13/05/11

13.05.11 Stradbally Arthouse Studio and Library an important resource for Laois area and beyond

Jimmy Deenihan TD Minister for Arts, Heritage, and the Gaeltacht officially opened The Arthouse Studios and Library, in Stradbally, County Laois today (Friday 13th May, 2011). 

The refurbished Stradbally courthouse is now home to a state of the art community library, exhibition gallery, artists’ studios and living accommodation, as well as an equipped music rehearsal space, a kiln and a wonderful outdoor garden area.

The Arthouse Studios opened with selected artists taking up residence in March last. Those chosen were Laois based artist, Karen Hendy, Kerry based artist, Laura Fitzgerald and Kildare based artist Vera Mc Evoy. The resident Craft Worker is Laois based Goldsmith Helena Malone. The studio will be managed by Laois Arts officer Muireann Ní Chonaill.

Speaking at the opening Minister Deenihan said, “the Arthouse studios represent an important resource to add to the Arts Programme and strategies already present in Laois County. The facility will be a real addition to the local community and the wider visual arts and design sector in Ireland. It will represent an important pathway for artists from outside Ireland to make a valuable contribution to expanding and deepening public experiences and direct involvement in the arts”.

The refurbishment and extension, cost in excess of €1.2million, it commenced early in 2010 has been assisted with capital funding of €440,000 from the Department’sAccess II Scheme and Laois County Council.

The ACCESS programme is a key element in the Government’s regional art strategy. ACCESS II scheme is providing grant aid towards the development of arts and culture infrastructure around the country over the years 2007 to 2013. “Eligible facilities include integrated arts centres, theatres, and galleries as well as arts studios and performance spaces,” said the Minister.

Minister Deenihan also noted the art work created by James Hayes on the garden wall of the studios. “The percent for Art scheme facilitated this work and also the purchase of the beautiful limestone sculpture by Henk Korthuys at the front, which was made in Mc Keon’s Stone, Limestone Yard in Stradbally last summer. It is particularly interesting to see the fusion of the old stone building with the modern glass and steel style which has resulted in one of the most aesthetically pleasing buildings not alone in Laois but in Ireland that I have come across” added the Minister.

ENDS

To contact Minister Deenihan for interview phone 087 2908193

Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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