00:00 Saturday 07 July 2012 

Wall of Art attracting attention in Skibbereen

WEST Cork Arts Centre is currently displaying what could be described as its inaugural exhibition of art on the site of the forthcoming new arts centre in Skibbereen town centre.

A novel series of artworks in the form of a Wall of Art has been attracting great attention from scores of curious onlookers over the past week since they appeared overnight in the midst of the recent rainstorms. The Wall of Art is made up of 38 large-scale, colourful paintings and is both eye-catching and up-lifting to view.

The project was the brainchild of artist Paul Cialis and was spearheaded by Skibbereen Tidy Towns committee along with West Cork Arts Centre and supported by 38 artists from the West Cork region, who volunteered their time and talent to create a collaborative artwork on a hoarding for the site.

The Wall of Art was officially unveiled last weekend by Francis Hunt, chair, Skibbereen Tidy Towns Committee, and he said it was a testament to the community spirit of Skibbereen that such an ambitious venture came into being over such a short period of time. He thanked the local businesses who so generously supported the project either by sponsorship or the giving of their time and expertise. He concluded by thanking his fellow Tidy Towns committee members for their tremendous efforts.

At the opening event, Cllr Karen Coakley, the newly elected mayor of Skibbereen, also praised the community spirit of Skibbereen and said the project is a great example of community groups working together. She congratulated all involved and encouraged everyone to enjoy the art.

Paul Cialis, who liaised with all the participating artists and facilitated their contributions to the project, warmly praised the artists who rose to the challenge of creating new works with such commitment and enthusiasm. He also had a very special word of thanks for Bryan Harris, whose efforts and energies contributed so much to the project.

Weather-proofed

He finished by reassuring the assembled artists that their works were weather-proofed and would continue to be displayed in perfect condition over the coming months.

All the artworks were created at the Masonic Hall in Skibbereen, which was temporarily converted into an artists’ studio and a hub of artistic creativity over a four-week period. The Wall of Art started off as 20 very large, blank boards which were primed and made ready for the artists’ input. Each board has two artworks painted on it and, when they are all put in place as a hoarding on the site, the effect is of a large gallery wall featuring 38 vibrant artworks.

WCAC director Ann Davoren said: ‘The Wall of Art also represents the future of the Wolfe’s Bakery site as the home of the new West Cork Arts Centre. It marks another step in the progress of the building project, which has been made possible through the support of the members, neighbours and friends of the West Cork Arts Centre and the community of Skibbereen and West Cork. By December 2012, it is anticipated that construction of the new West Cork Arts Centre will be underway.’

The participating artists are: Neisha Azzopardi, Sandra Bestt, Karen Billing, Deirdre Cairns, Paul Cialis, Linda Cohu, Edwin Cridland, Alison Cronin, Anne Crossey, Marie Cullen, Shay Cunningham, Ian Curley, Sharon Dipity Barker, Alyn Fenn, Liss Gillilan, Ann Hall, Ellès Innemee, Nicola Kelly, Eithne Kietz, Maria Kisbodri, Agata Kluzniak, Anna MacGillycuddy, Tomasz Madajczak, Janet Murran, Margaret O’Donovan, Margrit O’Shea, Caoimhe Pendred, Andrea Quiros, Maria Safaei Ashtiani, Detlef Schlich, George Scott, John Simpson, Karin Smith, Henry Spencer, Helen Stringer, Nick Taylor, Pim Wijnmaalen and Fran Woolf.

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