Visual Arts in Westmeath
Cultural History, Famous Painters/Sculptors and Art Venues (like Mullingar Arts Centre).

County Westmeath, Leinster Province,
Republic of Ireland.

Note: For an introduction to Celtic
and the ancient artifacts of
the Celts, see: Celtic Art. For facts
about the two earliest styles, which
influenced so much Irish art of
the early Christian era in Ireland, see:
Hallstatt (c.800-450 BCE) and
La Tene (c.450-50 BCE).

For a list of national sites of
cultural, historical, architectural
or artistic significance, see:
Architectural Monuments Ireland and
Archeological Monuments Ireland.

Visual Arts in County Westmeath

North of Offaly in the province of Leinster, is the County of Westmeath (An Iarmhi) whose capital is Mullingar. The population of County Westmeath is 71,858 and its largest town is Athlone.

Early Visual Art

Dating from the medieval era in the history of Irish art, the earliest surviving artifacts in Westmeath are the Celtic High Cross sculptures at Bealin/Twyford Demesne. The iconography and decoration on these medieval religious sculptures (known as Insular Art) typically includes scenes from both the Old Testament and the New Testament (usually on the west side). Many high crosses feature complex geometric designs.

Famous Modern Artists

Renowned Irish artists born in Westmeath include: Patrick Graham, (Contemporary Artist); Nuala Holloway, (Contemporary Artist); Geraldine O’Reilly (landscape-inspired mixed-media artist); Anne Rigney, (Abstract Artist and Sculptor); Richard Rothwell, (Academic Portrait Artist and Figurative Painter); Lorcan Walshe, (Figurative Painter in Oils and Mixed-Media).


Arts Venues

The foremost art space in County Westmeath is the Mullingar Arts Centre which opened in 1999. The Arts Centre contains a 400-seat Theatre, two art workshops (catering for Art, Music, Drama, Dance/Ballet and Crafts) and a beautiful Art Gallery. Its current program of visual arts encompasses Irish painting, drawing, Irish sculpture, installation art and fine art photography. Art education among the youth and children of Westmeath is a key priority for the centre, as reflected in its innovative free transport for schools attending art events. In addition, the centre runs numerous classes art classes and provides community arts facilities for senior citizens, people with special needs and the general public. The Mullingar Arts Complex has become a major cultural institution for the county and the Midlands region.

Art Galleries

The Arts Gallery situated in the Mullingar Arts Centre hosts numerous exhibitions of traditional and contemporary artworks. Shows have included: heritage displays of paintings depicting the county's boglands; works by newly graduated students from Dublin's National College of Art and Design (NCAD); displays of still life and installation art; works of pre-twentieth century Religious Art; and many more. In addition, the art gallery has hosted annual exhibitions of both the Sculpture Society of Ireland and the Watercolour Society of Ireland.

Other Westmeath art venues include: Gas Lane Gallery (Siol Resource Centre), Mulling (044-9348134); and Tuar Ard Arts Centre, Moate (09064-82044).

• For more about Irish culture, see: Ireland Visual Arts.
• For more about the historical heritage of the province of Leinster, see: Homepage.
• For details of art venues in Ireland, see: Irish Art Galleries.

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