What is culture night? Perhaps an answer to the question What is Culture? is more relevant. Customs, art and heritage is one answer, and within that comes ritual, music, drama, crafts, dance, religion, museums, architecture and so on. Celebrating a countries culture is an affirmation of identity. Long may it continue.
Yesterday, in the Hotel Castlepollard, Caroline Connolly, Brigid Walshe and Don Mortell did a great job organising the Culture Night event which included an art exhibition, children’s poetry contest, an adult twelve-line poetry contest on the subject My Ireland, Tae Kwando display, an open mic for stories, poems, memoir, and much more.
- An exhibition of art featuring fifty-five exhibits from over twenty local artists from Westmeath, Meath and Cavan. I photographed some of the work with my trusty cellphone but as usual, it doesn’t do the work justice. All the pieces are on sale, and in my humble opinion, many are undersold by the artists. Although they are affordable, and maybe a person buying one and loving it is the only reward the artist wants. The names of the artists are listed below. Art is prominent on culture night and the work covers landscapes, buildings, flora and fauna, portraits, still life, images from myth, and more. A video feature, a tribute to the late Fred Walker, included Brigid Walshe, Don Mortell and the Children of Lir. Also on display are wood pieces crafted by Jack Cunningham.
- Three members of Oldcastle Writer’s Group had paintings displayed: Margaret McKenna, Eleanor Thompson, and Audrey Hayes – see some of their work here http://lyndakirby.com/martha-mccabe-art-exhibition/
- Children were invited to submit poems about Ireland and the organisers received 240 entries. Imagine trying to judge that number and whittle it down. The winners were announced at 4 pm yesterday, and prizes given. It was well attended, and every child in both age groups are winners. A reminder that culture night is for all ages.
- Culture night offered music, displays, and guest speakers from groups such as the ICA, the Irish Countrwomen’s Association; and the health and wellness organisation. I will come back to this when I find the proper name. Both groups spoke about the value of creativity to their members. As did the three gentlemen prominent in the county who used poetry, music and reminiscences to illustrate their Irish heritage.
- The adult poetry competition specified twelve lines on the subject ‘My Ireland’. An apt title for culture night. The poems were read by the authors, or Caroline Connolly in the author’s absence. The winner was a member of Oldcastle Writer’ Group – Margaret McKenna. Margaret also has paintings in the art exhibition. She was unable to attend because her 93-year old mother, Elizabeth McKenna, launched her first art exhibition at the Ramor Theatre in Virginia. I will be popping along to view the art, take pics and report in my next blog.
- As a member of Oldcastle Writer’s Group, I went along to the celebration of Culture Night at Castlepollard. Five members from the group Eleanor Thompson, Margaret Kiernan, Audrey Hayes, Amanda Donnelly and myself signed up for the open mic. Frank Hunt from Write Here, Write Now, the Castlepollard writing group, had a ‘to be continued’ memoir read by Caroline Connolly. Between us, audiences listened to poetry, memoir and short stories. I am proud of our group who as well as being talented writers are also courageous enough to read their work aloud, and do it well. We received great feedback from the audience.
- Some of the paintings on display. Go along and see them for yourself.
Hotel Castlepollard: https://www.facebook.com/hotelcastlepollard/
Thanks go to: Rodney Connolly of Inspiration Tae Kwando who sponsored the elegant trophies. Russ at Castlepollard as mine host. Don Mortell who hung pictures, sorted microphones, moved furniture, and read his moving war poem. All contributed to a great Culture Night.
Artists featured in the Culture Night exhibition are: David Gavin, Mae Fagan, James Quinn, Margaret McKenna, Betty Wyatt, Brigid Walshe, Joe English, Jack Cunningham, Eamon Reilly, Audrey Hayes, Celie White, Bernard Reynolds, Pascal Kiernan, Betty Brady, Ellie Thompson, John Isdell, Grainne Conlon, John Corrigan, Teresa Doyle, Violetta Eve, Ursula Meehan.
If I have forgotten anyone, I am sure someone will let me know.
Thanks for a great evening. I left before the Karaoke.