Westmeath Artists' Award Opens at Luan Gallery

Luan Gallery in collaboration with Westmeath Arts Office presents Westmeath Artists’ Award, a group exhibition featuring works by 30 Westmeath artists selected by guest Curator, Sarah Searson. The exhibition will be officially opened by An Cathaoirleach of Westmeath County Council, Councillor Aengus O’ Rourke on Thursday 1st December at 6pm with guest speakers, Selector, Sarah Searson and the Chief Executive of Westmeath County Council, Pat Gallagher.

The Westmeath Artists’ Award, is a partnership between Luan Gallery and Westmeath Arts Office aiming to celebrate, showcase and support the development of Westmeath visual artists’ practices and careers with funding support from the Arts Council of Ireland. Luan Gallery invited submissions from artists living in or from Westmeath for consideration of this Award and inclusion in a group exhibition.

Over 50 works by 30 artists will be showcased in the exhibition, with many of the artists exhibiting for the first time in Luan Gallery. The works are predominantly painting based, but also include printmaking, photography, film, mixed media and sculptural works.

Guest selector, Sarah Searson says;

“There are a variety of themes that have naturally occurred in the selection. People and portraiture, images of home and house, the body and identity. Our relationship with nature, our concern for its care and future, and its importance to our wellbeing. The selection I made is largely focused on art practices that may not have the potential for regular commercial income. The combined nature of this project; an exhibition with a small stipend, suggested that it was opportune to represent practices which might be less known and to bring them into dialogue with those who might be better known locally.  Sincere thanks are due to all those who put their work forward for consideration. It was a challenge to select thirty. It’s important for me to emphasise there is some outstanding talent not presented in this particular iteration”.

The Exhibiting Artists

Avril Egan
Mel French
Peter Ganly
Tina Hayes
Olena Karpenko
Hilary Kinahan
Pauline Kinahan Kane
Ashley McNicholas
Lorraine Mimnagh
Aishling Muller
Joan Mulvihill
Karen Norton Moynihan
Emma O’ Brien
Catherine Rock
Paul Roy
Mai Ryan
Celine Sheridan
Lorcan Walshe
Keith Watts
Ann Wingfield
Lesley Wingfield

Professional Development Award

As part of the Westmeath Artists’ Support Awards Scheme exhibiting artists will receive a bursary and are being considered for a professional development award which will be announced at the opening of the group exhibition on Thursday 1st December. The awardee will receive €1,500, an exhibition slot in Luan Gallery’s exhibition programme, a residency in Abbey Road Artists’ Studios, a studio visit and mentorship session with a curator during the studio residency and an opportunity to feature in a video clip/podcast highlighting their artwork and practice published on Luan Gallery’s website and social channels.

10 Years of the Luan Gallery

The launch of the exhibition marks Luan Gallery’s 10-year anniversary programme of activities. The gallery was opened by Jimmy Deenihan T.D., the then Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht on Thursday 29th November 2012, and was the first purpose-built, municipal visual art gallery located in the Midlands. The Westmeath Artists’ Awards is the 76th exhibition to be presented by the gallery, which promotes a dynamic contemporary visual art programme of both established and emerging artists and to date the gallery has exhibited the works of 690 artists. 

Westmeath County Arts Officer, Miriam Mulrennan says;

“I am so pleased that this show is punctuating the 10-year milestone of the Luan opening its doors. It is appropriate that the show is a celebration of Westmeath artists, who have been so supportive of the Gallery, and the Luan team. It was striking how many applications we had for this show, almost 100 I believe, and the curator’s role was not an enviable one in having to distil this number downwards to match the space available at the gallery. Westmeath is lucky to have such fantastic infrastructure for the visual arts in Athlone, including the Gallery, Abbey Road Artists’ Studio and not forgetting the many other improvised spaces utilised in municipal buildings and in other cultural venues. We look forward to continuing to showcase local, regional and international works over the next 10 years”

The launch takes place on Thursday 1st December at 6pm and all are welcome to attend. The exhibition will continue until Sunday 5th February 2023 with seasonal closures from 21st to 27th December inclusive. Luan Gallery is open Tuesday – Saturday 11.00 – 17.00 and Sundays 12.00 – 17.00. Admittance to Luan Gallery is free and guided tours are available to all at no cost. More information on the exhibition and upcoming events can be found at www.luangallery.ie and on Luan Gallery’s social channels.

For more information on the Westmeath Arts Office Arts Grants and Funding Opportunities.