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AOIFA fest underway with Floral Art Exhibition

A sign points the way to an exhibition during the AOIFA Festival in Ardee. Photo Credit: Adrian Crawley.
This article originally appeared on ThisIsArdee.ie

The 2017 AOIFA Festival officially kicks off on Friday evening as Mary Kennedy opens the event in Ardee – but for those of you who just can’t wait, a new floral art exhibition is open all week long to visitors.

Seven artists – including local artist Padraig Lynch – will be displaying their works at Ardee Library all week and through the festival at the weekend, during normal library opening hours.


On Tuesday, local councillor Jim Tenanty was on hand to open the exhibit which was put together by Lynch to coincide with the national festival this weekend.

“I was asked by the committee of Celtic Way to mount an exhibition of paintings in Ardee library in conjunction with the 2017 national flower festival,” Padraig explains. “As I held an exhibition of my own work there as recently as November 2015, I consider it too soon for a similar event.

“Having given the invitation some thought, I decided to bring together work by artists who paint flowers, and if possible, paint gardens.”

The exhibition is built around the work of Thomas Ryan. Originally from Limerick but now living in Ashbourne, Ryan has exhibited in Ardee many times before – as far back as the 1970s and as recently as 2009.

Ryan’s work hangs in public galleries and major collections around the world. A former Royal Hibernian Academy presdeint, he is an esteemed artist who has accrued a large selection of floral paintings over the years, particulary of roses.

Among the other artists on display in Ardee Library is Brian Kieran, who specialises in digitally altered photography. No stranger to Ardee, Kieran has held two of his three solo exhibitions to date in Ardee with another in Clontarf. Irish wildflowers are his preferred subject.

Work by Oonagh Phillips which is on display at Ardee Library.

Another Ardee native who will display her artistry this week is Carmel Callan. Originally from Drumconrath but now living in the town, Carmel is a keen gardener and likes to paint landscape and flowers too. Carmel, who predominately paints in oil, has held three solo exhibitions of her own.

Art teacher Lillian Regan will also exhibit this week. A regular exhibitor at the Mulvany Art Gallery in Dublin, she has also displayed her work at the RHA Annual Exhibition.

Work on display also includes that of Oonagh Phillips and Kathy Barry. If you’re in Ardee this week, be sure to check out the exhibition during library opening hours.

The AOIFA 2017 Celtic Way Festival gets underway in Ardee on Friday night as Mary Kennedy opens the festival at the Church of the Nativity of Our Lady at 7.30pm. Admission to the festival is €10.

Ardee Concert Band will perform at both the official opening on the Friday evening and again over the course of the weekend.

This year – the festival will use the Church of the Nativity of Our Lady and St Mary’s Church of Ireland as the two main venues, while Ardee Parish Centre will also be a hub of activity over the three days of the festival. While a €10 programme will admit patrons to both churches over the entire weekend, activities in the parish centre will be free of charge.

There will be a craft corner, plant sales, Once Loved floral accessories, assorted trade stands, teas, raffles and an art exhibition there for all to enjoy for free.

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