The ‘Creative Hub’, a brand new Arts space provided by Wexford County Council in partnership with Wexford Art Centre, located at the Bullring Mall, was officially launched this evening by the Mayor of Wexford, Cllr Tony Dempsey.
This exciting new space for artists and creatives located in the heart of Wexford town, in the old Cornmarket Shopping Mall, is now the new home to over 25 artists and craft makers as well as young musicians from the local FDYS youth music programme.
County Arts Officer Liz Burns said the new Hub “will be a mixture of working studios, exhibition, retail, and workshop space for the creative sector in Wexford and also a good focus point for artists to meet, connect and to work.”
Wexford County Council Chief Executive Tom Enright thanked the members of Wexford County Council and Wexford Art Centre for their vision and courage in supporting the project.
“Wexford County Council is delighted to support the creative arts sector in Wexford through this initiative,” said Mr. Enright, who added: “This new Creative Hub is perfectly positioned in the heart of Wexford town’s cultural spine incorporating the National Opera House, Wexford Library, Wexford Arts Centre, and Selskar Abbey and I look forward very much to seeing it progress in the coming years.”
Elizabeth Whyte from Wexford Art Centre also addressed the large attendance and introduced some of the artists whose work will be on permanent public display here.
Following its recent purchase by local businessman and South East Radio boss, Eamonn Buttle, the once-derelict shopping mall has been painstakingly renovated, opening its doors for the first time in many years during last year’s Opera Festival as a highly popular exhibition space.
The new Hub comprises approx. 8,000 square feet and provides much needed space at a subsidised cost for artists from the county’s thriving creative sector.
The initiative is a direct response by the Council to artists’ needs as identified in the county’s recent arts plan ‘Advancing the Arts’ launched earlier this year.
Tenants of the Creative Hub include Wexford Craft Trail who has taken on the largest space – called ‘The Makers House’.
Comprising a mixture of craft makers in glass, ceramics, textiles, printmakers wood and metalwork they include Patsy Flood, Mairead Stafford, Rebecca Homfray, Annette Whelan, Mairead Caribe, Gilly Thomas, and Bianco Divito, Varna Studios and Padraic Parle.
Resident visual artists include Bernadette Doolan, Fran Greene, Helen Gaynor, Ciaran Bowen, Ceri Ryan, Fergus Doyle, Declan Cody and Olivia O’Dwyer.
The Wexford Arts Hub, led by Denis Collins and comprising of writers, visual artists and performers, has taken on another space where it intends to host regular events.
In addition, FDYS Youth Music Programme has leased space for the ‘Music Box’ project which caters for 10–15 young people.
All spaces are currently full booked with residents having signed a one-year lease. A further call out for applications is expected to take place in 2019.
For further enquiries please contact Wexford Arts office: Tel: 053 9196369 or Wexford Arts Centre Tel: 053 9123764.