Visual Arts at Boyle Arts Festival

Visual Arts at Boyle Arts Festival
By Brendan McGee

Minister for Arts and Culture, Heather Humphreys will officially open the eagerly anticipated Boyle Arts Festival on Thursday July 20th in King House at 8pm. Ms. Humphreys will also officially open the 28th annual Visual Arts Exhibition and this will be celebrated by an outdoor musical performance by the group Jawbone, and the magical inflatables of the Castlerea Carnival Group.

This year’s main exhibition is entitled ‘Facing West’ and it will focus on works by established and emerging artists from this region and further west. They will present work in a range of media including painting, drawing, sculpture, textile, ceramics and photography. This exhibition, which has been curated by Paul McKenna, aims to engage, enthuse and inspire.

Practicing artists from the region include Brian Bourke, Vida Pain, Patrick Bradley, Frances Crowe, Malachy Costello, Diane Henshaw, Hughie O’Donoghue, Vera Gaffney, Matthew Gammon and Patricia Burns. The Main Visual Art exhibition is open between 11am and 6pm every day and during events in King House, from Friday July 21st until August 18th.

The Local Artists Expo in the Parochial School provides a forum for artists who would otherwise find few opportunities to display their work. The art is always of an exceptionally high standard and the exhibition provides an important showcase of talent. Many of the artists from this exhibition, such as Vera Gaffney, Naomi Draper, Vivian Murray, Annette Gaffney, and Tina Brooks have excelled to higher levels in their own private exhibitions, or have been invited to exhibit in the main King House exhibition. Entrants are judged for three prizes and the overall winner receives the Sue Hill trophy and the most promising U25 artist receives the Éilís Kilgallen award. Open 10am to 6pm daily.

The renowned Boyle Camera Club, with over 60 members, will showcase a rich and diverse range of their photographic images in the town library at King House, during library hours from July 21st to 29th.

Also on July 20th, local artist Naomi Draper will be opening her studio in the Harrington Studios at King House. It will also be open between 11am and 6pm on July 21st and 22nd.

‘Familiar’ by local beginners photography group Fotofit will present an exhibition of their recent work in the Family Resource Centre, every day from 11am to 4pm, until July 27th. The exhibition will open on July 20th at 7pm.

Also, keep an eye out for ‘pop-up galleries’ and small exhibitions in various shop windows in the town, during the course of the Festival.

Please note that entrance to all exhibitions is free.

For more information, see our programme or call in to The Festival office, next door to Marian’s on Bridge St. The office is open every day (excluding Sundays) from now until July 30th. For more information go to Tel. 071 9663085. Email or find us on Facebook,

Boyle Arts Festival acknowledges the support of the Arts Council, Fáilte Ireland, Local businesses and Roscommon County Council.


Ring Road by Patricia Burns (pic by Sean O’Dowd)
Shaen’s Furnace Red Stones by Hughie O’Donoghue