Mullingart turns town into art gallery

If you have recently wandered through the streets of Mullingar and wondered why you were seeing beautiful pieces of original artwork on display in various shop windows, then you are viewing what is considered to be a completely unique experience in Ireland. The Mullingart project’s 24/7 people’s art gallery has returned for 2011.

Generously sponsored by Westmeath County Council, the modest concept of Mullingart began last year and seems to have gained incredible momentum in a short time, capturing the imagination of the artists, businesses, and the public alike.

“I honestly thought that we could not top last year’s project but I am, simply put, stunned by the response to the call we put out to the talented artists of the town. Yet again all my expectations have been far and away exceeded,” said Don Mortell, coordinator of Mullingart 2011.

Don cannot help but sing the praises of the artists involved in this year’s event, affectionately known as ‘Mullingartists’.

“They are just brilliant. I dont know what it is about this town but yet again they have raised their game. I look at some of the pieces by so-called ‘amateur’ artists and think ‘Why are you not displaying this? It’s amazing’!”

The Mullingart commitee of Noel O’Callaghan, Ruth Illingworth, Corina Thornton, Tomas Nally, and Don himself, have some stunning ideas to expand the project for next year’s event, but in the meantime are hoping to have some live art and music in the town square on Wednesday August 17.

The exhibition of all works submitted for this year’s Mullingart project will also be displayed together in the nightclub at Danny Byrnes from Saturday August 20, concluding in a small reception for the artists on Thursday evening, August 25.

“We would love the people of Mullingar and further afield to pop in and see what a town like ours can do even in the darkest of times,” says Don.

Mullingart was successful in winning an allocation of paint from the Dulux Let’s Colour Project, but are playing their cards close to their chest regarding how it will be utilised. “We have some really exciting ideas on how we are going to utilise the supply of paint from Dulux. We cannot really comment on it just now but let’s just say it really will have the ‘wow factor’!” says Don.

“Bizarrely, there are still some businesses in town who seem to be a little bit apprehensive about the project. It’s a real shame. Mullingart is a prime example of the rampant creativity of the people of Mullingar. We are doing this because we can. It takes nothing other than the business community of our town to say ‘yes’ to make projects like this successful and anything that encourages people onto the streets to look in shop windows has got to be good. That said, many of the business people we approached in the run-up to the project have been utterly amazing and it’s these people who make Mullingar what it is and what it is yet to become.”

For more information on the Mullingart project go to or call Don on (087 ) 6116883.


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