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Ballina’s streets to get more colourful

Going Out

The wave of contemporary street art crossing the country is about to arrive in north Mayo’s capital as a leading event in this year’s Ballina Fringe Festival, which takes place from October 4 to October 20. Now in its second year, the 2019 festival is bigger and bolder, showcasing high-quality and ambitious arts content with a north Mayo slant.
Pure Ballina, a new street-art project, will leave a permanent legacy, using existing buildings and spaces as canvases for new street-art works, as in the award-winning Waterford Walls festival and Limerick’s street-art projects.
One of Ireland’s leading street artists, Friz, will embark on a residency with the North Mayo Youth Project, Involve Youth Project and Ballina Men’s Shed to develop the concept for the artwork, with the option to use content from the Jackie Clarke Collection archive for inspiration. Friz will then develop the flagship artwork, with the project groups delivering artworks on secondary sites with the assistance and advice of Ballina Tidy Towns. The groups will explore the themes of people and place in Ballina.
Speaking on behalf of Involve Ballina, Alice Dixon was excited about the impact that the initiative will have on the town’s young people area. “This is a great project for Involve Ballina, to encourage positive engagement and to create a sense of empowerment, pride, confidence and inclusion for these young people in their local area,” she said. “The young people will work with a professional artist, experiencing and being exposed to the magic of the artistic process, an opportunity that this group of young people would not usually have made available to them.”
Sean Walsh, director of both Ballina Fringe Festival and Ballina Arts Centre, is delighted to have Friz on board. “The festival committee was excited with the calibre of response received in a national call for submissions. Friz was selected following an evaluation process, and the project organisers are excited to work with one of Ireland’s best street artists, who brings vast expertise in working with community groups on such projects,” he said.
The street-art project is being funded by the National Youth Council of Ireland and Creative Ireland. A full programme of events for Ballina Fringe Festival will be announced shortly.

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