INTO THE SPOTLIGHT – A Post-Lockdown Celebration of New Waterford Art

The Story

Eleven Waterford-based artists whose work has not been publicly viewed since pre Covid will take part in a group exhibition at Theatre Royal Waterford’s 18th century vestibule this month.

‘Into the Spotlight –   A Celebration of New Waterford Art’ opens on 20th August and runs until 10th September and will feature an eclectic mix of work produced in Waterford during the pandemic that includes printmaking, painting, photography, ceramics and multi-media visual art.

The exhibition is taking place in partnership with GOMA, Gallery of Modern Art Waterford. Theatre Manager Mary Boland said it was the exhibition was a direct response to exhibits cancelled as a result of Covid-19 and the perseverance of local artists to continue creating in isolation during the pandemic:

“Though the importance of the arts and the value it brings to our lives was never more evident than during the pandemic, individual visual artists suffered terribly”, Mary commented. “Exhibits and workshops were cancelled and many experienced a huge sense of isolation, being cut off from their artistic community. This exhibition is a direct response to this – and a tribute to the wonderful work that Waterford artists created during lockdown.

“Theatre Royal is not an art gallery and we’re not trying to become an art gallery. But we have empty walls and, after a year and a half of having nowhere to show their work, artists in Waterford need all the support they can get to put a spotlight on their work once again.”

The exhibiting artists are Anne McDonnell (printmaker); Anouschka Joyce (painter and print maker); Carmel Cleary (photographer) Ciara Patricia Langan (multi disciplinary artist); Cora Cummins (ceramicist); Katy Flynn (designer and maker); Kayleigh Regan (traditional artist with a heavy focus on pen and pencil); Niall Murphy (painter); Dave Curran and Richie Murphy (modern/contemporary, collaborative painters); and Saoirse Walsh (multi-media visual artist).

Jenna Whelan, Director of GOMA and exhibition co-ordinator, said the diversity of art being shown as part of the exhibition was a great reflection of the varied and extensive amount of visual art that had been created in Waterford during Covid:

“As the country continues to take tentative steps along the road to pandemic recovery, the arts across all sectors has particularly suffered. Local partnerships like this initiative and the values and ideals of artist support and collaboration will put us in good stead to meet those challenges ahead.”

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