30 Nov 2021

Visual arts to fore at Ireland's biggest and best small festival

Carrickmacross Arts Festival

Visual arts to fore at Ireland's biggest and best small festival

By Democrat Reporter @dundalkdemocrat

A variety of contemporary artists from across a range of disciplines will be featured at the Visual Arts tent at the Carrickmacross Arts Festival, which takes place from Thursday to Sunday next August 11-14.

The tent will feature live drawing demos from charcoal portrait artist Barry Jazz Finnegan (12-6pm) and performance artist and dancer Fiona Keenan-O’Brien (4pm) on both Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 at Callans of the Bridge.

On Saturday, the line-up includes a host of artists such as Catherine King (watercolours), Flavia Bernardes (portraits), Karen McArdle (textiles), Alma Sheehan (abstract), Pamela Hilliard (landscapes), Brian Gallagher (painting, drawing, illustrator), John O’Flynn (figurative/realist artist), Celia Richards (mixed media), Paul Connolly (digital).

Sunday features a different array of visual artists including: Derek Bell (abstract), Emily McArdle (print/satire), Francis Quinn (conceptual), Marylin Gaffney (mixed media), Michelle Dalton (conceptual), Ellen-Marie Clavin (mixed media/drawing), Alison Bole (sculptor), Joanne Behan (sculptor) and Hattie Billingham (glass sculptor).

“As a company who are committed to the promotion of the arts, we are delighted to be involved in the visual arts tent at Ireland’s biggest small festival,” said Managing Director Paddy Matthews.

“The line-up looks fantastic and should open a lot of people’s eyes to the talent that we have among our artistic community.”

A unique arts collaboration in the north east, driven by, was recently shortlisted in two categories for a major national award.

The Arts Showcase Initiative has been shortlisted in the Best Small Sponsorship and Best Use of Creativity in the Community in the 25th Allianz Business To Arts Awards.

The initiative promotes and provides innovative advertising support to a succession of artists across a range of disciplines over a three-year period. and Louth County Council Arts Office have been jointly nominated for the award, with the latter also representing the contribution made by Monaghan County Council Arts Office in the promotion of the initiative.

“Every six months, a deserving person from the creative sector across the arts disciplines is selected as the showcase winner and have themselves or their works featured as an advertisement on the full back of a coach,” said Paddy Matthews.

“We have always put the art and culture of the area to the fore in our numerous day and extended tours which promote the north east, and we see the benefits in promoting the artistic life of the region.”

Artists bidding to be the latest winner of the Arts Showcase Initiative are asked to enter via

Tickets for the Carrickmacross Arts Festival, which features a host of musical and comedy acts, are available from,, participating Supervalu and Centra stores and Callans Bar, Carrickmacross.

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