by Rose Rushe
AT Pery Square, Limerick City Gallery of Art (LCGA) is ringing in three decades as an art museum at the Carnegie Building by hosting an exhibition of its Permanent Collection of 18th, 19th and 20th century Irish artworks. This is running parallel with a contemporary multi-media show and an exciting series of arty happenings under the banner, ’30 Days Hath September’.
Each of these events – shows, readings, tours, workshops – serves to shape Limerick as spearhead in matters current and cultural for talent and originality. LCGA’s initiative is within the embrace of ‘The O61’, a collective of festivals, music and Culture Night in Limerick for the month; ‘dial in’ is the thinking and invitation to this definitive last stretch before the European Capital of Culture 2020 bid shortlist is announced in six weeks or so.
In a multiple launch that took place this month, Minister for Education and Skills Jan O’Sullivan was called on to open the retrospective show curated by the gallery’s past director Paul O’Reilly, and that of Mark Curran which is curated by Helen Carey.
Carey is director of Fire Station Artists’ Studios in Dublin but headed up LCGA for three years into City of Culture status.
Mark Curran’s show is ‘The Economy Of Appearances’, a multi-media project by this artist researcher and educator that focuses on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange.
LCGA’s Permanent Collection features 3,000 historic and contemporary works from hundreds of artists including Jack B. Yeats, John Shinnors, William Leech, Sir John Lavery, Paul & Grace Henry, Sir William Orpen, Séan Keating, Dermod O’Brien, Robert Carver and Charles Lamb.
“For me the 30 days hath September is intended to invite people to visit the Gallery and hopefully to happen upon something that will excite and delight,”Una McCarthy, LCGA director told Limerick Post.
“A public talk this Thursday [September 10 at 6pm] with Stephen Kinsella will throw light on the impact of global capitalism, while Ireland Professor of Poetry, Paula Meehan will read in the Gallery on Wednesday 16 [6pm].
“I think the launch of Paul O’ Reilly’s selection from the Collection was a fitting gesture for the people of Limerick and this was demonstrated by the large numbers in attendance”.
On to the series of daily events promoting this municipal gallery and other arts venues around. It takes a numbskull not to pick up a brochure and keep tabs on this free resource that embraces so much.
Every Saturday in the Hub, there’s a children’s workshop from 12noon to 1pm using art materials, values and new techniques. There are gallery guided tours every Monday and Tuesday at 3pm by Nuala O’Sullivan and on the 20th at 3pm, Limerick Voices feature as in a rolling series of live music created by Music Generation Limerick City.
At this Carnegie Building on September 27, Aoife Ruane of the Highlanes Gallery in Drogheda will give a talk on ‘An Artist’s Vision’: this will look at the inspiration of Bea Orpen on the Drogheda Municipal Art Collection.
What else? ‘Sing Out With Strings’ is a musical performance on September 29 by some of the 300 local children who participated in a community engagement initiative designed and delivered by the Irish Chamber Orchestra.
Poetry By Heart on September 25 is a Limerick tribute to WB Yeats to mark the 150th anniversary of the poet’s birth. This will be a performance directed by Ciarda Tobin, with Diane Daly of the Irish Chamber Orchestra on violin.
Throughout this month at The Hunt Museum, photographs by Eamonn O’Mahony to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Irish Georgian Society will be on public display, having featured first at Pery Square.
Reader, show up, show out and enjoy a September that is unique to Limerick and our capacity to pull as national leader in the arts.