Members of Kellective at the Old Sawmills, back from left, Robert English, Ian Rogan, John Meehan and Mark Smith; front, Gwen O'Sullivan, Fiona Murphy and Aileen McLoughlin.
Another major step in establishing Kells as a creative centre in the North East takes place on Saturday 18th August when Arts Kellective holds an exhibition in The Old Sawmills on Church Lane.
Arts Kellective is a new umbrella organisation that aims to bring Kells back into focus as a centre for the arts. The exhibition, which will take place from 6pm to 9pm also marks the start of National Heritage week.
The event will also serve as the launch of the innovative new arts group, which includes visual artists, graphic artists, arts educators, community artists, glass mixed media artists, poets, musicians and people involved in the dramatic arts.
This exciting exhibition will include installation work by Ian Rogan and Sarah O'Reilly, glass and photo transparencies works by Fiona Murphy, photographs by Kate Flood, paintings by Robert English and Gwen O'Sullivan and works by Patrick Morris. Excerpts from Mark Smith's recent succcessful Type Trail will also feature. Other local artists also plan to exhibit, helping to create a strong cross-disciplinary mix of artwork.
Art teacher and graphic artist, Aileen O'Loughlin, has created a new logo and promotional material for Arts Kellective. The group has been busy completing phase one of a project, which aims to transform The Sawmill into a Creative Centre. The Sawmill courtyard, which is positioned off the historical cobbled Church Lane in Kells, has already been transformed in to an engaging gallery space.
This lovely building was a hub of activity as both a sawmill and carpentry workshop called T & J Sheridan Joinery until 2005.
The current owners, the Nevin family, have generously supported the arts by allocating the building to the group, allowing them to try to re-establish Kells as a creative hub once again. Interestingly, in 1994, artist Fiona Murphy worked in the carpentry workshop and Tony Sheridan (since deceased) helped her create a 10 foot glass and timber piece that is now a sculptural feature in Dublin City University.
The exhibition will provide a treasure trove of interest to all and will also include a poetry recital by local poet Michael McGovern entitled 'Another Book of Kells'. Local musicians will add to the celebratory occasion. Admission is free.
Arts Kellective is continually growing and welcomes those interested in or working in the arts to join. Mark Smith, a formative member of the group who is renowned for his innovative role in local Community Art Projects, adds: "We hope to make art accessible to all by building the resources and networks that are needed for artistic development of community arts."
As part of the launch, Arts Kellective is running an Art for Kids weekend, with workshops for children taking place in Kells People's Resource Centre on Saturday and Sunday on 18th and 19th August.
These creative workshops, based upon local heritage themes, will culminate in a children's collaborative artwork project, a large banner and a Book of Kells by the children, that will be something to look out for in prominent areas around the town. The workshops run from 10am until 3pm each day.
As a group, Arts Kellective strives to develop strong links with numerous arts organisations and groups throughout the country and further afield.
"We are currently working on projects that are set to enhance the visual look of Kells," says Fiona Murphy.
"We have worked in collaboration with and with the support of Kells Town Council, Kells Chamber of Commerce, Kells Tourism Forum and The Local Heroes Group." To book Art for Kids workshops, contact Kells People's Resource Centre on (046) 924 7161.