Kenny’s to celebrate seventy years in business

Kenny’s will celebrate a major milestone in 2010 as is the family’s 70th year in business and the world famous bookshop and gallery has a number of events planned to mark the occasion.

Des and Maureen Kenny established the bookshop in 1940 in what was to become their landmark High St building. Five of their six children and three of their grandchildren now work in this famous family business which is now located in the Liosbán Industrial Estate.

The celebrations begin this Saturday with the opening of a new exhibition entitled Generations, which will include artworks from six artists and their children, all of whom have been associated with Kenny’s over the years.

Oils from Kenneth Webb will hang alongside paintings by his daughter Susan; photographic works from Nessa Behan will be exhibited with her father John’s sculpture. Other families taking part include Holly and Poppy Melia with their mother Pauline Bewick, Thelma Mansfield and her son Michael Morris, printmaker Margaret Irwin and her ceramicist daughter Katharine West, and Brian Ballard with his daughter Lisa.

Other highlight exhibitions include 70-70-70 featuring 70 artworks from artist Gertrude Degenhardt to mark her 70th year and celebrate Kenny’s 70th birthday. Padraic Reaney will present a major exhibition on the theme of the Famine, opening on April 24.

For the Galway Arts Festival Kenny’s will present a major group exhibition of contemporary Irish sculpture, opening on July 10. There will also be exhibitions from Barry Herniman (opens March 6 ); Paul Guilfoyle (March 27 ); Jane Reeves and Mike Flannery (June 19 ); fine art prints from the Graphic Studio in Dublin (October 9 ); and a selection of Ireland’s finest craftwork in association with the Crafts Council of Ireland (August 14 ).

In association with Cancer Care West, Kenny’s has also planned a programme of art demonstrations at the Liosbán Gallery. A colourful event is promised at Kenneth Webb’s demonstration on January 30 at 2pm. This will be a rare opportunity to see this master artist develop a painting.

Other demonstrations include Marja Van Kampen, Jerry Marjoram, Ben Maile, Grace Cunningham, and Jim McKee. There will be a limit of 110 tickets for each demonstration at €15 each. All proceeds will go directly to Cancer Care West.

The website www.thekennygallery.ie will have details on all of the shows throughout the year. Indeed Kenny’s is believed to be the longest standing bookshop online. Web folklore has it that Kenny’s was the second bookshop in the world to develop a website – preceded only by a sci-fi bookshop in California which has since closed down.

Kenny’s also lists on numerous ‘portals’ such as Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk The major international book portal, abebooks.com, will promote Kenny’s for the month of March as part of its St Patrick’s Day celebrations.

Following the success of the Galway Writers Signing in December, Kenny’s is also planning a series of signings and readings by poets, and sports writers (June 26 ), business writers, authors, children’s writer, and politicians who have penned their memoirs throughout the year.

Kenny’s will also host a number of concerts throughout including one for artist and folk singer-songwriter Jim McKee and recitals from ConTempo on April 17, November 16, and December 18.

For more information (and for tickets to the painting demonstrations ) contact Kenny’s on 091 - 709350 or email [email protected]

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