In their element: Twenty Five years of the Galway Arts Festival

Wednesday, 17 July 2002

Release date: 15 July, 2002

The James Hardiman Library, NUI Galway, is hosting an exhibition entitled "In their element: 25 years of the Galway Arts Festival".

The exhibition will be formally opened on July 18th, by the President of the University, Dr. Iognáid O Muircheartaigh and will be followed by an address by Kieran Corcoran, a Board Member of Galway Arts Festival. The venue for the exhibition will be the foyer of the James Hardiman Library. It will be open to the public from 19th July, from Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm, and will run to the end of August.

This exhibition, conceived to mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Galway Arts Festival, will contain a selection of the material from the Galway Arts Festival Archive, which has been presented to the University and the Library by the Board of the Festival. It will depict the Festival over 25 years, and will include many photographs, posters, and programmes illustrating its development from a small but vibrant local arts festival, to Ireland's premier international arts event.

This was achieved with no little effort and skill by a dedicated group of organisers and artists over that time and, thanks to their work, the Galway Arts Festival has become an integral part of the artistic life of the city, and is firmly associated in the popular mind with Galway. Indeed, through this and other cultural events, Galway has become synonymous with artistic endeavor in a way that no other Irish city has done, reflecting not only the traditional role the west has played in the national imagination, but also the vibrant youth culture, which has come to the fore in the last number of years.

It is particularly fitting that NUI, Galway should be home to this Archive, given the strong connections between the University and the City over the years, and in particular with Galway Arts Festival. The first Festival began as an alliance between the Galway Arts Society and UCG Arts Society, and the University has provided venues for the Festival down through the years.

Visitors will see in this exhibition, through the personalities and events of many festivals, these very close ties as they reflect the creativity spanning a quarter of a century. The need to preserve this collection and make it accessible to researchers was seen as critical by the Library Archives Service not just as a record of things past, but as a way of inspiring the talents and imagination of a new generation of artists as we enter this new millennium.

Ends

Information from:Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI, Galway. Tel. 091 750418

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