Leitrim’s newly-refurbished centre for sculpture is a national resource, and of strategic importance for art right across the country, the Arts Council has said.
Speaking at the grand opening of the centre on Friday, 5th September, Arts Council Director, Mary Cloake, said professional artists from Ireland and beyond would benefit enormously from the renovated facility, and the exchange of ideas and techniques.
"What practicing artists will most welcome about this redevelopment is that it gives them space," Ms Cloake said at the opening of the new centre. "And space - alongside the equally scarce resource of time - is precisely what the individual artist most need to fully explore new ideas, uncover innovative processes and realise ambitious projects in a way that best suits and serves them."
She added: "This is not simply a place where the artist’s instinct shapes the raw materials of his or her craft. It is also a community, one that appreciates and cultivates the interaction between artists, communities and the environment, whether that environment is conceived as local, national or international".
The Arts Council awarded the centre €112,000 in funding for the centre’s 2008 programme, along with an additional €40,000 for an exciting project, called ‘New Sites - New Fields’, which will take place this month and in October.
The Arts Council is currently engaged in a substantial research project about the challenges and demands facing artists, part of which will focus on the scarce availability of the studios and work spaces vital for them to fully realise their artistic ambitions.
In this context, the new Leitrim Sculpture Centre takes on particular significance, with the Arts Council seeing the facility as an important way to encourage and help artists develop in the North West of Ireland and across the country.