sean McSweeney, Sean Lynch and John Shinnors alongside emerging artists Cora Cummins, Cleary Connolly, Lisa Fingleton, Jenny Brady, Vanessa Lopez and David Stephenson and many others feature in the exhibition, which is being funded by the Arts Council.

In tandem with the exhibition opening, the Association of Local Authority Arts Officers has organised a seminar for December 7th looking at the current challenges facing local arts development and examining the rationale behind the exhibition.

Key contributors include Dr. Ciarán Benson former Chairperson of the Arts Council, Pat Cooke Director of the MA in Cultural Policy at Arts Management at UCD and Martin Drury Strategic Development Director with the Arts Council. Muireann Ni Chonaill, Laois Arts Officer and exhibition curator will be speaking about the exhibition along with Lynn McGrane from the National Gallery of Ireland, who devised the accompanying education programme.

“Clare was the first county to appoint an arts officer in 1985 Kay Sheehy, who is now a RTE producer” says Siobhan Mulcahy the current Clare Arts Officer and Chair of the Association of Local Authority Arts Officers. “It is therefore fitting that this major exhibition is beginning in Clare from where it will tour the length and breadth of the county over the next two years.”

She added, “The collection being exhibited speaks of places, people and home which reflects upon local authority arts development as just that, of a place and of a people, of rural and urban Ireland, of home in a changing island where we are bold with new ideas but rooted in our past.”

Clare is represented in the exhibition by Ireland 1972 by the late Theo McNab, which was purchased by Clare County Council in 1983. The county is further represented by a work entitled Burren Shore by artist Roisin McGuigan from the Kerry County Collection.

“This is a must see, not just for the extraordinary line up of Irish artists who rarely find themselves exhibiting together but for the stories of how they each came to be purchased, commissioned or acquired by local authorities, therein lies the real narrative; the quiet, genuine and imaginative support for Irish artists demonstrated by our local government for the past 30 years,” stated Ms. Mulcahy.

The exhibition also features an education programme aimed at both primary and secondary children and schools are welcome to bring in a class to see the show. In conjunction with glór, there will be a family day workshop on Saturday, January 9th and guided tours for schools by artist Marie Connole are available on Thursday January 14th and 21st. All are free but booking is advised through glor at 065 6843103.

The Association of Local Authority Arts Officers seminar begins at 2pm on December 7th and is free but advanced registration is required via glór. Tel: 065 6843103

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