Artist John Shinnors giving a demonstration to members of Limerick Art Society at the City Art Gallery
LIMERICK’s most prolific abstract artist John Shinnors has been bestowed with honorary membership of the Limerick Art Society, as a marker of the organisation’s 75 years of existence.
The 67-year-old city centre-based artist was awarded the honour for his contribution to Limerick’s arts and culture community, in absentia, at Istabraq Hall at City Hall.
Limerick Art Society chairperson Eamonn McQuade said that Shinnors, who studied at Limerick School of Art and Design, is “the most celebrated painter” in the region at present.
“Perhaps, just as important, he is a great man to do presentations for schools and the society, where he comes in and demonstrates his art live to audiences, which is great.
“He is very quiet about his presentations but he is very good at doing it. I think he likes doing the presentations. He claims to be a landscape painter who has become more of an abstract painter over the years. Some of his early work is really nice,” he told the Limerick Leader.
Mr Shinnors, renowned for his abstract style, delivered the end-of-the-year artist workshop at Limerick City Gallery of Art, hosted by the society.
Mr McQuade said that Shinnors’ unique workshop comprised a still life production of a fire extinguisher, the Spotted Dog pub “mascot” and half a pig’s head.
“We had 10 workshops over the course of 2017, and this was the first time in a long time that the Limerick Art Society has had access to the gallery, although for years before, Limerick Art Society held exhibitions there,” he explained.
Also during the 75th anniversary celebrations, acclaimed Castleconnell painter Barbara Hartigan was awarded a silver medal for years of contribution to the society. He said a large number of LSAD students attend their events. “It is terrific to have the students come along,” adding that there is still huge potential to be unearthed in Limerick’s artistic sphere.
“But what is very heartening is that Limerick City and County Council has set up this strategic policy committee for arts and culture, which I think is a great thing to be happening. And I think what happened was the City of Culture activity, people felt it hadn’t got enough engagement from the local arts and cultural community in that festival. And I think the new strategic policy committee will be excellent in moving that along.”
He also commended the Limerick Arts and Culture Exchange organisation that advocates for improved community engagement across a wide spectrum of the arts sector.
“Limerick hasn’t done badly in the arts. But, in another sense, there is an awful lot of talent around that just needs a bit of encouragement and a base to expand on.”