The new Abbey Road Artists Studios were officially opened by Mayor of Athlone Alan Shaw last Friday September 16.
With the four new artists in residence - Lesley Wingfield, Catherine Rock, Emer O’Connor, and Margo McNulty, in attendance - along with members of the council and the general public, the studios were abuzz with art lovers and admirers.
Speaking at the opening Mayor Shaw explained that the project aims to support, promote, and develop the arts in Athlone. “Athlone Town Council recognises the positive contribution of the arts to the ongoing economic, social, and cultural development of the town. The Abbey Road Artists Studios represent an important resource to add to the strong arts programme and strategies already present in the county, under the direction of both Westmeath County Council and Athlone Art and Heritage Ltd under the auspices of Athlone Town Council.”
The mayor went on to say, “This vision can only be implemented in partnership with the artistic community and we are delighted that we had such a great response to our call for applications which has resulted in Margo McNulty, Lesley Wingfield, Emer O’Connor, and Catherine Rock taking up residence here. This development goes hand in hand with the new gallery development which will open in 2012 and we look forward to seeing the results of the work created here on display in the future. The development and fostering of key partnerships with the various stakeholders is a critical part of this new vision for the arts in Athlone and we look forward to a positive response from all parties concerned.”
As part of Culture Night which takes place tonight, Friday September 23, an exhibition - The Case of the Exquisite Corpse - will run in the upstairs art space of the studios. Presented by Exquisite CoLab the exhibition shows the creation of art works through direct collaboration and interaction. The exhibition will be open from 6pm to 9.30pm.