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FE McWilliam Gallery and Studio goes from strength to strength

24/11/2017

Since opening in September 2008 the FE McWilliam Gallery and Studio in Banbridge has been renowned as a world-class arts facility, and its reputation as a must see attraction continues to grow highlighted by the ever increasing numbers of visitors to the Banbridge venue. Welcoming up to 50,000 visitors annually, the gallery, which was recently declared a 4 Star Visitor Attraction by Tourism Northern Ireland, hosts high quality exhibitions and a year round arts programme.


The exhibition ‘Margaret Clarke: An Independent Spirit’, which was on show from 16 September to the 18 November 2017, amazingly attracted over 8,500 from all parts of Ireland, UK and further afield including France and USA.

 

Organised by the National Gallery of Ireland in collaboration with the F.E. McWilliam Gallery & Studio, the exhibition came to the Borough after a very successful run in Dublin where it was credited with reviving Clarke’s standing in the arts world. The continued popularity of the exhibition at the Banbridge gallery not only underlined the importance of Margaret Clarke and her work but also showcased the quality of the arts facility and its ability to attract exhibitions of the highest calibre presenting them in a perfect arts environment.

 

Just a small selection of comments received by the Gallery during the Margaret Clarke exhibition supports its growing popularity with the public:

 

‘Amazing exhibition and amazing place!’

‘Brilliant exactly what this gallery should be showing’

‘Superb – thank you! Enjoyed it here more than Dublin’

‘Fantastic exhibition on so many levels ... and Ruth is a fantastic guide. Well done!’

‘Great to have a major exhibition in NI’

‘Fantastic exhibition and great guidance’

‘I absolutely love my visits to this place!’

 

Dr Riann Coulter, Curator & Manager of the Gallery, said, ‘We are thrilled that the Margaret Clarke exhibition has been so well received by locals and visitors to the Gallery. This exhibition is our first major collaboration with the National Gallery of Ireland and it has been brilliant to be able to bring such an outstanding exhibition to the Borough. Visitors have really connected with Clarke’s work and have found the exhibition both moving and inspiring.’

 

The next exhibition at the Gallery opens to the public on Saturday 9 December 2017. ‘Self-Reflections: 40 Years of Banbridge Art Club’ is a collaboration with the National Self-Portrait Collection of Ireland, University of Limerick which showcases 45 self-portraits by well-known Irish and Northern Irish artists in addition to self-portraits by 20 members of Banbridge Art Club and once again promises to be very popular with locals and tourists alike.

 

The Gallery will also host Christmas Crafts at the Gallery, a craft fair showcasing many of our best crafts people and provides the perfect opportunity for purchasing unique gifts. Christmas Crafts runs from Friday 1 December from 5pm – 9pm and Saturday 2 December from 10 – 4pm.

 

The Gallery’s workshop and activity programme continues to grow offering cultural and educational opportunities for arts aficionados of all ages with many exciting new projects in the pipeline for 2018.

 

As well as providing both high quality exhibitions and an excellent visitor experience, the Gallery benefits from a convenient location just off the A1, an attractive sculpture garden, the award winning café, Quails at the Gallery and a craft shop show casing the best of local craft and design. For further information on the FE McWilliam Gallery and Studio T: 028 4062 3322, E: info@femcwilliam.com, logon to www.femcwilliam.com and find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/femcwilliamgallery.


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