Limerick Art Society still going strong in its 70th year

Anne Sheridan

Reporter:

Anne Sheridan

LIMERICK Art Society, the oldest such society in the country, is celebrating its 70th anniversary this week.

LIMERICK Art Society, the oldest such society in the country, is celebrating its 70th anniversary this week.

The society has now grown to 80 members, while President Michael D. Higgins is to launch their December exhibition inspired by his poetry.

However, this week their charity exhibition will open in the Raggle Taggle Gallery, Sarsfield Street, on Friday, April 20, at 8pm by the Minister for Arts, Jimmy Deenihan.

Up to 100 water-themed works - such as seascapes, river and lake scenes - will be on sale on the evening, with proceeds going to Limerick Marine Search & Rescue.

This year’s chosen charity was selected by Gerda Hughes, a life long member of the society, who passed away last year.

Renowned artist and a freeman of the city, Dr. Thomas Ryan PP RHA, who has been president of the Limerick Art Society, for over twenty years reflected on how it has grown and evolved during that time.

“I have seen the society expand into an important cultural amenity in Limerick and its surrounding areas. For anyone interested in art, in its practice and appreciation, the society offers instruction, exhibition opportunities and the companionship of like minded people. I, for one, have benefited from all these areas and I believe the prospects are equally inviting for newcomers,” he said.

The society was founded in 1942 by the late Rt. Rev. Dr. Robert Wyse Jackson. In 1971, Dr. Edward M. Walsh, the founding president of the University of Limerick, took over as president, followed by the present incumbent, Dr. Ryan, in 1983. In 1992, the then President of Ireland, Dr. Mary Robinson opened the society’s golden jubilee exhibition in the Limerick City Gallery of Art.

Current committee member Pat O’Neill said each artist will submit four works for consideration for the sale, with up to 300 people expected to attend. It will run until Wednesday, April 25.