Art for all at FE McWilliam Gallery this July


The FE McWilliam Gallery and Studio, Banbridge has a plentiful palette of activities on offer this July guaranteed to delight culture seekers of all ages from talented toddlers to the most experienced of arts aficionados.

The Pursuit of Happiness, a new exhibition by local artist Eddie Rafferty is a stunning collection of work featuring prints, drawings, paintings and collages depicting the people and places that Eddie has encountered at home and abroad, particularly in South Africa where he worked as an artist in residence.  The exhibition also includes a series of colour lithographs depicting subjects of local interest including the original Iveagh Cinema in Banbridge and Gilford Pigeon Club.


The exhibition, which continues until 2 September, is open to the public Monday – Saturday, 10am – 5pm and Sunday’s 1pm – 5pm, however for a more in-depth insight to the artist and his work guided tours are available on Saturday 22 and Wednesday 26 July at 11am. Booking is not required.


Renowned art historian Amanda Croft will be presenting an exhibition talk entitled ‘Eddie Rafferty: themes, sources and influences’, on Tuesday 25 July at 7.30pm. This illustrated talk will look at the work of various artists who have influenced the artist – from the photography of Victor Sloan and the drawing of Egon Schiele to the distinctive paintings of South African artists Marlene Dumas, William Kentridge and Sam Nhlengethwa.  The talk costs £5 or £3 for Friends of McWilliam Members on presentation of a Friends card.


The gallery will also be hosting an array of activities and workshops suitable for children aged 6-11 years. Workshops include collage making, t-shirt printing, Ipad photo manipulation and to coincide with the free outdoor theatre event, Charles Dicken's Great Expectations in Solitude Park on Friday 21 July, there will be a special themed workshop focusing on mark making techniques and the art of decoupage! Further details on all children’s workshops are available at or T: 028 4062 3322.


The ever popular Toddler Tuesday continues on Tuesday 18 July & Tuesday 25 July from 2-3pm with artist Deborah Malcomson leading an imaginative arts masterclass for children aged 2 - 5 years. Taking inspiration from the current exhibition this friendly, interactive workshop is guaranteed to get the creative juices flowing in your tiny tots!   


For those seeking inner peace and tranquillity the gallery will be offering a free six week Chi Me course beginning on Monday 31 July from 10am – 11am. The serene setting of the garden is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy the many benefits of Chi Me which is based on a series of Tai Chi influenced exercises with the aim of improving muscular strength, balance, co-ordination, flexibility and relaxation, it also includes specific exercises which may aid in falls prevention.  As well as the numerous benefits that Chi Me can bring, it also creates a wonderful sense of wellbeing and can improve quality of life.


From 18 June until 27 August the gallery and café will now offer extended opening hours from 1 – 5pm each Sunday giving you even more time to enjoy the cultural creativity on offer.


For further information or to book a place on any of the events contact F.E. McWilliam Gallery & Studio on T: 028 4062 3322 Monday – Saturday 10am – 5pm and Sunday 1pm – 5pm or E: Details on all activities and exhibitions can be found at or

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