HAVING spent more than an hour perusing the exhibition, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan TD proclaimed the Limerick School of Art and Design graduate show to be “of the highest standard”.
The arts minister was the guest of honour in the LIT school of art and design on Saturday to officially open the graduate show, the annual showcase of work from over 150 students in total attending the Clare Street college.
The show features work across the various disciplines in LSAD, which includes fashion and design, ceramics, painting and printmaking, sculpture and combined media.
Opening the show, Mr Deenihan, who himself attended the former PE college in Thomond that is now part of the University of Limerick, said he had “always recognised this school as being one of the best in the country”.
“This school has a great tradition and all of the students should be very proud to have passed through it,” he said to the 150 graduates and their families who gathered in the sunshine in the courtyard in LSAD to hear him speak.
“I want to recognise the commitment of the students and staff and the great history this school has,” he continued.
“The fact that this school is now ranked 42nd in the world for fashion design makes a major statement, so those of you leaving here in the six disciplines are going out of here with an advantage over your peers in other colleges in this country, remember that,” he added.
Mike Fitzpatrick, head of school in LSAD, also paid tribute to the work created by the students, who he said have “contributed so much to this college over the last four years, they have developed themselves, each other and created a great group here”.
“The show is very impressive, it is some level of achievement,” added Mr Fitzpatrick, who also noted that it was a “historic first” for the college to have a minister present to open the graduate show.
A number of prizes were presented to students for their work in the huge exhibition, including Corbally’s Ramona O’Halloran, who won the first prize in the Revenue Commissioners art purchase scheme of €1,000.
Having viewed the exhibition, Mr Deenihan said it was “challenging” to the observer in its scope.
“The exhibition is of the highest standard. It is very diverse across the whole six disciplines, very challenging,” he said.
“From the point of view of contemporary art, it is going in different directions like it should, some of the graduates are experimenting and striving to be different in a time when it is difficult to be different and be successful.
“So they are challenging themselves and are producing very challenging work for the observer,” he added.
The exhibition runs until this Friday and is open daily to visitors from 9.30am-4.30pm. Admission is free. See www.lit.ie/lsad.