County Councillor Andrew McGuinness officially opened “AN CHEAD TINE” ART Organisation’s new Studios and Workspace last Saturday at No 10, Del la Salle House, The Parade, Kilkenny.
All who attended viewed the eclectic exhibition of paintings by these talented local Kilkenny based artists, Ross Stewart, Mary Doyle Burke, Graham Carew, Niamh Curry, Kate McMeekin and Jade Butler. There was also artwork on exhibit by two of the organisations committee volunteers who are also full-time practicing artists Marco di Sante & Lena Donoghue. The exhibition spanned across the 6 studio spaces and the gallery area in the spacious stairway of Del la Salle House, a building which oozes of history and character. There is such a beautiful calmness and light feeling in the building with sunlight flooding in the tall Georgian windows throughout the day, a perfect place and space for an artist to create.
Director Mary Doyle Burke founded the organisation, last August due to a unique need for supportive workspaces for local artists. She had studied Fine Art at Ormonde College back in 2019 and having returned to Kilkenny in 2022 after graduating as a mature student at Waterford Institute of Technology (SETU) with BA Hons in Visual Art, she took up a studio in the city. After networking with a lot of local people on the ground during the Arts festival she felt there was need for space in the city to provide local artists an outlet to either create or exhibit work. With this in mind she formed the organisation. It is a not-for-profit organisation, integral to the visual arts ecology and cultural landscape of Kilkenny. It is now run voluntarily by a Board of Directors and artists. The organisation aim is to provide a supportive working environment that addresses key points in the creative cycle by which art is made. In her speech Mary stated that “we focus on emerging artists but are also dedicated to supporting artists at all stages of career”. Also, she noted “that last September she approached manager Katie Quinn of Dunnes Stores, Kieran Street to enquire about letting the old restaurant space upstairs on their premises as a new Gallery for the organisation. Receiving a positive response here, a meeting was set up with the Dunnes Stores Head Office in Dublin”. After months of negotiations the lease is now signed and a new venture begins for Kilkenny, soon with a new gallery to bring the best of Kilkenny art to the whole community of Kilkenny.
Back in December the organisation was awarded a grant under the Workspace Scheme from the Arts Council of Ireland to assist with the running costs of the Studios and the organisation have recently reached out in a Community Grant application to Kilkenny County Council. Andrew McGuiness noted in his opening speech that it was a major achievement for a grassroots organisation to achieve funding from the Arts Council of Ireland and congratulated the board. He stated that here tonight at the opening if felt like the beginning of something good and wished them all the success and also support from the local County Council in their venture”.
“An Chead Tine” hope with their new gallery location down in Dunnes Stores to bring art to the community right in a setting of everyday experience. Many of their artists are already out working in the community. Graham Carew teaches with Kilkenny ETB, and paints murals in community settings right across the city and county, as does Niamh Curry. Mary is currently teaching art in designated primary schools in Kilkenny as part of the Creative Ireland funded Programme with Castlecomer Discovery Park and is working on an art project “The Irish Bog” funded by Kilkenny Arts Office. Jade Butler is currently teaching Still Life Painting Classes every Tuesday and Thursday at our Studios and Kate McMeekin teaches to community groups in a variety of locations, Ross who is a renowned local painter is also busy working on many animation projects and also is creating work with “Cartoon Saloon”. Many of the above named artists had been working in their own collective formed last Autumn and have organised local art fairs and run workshops. The group connected with “An Chead Tine” last December and joined together. Many local artists have joined as volunteers since. From summer 2023 onwards, the organisation aim to deliver contemporary exhibitions which will be announced through an open submission call. This will provide a platform for local artists’ to promote their work and practice. The organisation will also run Kilkenny’s biggest ever Winter Art Fair later in the year and have plans to give workshops throughout the year.
Many thanks to all who have donated to our Go Fund Me Page and also to all local business who have sponsored or become friends of the association so far, The Fig Tree Café, High Street Kilkenny, Paris Texas, High Street Kilkenny, Urlingford Arms Hotel, Urlingford Co Kilkenny, Pembroke Hotel, Patrick Street Kilkenny and Crafty Bride at Kilkenny Retail Centre, James St, Kilkenny. Also a special note of thanks and gratitude to proprietor Marion Kilbride of Crafty Bride who also generously sponsored the drinks reception for our opening night.
This Saturday 21st May on National Drawing Day “An Chead Tine” Art Studios are creating an Outdoor Open Drawing Studio in collaboration with Kilkenny Castle. It will take place on the Castle grounds. Gazebo provided for shelter. You can drop-in and stay for as long as you want, try out different drawing techniques, have access to art materials and a variety of subject matter. All welcome, beginners and experienced.
You can avail of one-to-one guidance from our professional artists Mary Doyle Burke, Niamh Curry and Marco Di Sante.
There will be two separate groups, one for Adults and one for U12s
Get some drawing tips or improve your technique. Artist Niamh Curry will be hosting a live portrait drawing demonstration using charcoal at 12pm.