FLOWER POWER Eve Menezes Cunningham and Zoe Davis admiring ‘Flowers’, by Claire Griffin, at the opening of the Winter Show at the Custom House Studios and Gallery Westport. The group exhibition was officially opened on Sunday by Minister for Community and Rural Affairs Michael Ring. Pic: Conor McKeown
As the days continue to draw shorter, and the skies grow darker and greyer, artists add a welcome splash of colour and creativity to the bleakness of winter with end-of-year group shows. These multi-artist exhibitions offer gallery goers the chance to browse a huge variety of artworks, discover new artists and see familiar artists’ latest work – and perhaps purchase a piece as a timeless gift for a loved one.
Several impressive group shows run in the county’s galleries in the run up to Christmas, featuring the work of local, national and international artists. Escape the high-street crowds and spend an hour or two appreciating their endeavours in these peaceful creative havens.
The Mayo Artists Show, the ever-popular biennial celebration of the visual arts in Mayo, has returned, and this year it again takes place across two venues – the Linenhall Arts Centre in Castlebar and Ballina Arts Centre.
The show, curated by Patrick T Murphy, director of the RHA, contains work by artists from or living in Mayo over the age of 18. It presents a selection of work in a range of media and offers a wonderful snapshot of current arts practice in the county. All of the pieces on show are no larger than 100cm in any direction, and both the Linenhall and the Ballina Arts Centre exhibitions will run until Saturday, January 11.
In Westport, the Custom House Studios Gallery at Westport Quay is hosting its Winter Exhibition 2019, featuring art works in printmaking, drawing, painting, sculpture and photography by artists who exhibited and worked at Custom House Studios in 2019. The show marks the end of the 17th year of full programming at Custom House Studios, where artists are provided with practical supports and facilities, while the local community and visitors are provided with access to fine art. It was officially opened by Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring on Sunday last, and it runs until January 19.
This year’s Custom House Studios Gallery Winter Exhibition features work by Norman Ackroyd, Tom Brawn, Breda Burns, Christopher James Burns, Jo Anne Butler, Con Monnich and Peti Buchel, Orla Casey, Nuala Clarke, Maureen Cooke, Kate Cuddy, Simon Fennessy Corcoran, Áine Duffy, Eileen Fitzgerald, Martina Faherty, Hilde Fuchs, Betty Gannon, Pauline Garavan, Ralph Gelbert, Virginia Gibbons, Pamela Gray, Claire Griffin, Anthony Harrigan, Anastasia O’Donoghue Healy, Lucy Hill, Sarah Kelly, Trish Kelly, Máire Keogh, Niall Kerrigan, Jo Killalea, Hetty Lawlor, Anna Rose Lowry, Máire Maguire, Caroline Masterson, Bruce Mathieson, Joseph McCafferty, Marion McGing, Fionnuala McKenna, Frank Morris, Maggie Morrisson, Geraldine O’Brien, Hughie O’Donoghue, Conor O’Grady, Gerry O’Malley, Maureen O’Neill, Gráinne O’Reilly, Geraldine O’Sullivan, Owen Piffaretti, Ann Quinn, Susie Quinn, Lorna Roberts, Mariana Duarte Santos, Dermot Seymour, Camille Souter, Betsy Stirratt, Benita Stoney, Katherine Sullivan, Anne Marie Taggart, Melanie Whelan, Ian Wieczorek, Marie Wood.
Also in Westport, the Wright Artists’ winter exhibition will be opened by Nicky Dowd in The Clew Bay Hotel, James’s Street, tomorrow evening (Wednesday) at 7pm, with special guest artist Sheelyn Browne joining those who make up the regular group. On the go for over nine years now, The Wright Artists collective has included the artistic talents of Breda Burns, Mags Duffy, Betty Gannon, Pam Gray, Claire Griffin, Mary Burns, Gráinne O’Reilly, Susie Quinn, Sinéad Wall and Michael Gannon.
This Christmas, why not support the artists and galleries that make life in Mayo that little bit more colourful? The shows mentioned here are but a selection of the treasures you’ll find – seek out others elsewhere too, in places like Achill, Claremorris and Ballycastle.