North Louth Artists plan to mark 50th anniversary
It's going to be a big year for the North Louth Artists as the group plan a number of events to celebrate their 50th anniversary.
The group was formed in 1968 when a number of prominent artists got together to address the lack of opportunities for artists in the county to exhibit their work.
'This was at a time when there was no arts officer, no supports for visual artists, and nowhere for anyone to show their work,' says Irene Woods. 'Back then, if artists wanted to show their work they had to go to Dublin or Belfast if they wanted it to be seen by serious collectors.'
Founder members of the North Louth Painters, as the group was originally called, included noted artists Bea Orpen and Nano Reid, as well as Cecil Barrow, Doreen Babe, Ernest McDowell, John Haugh and Maureen McManus O'Dowd.
'They held their first exhibition in Ballymascanlon Hotel and the late Mrs Irene Quinn was a great supporter of their work,' continues Irene. The group later began to exhibit during the Maytime Festival, first in the old Tempest Building and more recently in the County Museum and Basement Gallery.
The group has expanded to include artists working in different media including ceramics, metal and glass. A major exhibition to mark their 50th anniversary will be held in The Basement Gallery in May while the group is also planning to launch a website during the year.