Limerick based artist who sold €4k works feels pinch of recession

Anne Sheridan

Reporter:

Anne Sheridan

Limerick based artist who sold €4k works feels pinch of recession

Artist Jean Ryan Hakizimana in his studio in Liddy Street with some of his art students Picture: Michael Cowhey

THE CONSTRUCTION industry may be making a slow comeback, but artists in the city whose work once sold for thousands of euro are feeling the pinch as the recession continues to bite, writes Anne Sheridan.

Rwandan artist Jean Ryan Hakizimana, 40, who has an art gallery and studio on Liddy Street in the city, said his work once commanded prices of up to €4,000, but he is now holding a major sale of his work.

Entitled The Gift, his latest collection which features some 55 works, will be for sale from this Friday night, August 12, in Liddy Street, from 6.30pm. It will be opened by former mayor of Limerick and rugby legend Gerry McLoughlin.

Mr Hakizimana lamented that he and Anne Marie Bourke are among the few independent art gallery curators in the city at present, and he believes that if there were more support of local artists it could have helped with Limerick’s bid to be the European Capital of Culture for 2020, which went to Galway.

“This is my first time exhibiting in this gallery, and my first time of this year, so I hope it will be well supported by the public again. Many of these are new works, and this time I’m offering a special price of €100 to €500 for all the works,” he told the Limerick Leader.

“I have sold paintings in the past for €4,000, but it’s very hard to sell paintings now, and these prices are very reasonable. It’s hard for an artist to keep his head above water, but I’m still working hard and we need to promote the art community in Limerick more. There really should a lot more galleries in Limerick than what there is currently.”

He has held nearly 20 exhibitions since he moved to Limerick a decade ago, and now holds regular art classes in his gallery.

He also has introduced a new photographic service. Full details are on his Facebook page.

The exhibition will run for one week and all are welcome to attend.