2016 has been a great year for The Model, with a kaleidoscope of art and cultural events taking place in the beautiful surroundings of The Model throughout the year. People of all ages have been attending our exciting mix of events and projects, ranging from music to film, artist talks, seminars, children’s workshops, an exciting teenage programme, supported by Sligo Credit Union and a number of unique community-engagement and education projects. With education and community projects leading the way, Punc 1×1, The Model’s new primary schools outreach programme and Sligo Global Kitchen have without a doubt been the hits of 2016.
Sligo Global Kitchen is a community art project engaging residents of Globe House (the region’s direct provision centre for asylum seekers) in an amazing culinary and cultural experience. Led by locally-based artist Anna Spearman. Sligo Global Kitchen uses the social relations of food and art to engage residents of Globe House in a meaningful cultural exchange with Sligo’s communities. Experiencing the best of multi-cultural cuisine, the whole concept is based on the principle of hospitality, a cornerstone of Irish culture and values, which is equally important in other cultures. Sligo Global Kitchen is a gesture of solidarity to people living in direct provision in this town and it’s a celebration of the commonality that the every day rituals of cooking and food brings to Sligo. As Sligo is becoming a more diverse and multi-cultural society, the communal table at the heart of Global Kitchen is a fantastic vehicle for enriching Sligo’s cultural life. Sligo Global Kitchen meet monthly at The Model and also appear in pop up venues throughout the county.
Meanwhile in Sligo’s primary schools, a ground-breaking project has been unfolding throughout the county. Punc 1×1, an acronym meaning Pop-Up Niland Collection is a major outreach schools’ programme taking place in the academic year 2016/2017. Children and their communities from all over Sligo are encountering original artworks in their schools. The Model education team have been busy visiting schools throughout the county as this pop up exhibition rolls out, one art work at a time in ten participating schools. The brainchild of curator Jobst Graeves, this project will eventually touch every child in the county in the next seven years. The positive impact of this project has already seen numbers of school visits to The Model more than double in the last few months. And if the schools can’t come to The Model, distance often being a barrier to participation, The Model will come to the schools. The project is inspirational and will continue to make waves across the county in 2017, culminating in an final exhibition of all the artworks in The Model in June, 2017 to mark the end of the first year of this dynamic educational schools programmme.
The Model has been delighted to have received funding to support Punc 1×1 and Sligo Global Kitchen from The Community Foundation for Ireland,. A long-term commitment from the foundation has resourced The Model in a way that has allowed us to think outside the box and to take steps in ways we woudn’t have been able to imagine without this support.
Our aim this year was to continue to engage everyone in the North West in exciting art projects, from the very small to the very tall – to make, create and experience art. No matter what age you are, no matter what level of experience you have, The Model aims to always be a place for everyone. The Model is not just a space, but an art and cultural experience that can touch you, in many ways. The Model will continue to deliver programmes into 2017 that we hope will bring joy and learning to all who participate and attend events at The Model. The Model receives core funding from the Sligo County Council and the Arts Council of Ireland.