As Canadian graphic designer Lorinda Mamo once said ‘Every great design begins with an even better story’ and this year’s GMIT exhibition entitled ‘25’ was just that and more.

Regarded as one of the major highlights of the art’s calendar in the West, Galway-based award-winning Swedish artist Cecilia Danell opened the degree show in GMIT’s Cluain Mhuire campus this June. While painting is her main medium, her work is multifaceted and she also utilises film and installation.

Caoilfhionn Niģ Cheallaigh -Gaoth Farraige
Caoilfhionn Niģ Cheallaigh -Gaoth Farraige

The exhibition was a compilation of twenty-five students’ work from the BA (Hons) in Contemporary Art programme in GMIT’s School of Design and Creative Arts. Graduating artists from counties such as Galway, Mayo, Roscommon, Laois, Monaghan, Cork, Donegal and Cavan showcased a range of disciplines including sculpture, ceramics, paint, video, textiles, print, photography and digital media. Áine Doherty from Oughterard, Co Galway, one of the students exhibiting her work, says about GMIT: “The last four years here have been life-changing. As a mature student, I had expected to face challenges, and I was right. The environment created by the tutors and students here compels you to re-evaluate the very foundation by which we construct our thought processes about the world we come from and the freedom to imagine a future without boundaries. This is a safe place where wonder can happen”.

Deirdre Crowley-The Riverbank
Deirdre Crowley-The Riverbank

Taking part in this event is an important milestone in the students’ lives. It formally launches their careers to the public and invited guests and provides opportunities to promote their work and even experience their first sale as an artist. The collating of the exhibition is largely self-led as students garner skills through past modules such as curation, professional practice and sustaining practice, to produce a show of appreciable value.  “The diversity of creative expression in the end of year show is a clear reverberation of the unique voice of the exhibitors. We celebrate each artist and their work whilst also preparing to bid farewell to each and every one of them as they ready themselves to embark on their individual journeys,” noted Celine Curtin, Head of Dept, Centre for Creative Arts & Media (CCAM).

Hugh Murphy-Displaced Nation Lifeboat
Hugh Murphy-Displaced Nation Lifeboat

The Contemporary Art degree course at GMIT appeals to those seeking to explore and engage with the contemporary visual world through innovative and challenging ways. Their interdisciplinary approach enables successful graduates to explore the possibilities of the cultural sector in ambitious, innovative and enterprising ways. And as GMIT continues to facilitate an environment where creative students can flourish year on year, these particular 25 artists are certainly painting a very bright future ahead!

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