The work of a number of talented young artists from St Joseph’s Secondary School in Rochfortbridge, as well as that of some up and coming designers, animators and artists, who are past pupils of the school, features in an exhibition running at The Atrium till this Friday.
Niamh Sweeney, art teacher, writer and illustrator, and one of the organisers of the exhibition, said: “I have been teaching in Rochfortbridge for a number of years and have wanted to hold an exhibition of this nature for a long time to showcase the work of our pupils and give a helping hand to our past pupils.”
“Now, we are proud to showcase a selection of our alumni who have graduated from various art colleges throughout Ireland.
“We are particularly proud of their achievements and wish them well in their chosen careers. We have absolutely no doubt that they will be hugely successful.”
Past pupils who exhibited in this show were Avril Corroon, recently graduated from NCAD and now studying for her Master’s in Goldsmiths College, London; Niall Lynam, graduate in Fine Art from Limerick School of Art and Design, and now living and working in Berlin; Simone Kennedy, a graduate of Limerick School of Art and Design in fashion, now working for Proenza Schouler in New York as design and development assistant; Conor Leech, Irish School of Animation, currently working for his degree; and Brian Cole visual communications final year student.
From painting to printmaking, fashion and textiles, sculpture and ceramics, there is a great variety of work on display.
Jen Gallagher, art teacher and joint organiser of the show, said: “Firstly we would like to thank the arts officer for Westmeath, Miriam Mulrennan, Westmeath County Council and the management team in the school for being so supportive, encouraging and accommodating.
“It made what could have been a difficult hang much easier for us. Additionally, our pupils are just so excited to have their work hung in a public space.
“All you have to do is look around at their delighted faces and their proud parents to see how much it means to them. We would especially like to thank the past pupils of the school for taking the time to pull work together and get it to the gallery for us to exhibit.
“They probably don’t realise how much it means, not only to Niamh and me, but to our current crop of young artists. We would also like to thank Connor Leech, who took the time over the past few days to bring work from his diploma show to be displayed in the exhibition, and spent some time going through portfolio requirements with the Leaving Cert art class.”
The opening evening was a great success well attended by pupils, parents and staff from the school and with a surprise visit from one of the school’s alumni Niall Lynam.
Niall’s composite portraits were one of the hits of the evening. His paintings focus on the deconstruction of the portrait genre – they are virtual portraits, faces of non-existent people.
The twin portraits exhibited in the show explore two concepts; eugenics and gender. These two large-scale portraits are destined for another exhibition in Wicklow in October, which will showcase the talents of four strong emerging young artists (search culturefox online).
Another piece that proved popular was Simone Kennedy’s mustard and purple coat, which was coveted by most of the women (and some of the men) at the show. Beautifully designed and skilfully made, it showcased the talents of a young and upcoming designer to great effect.
The exhibition runs until this Friday September 15.