27 November 2012: Taoiseach launches major series of exhibitions to mark Arts Council’s 60th Anniversary

An Taoiseach, Mr Enda Kenny TD, has today officially launched Into the Light: The Arts Council - 60 Years of Supporting the Arts in Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane to mark the 60th anniversary of the Arts Council.  Into the Light is a major series of exhibitions which will celebrate the work of Irish artists and 60 years of support of the arts by the Arts Council.

The Into the Light exhibitions are a partnership between the Arts Council and four regional venues which will draw upon works contained in the Arts Council collection. The Arts Council collection has been built up over the lifetime of the agency and contains works by artists who have received support throughout the years including many now famous names, such as Louis le Brocquy, Patrick Scott and Alice Maher. The work that makes up the collection is normally on display in dozens of public buildings, such as hospitals, schools and colleges, right across the country, and has been brought together for exhibition in this manner for the first time ever. 

Ms Pat Moylan, Chairman of the Arts Council, said: "Over the past 60 years, the goal of the Arts Council has been to develop and promote the arts in Ireland while building a central place for the arts in Irish life. When the Arts Council considered how it might mark its 60th anniversary, it was agreed that core, long-term ambitions should be reflected. Primary amongst these have been the support of artists in the production of their work and opportunities for the public to see and experience art. Consequently, a major event displaying the Arts Council collection seemed appropriate."

"It is interesting to look back and see how the arts have been nurtured and developed over the years since the Council first met in 1952. A recently published Indecon economic report shows that the arts are now a major employer and contributor to economic output and that with smart investment the arts are capable of stimulating job creation and economic activity at a time we need it most. The arts really matter to us in Ireland, they unite our communities in good times and in bad, and they help define us as a people. I would like to urge everyone to make an effort to experience the wonderful works that will be on display over the course of Into the Light in the various locations across the country."

The Into the Light exhibitions, which were developed by lead curator Karen Downey, include over 150 works from the collection and will run concurrently in the four venues over the next month. The partner galleries had complete creative freedom to choose their own set of works from the collection, giving each exhibition a unique theme and feel.

The exhibitions will be open to the public in the following locations:

  • Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane from 28 November 
  • Limerick City Gallery of Art from 30 November  
  • Crawford Art Gallery from 5 December
  • The Model, Sligo from 7 December.
Desert Rose, (oil on board) - Colin Middleton, 1975, Arts Council Virtual Gallery.
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Desert Rose, (oil on board) - Colin Middleton, 1975, Arts Council Virtual Gallery.

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