(Heidi Wickham, Emer Mc Garry, Tara Mc Gowan and Cormac O’Leary. Image by Barra Cassidy)
In 2013, a group of established Sligo based artists came together with Cairde Sligo Arts Festival with an aim to create a significant, international open submission exhibition for the North West. Cairde Visual was born and the first annual submission took place in The Hyde Bridge Gallery in 2014. The exhibition has, in a short space of time, become a much-anticipated feature in the arts festival’s programme and in the cultural calendar of the region, not to mention an increasingly important fixture for artists all over Ireland and abroad. The third annual exhibition in 2016 boasted over 70 artworks from local, national and international artists, featuring a great diversity of media.
The Model came on board as a collaborative partner in 2015, offering The Model Cara Award – a short-term residency in The Model’s artist studio. Recipients of the Model Cara award to date have been Helen Blake in 2015 and both Daniel Chester and Selma Makela in 2016.
The move of Cairde Visual to The Model for 2017 is an exciting development for all concerned. Director of Cairde Sligo Arts Festival, Tara McGowan, believes that the collaboration with The Model will further enhance the reputation of the annual exhibition. ‘We are delighted to collaborate with The Model as one of Ireland’s leading arts centres. The phenomenal growth and success of the exhibition over the past three years has lead to an increase each year in submissions. The Model’s beautiful gallery spaces will ensure that we can showcase selected works in the best possible way”.
Acting Director at The Model, Emer McGarry is equally looking forward to collaborating with Cairde Sligo Arts Festival on Cairde Visual. “Part of the core work of The Model is to offer opportunities for the development of professional artists. We are delighted to partner with Cairde Visual in 2017 and to extend the opportunity for local, national and international artists at all stages in their careers to submit work for consideration. We believe that we can bring our expertise and experience to the progression of this Sligo-based open submission exhibition”
Submissions are now being accepted for this year’s Cairde Visual. Guidelines and submission forms are available at www.cairdefestival.com and also at The Model reception desk. The deadline for receipt of applications is June 12th 2017.