Atrium Gallery Backstage Theatre Wednesday 17th September 8.00pm
County Longford is currently experiencing a renaissance in the visual arts. During the recent Cruthu Arts Festival eleven individual art exhibitions plus one large scale group exhibition displayed the work of almost twenty talented artists. In addition to the establishment of Cruthu Arts Festival, Engage, an artist collective has been established to exhibit the work of local and national artists, and response to this resurgence of activity the County Arts Office has established the website www.visuallongford.ie as a shop window for all the talent in the county.
Talented young Longford students are to be found in every Art College in Ireland and so Longford County Arts Office in partnership with the Atrium Gallery Backstage has combined resources to stage The Emerging Artists Exhibition 2014. The purpose of the exhibition according to Arts Officer Fergus Kennedy is to: “provide a platform to demonstrate the talent and achievements to-date, of young Longford artists, to forge a relationship with them which ensures that the county maintains contact with and can benefit from their growing talents and achievements in years to come.”
This year’s emerging artists are; Niamh Masterson from Longford town, Eimear Walshe from Tarmonbarry and Orla Kelleher from Ballymahon. Niamh graduated from the Limerick School of Art and Design and works from her studio in Longford as well as being an art teacher. Much of her work is concerned with mediating the constant barrage information and news content from electronic media that people are subjected to on a daily basis.
Orla Kelleher is also a graduate of the Limerick College of Art and Design and coincidentally is also an art teacher. Orla described her current creative interests as: “I am painting abstract mixed media paintings of the Irish landscape. This is a complete departure from work that was based solely on the human figure for over a decade.” Orla exhibited earlier this year in the Solus‘s Saol exhibition in the Atrium with her mother the well known artist Frances Kelleher.
Providing a distinct departure in content and medium is the work of Tarmonbarry native Eimear Walshe. Eimear is a recent graduate of the national College of Art & Design. Eimear works in digital media sculptural shapes and she likes to show her work outside of the typical gallery spaces. She exhibited her work during the Cruthu Arts Festival in the Longford Shopping Centre.
Atrium Gallery and Backstage Theatre Manager, Mona Considine said of this exhibition: “We are all very excited to welcome representatives of the next generation of Longford artists to the Atrium and we hope that this will remind people that the gallery is a cultural asset for all the community. We also look forward to showing the work of many young Longford artists in the future.”