August 10th, 2023
On the opening day of the 2023 Kilkenny Arts Festival, I'm delighted to announce that I'll be hosting a pop-up exhibition in my constituency office this year, having offered the space to two local artists to exhibit their work. Kilkenny-based visual artists Claire Mulcahy and Marie Cleere will show a selection of their paintings at my office on the Parade, which will be open to the public daily from today, Thursday August 10th, until Sunday August 20th.
This is a really significant year for the Kilkenny Arts Festival, as it marks 50 years of innovation in driving a creative and collaborative arts agenda in the county, both through supporting local artists, but also bringing the best of international arts, drama, theatre, visual art and music to Kilkenny. As a Kilkenny person, it has been fantastic to have all of this on my doorstep ever year, and to participate, exhibit, volunteer or otherwise support the festival over much of the last half century.
I love every aspect of the Kilkenny Arts Festival, but I especially love the buzz and the vibrancy it brings to Kilkenny, and this year I wanted to contribute to that by making my office space available as a pop-up gallery. It’s location on the Parade is perfect, right across from us will be the artists along the Mayor's Walk, or the gravel walk, and I'm delighted to take this opportunity to add to the vibrancy that KAF50 will bring to the city over the next ten days.
In recent years I was one of the founding members of the Alternative Kilkenny Arts Fringe Festival, along with the late Willie Meighan, and others, and the fringe aspect to the festival has definitely become an important ingredient in the overall mix of events. So it’s great to be able to give this space to local artists, and we’re looking forward to opening our doors from Thursday to allow people to see the talent of Claire Mulcahy and Marie Cleere, two wonderful visual artists.
As it turns 50 this year, I think it’s safe to say the appeal of the Kilkenny Arts Festival is enduring, not just on the Kilkenny Festival calendar, but nationally and internationally. For the next ten days, the world of the arts will come to Kilkenny and here in my office we’re very excited to be a part of that.