This year Merrion square artists are taking part in the wonderful Bloomsday festival. We will on Merrion square from 10am – 5pm over the three days where there will be a festive feel to Merrion square as exhibiting artists join in the Bloomsday celebrations.
Artists will be dressed in Bloomsday attire, there will be Art Demonstrations alongside a special exhibition of ‘Joyce’ Paintings to be sold at a very special price.
At 2.00pm, Artist Elizabeth Prendergast will take visitors on a ‘Lunchtime Sculpture Walk’ visiting the many fine exhibits and monuments dotted around the park, commemorating historical events or people…Not to be missed!
‘Vivify’, a Media production company who have been commissioned to make some promotional videos for our Open Air Art Gallery are scheduled to shoot on Merrion Square tomorrow so looking for a good display from as many licence holders possible!
We are present at Merrion Square every Sunday, hail, rain or shine. During inclement weather we hoist canopies and plastic sheeting as protection to the elements. Each week we welcome visitors and any enquiries or curiosities they may have. Your visit to our Open Art Gallery is an opportune time to meet the artist and view the work first hand, consider purchasing an original piece or art for your home or as a present, have it named and signed by the artist, discuss commissioning a piece of artwork or just stopping by for a chat or to say hello!
Merrion Square Open Air Art Gallery, Sundays 10am – 5pm
Letting folk know the who, where, what, why and when!
Merrion Square is especially known for its Georgian houses with their brightly painted doors and their fanlights, Leinster House, and the National Gallery.
Plaques on the walls of the Georgian houses that surround Merrion Square show the famous people who used to live there:
No. 1 Oscar Wilde,
Nos. 52 and 82 William Butler Yeats
No. 58 Daniel O’Connell
No. 70 Sheridan Le Fanu
No. 84 George William Russell
No. 77 Andrew O’Connor Sculptor
No. 65 Edward Schrödinger
No. 64 John Lighton Synge.
Merrion Square was set out between 1762 and 1764 and three sides of it remain the finest example of Georgian Architecture to be seen in Ireland. The fourth side is occupied by Leinster House and the National Gallery.
The Merrion Square park was originally kept for the private use of the residents of the surrounding buildings. The Catholic Church purchased it as a possible site for the first catholic cathedral in Dublin. The park was leased in 1974 by the St Laurence O’Toole Diocesan Trust (acting on behalf of the Archdiocese of Dublin) to the Dublin Corporation for public use. Now you can walk in the park in the sunshine and enjoy the free concerts during summer as well as viewing the art on display on the railings on Sundays.
There are many fine sculptures dotted around the park, each with it’s own commemoration of historical events or people.
One of the most loved of all is The ‘Jesters Chair’ a memorial to Writer, Satirist, Actor and Comic Dermot Morgan. He won a BAFTA for the best comedy performance in 1998 and is best remembered for his role as Father Ted Crilly in the television series Father Ted. He died on 28th February 1998 of a heart attack just 24 hours after recording the last episode of Father Ted while hosting a party in his home.
Oscar Wilde by Danny Osborne: The sculpture is created using different coloured stones from around the world. His jacket is made of nephrite jade, his cuffs and jacket collar are made from thulite, trousers from blue stone granite from Norway, shoes from black Indian granite and his green carnation, buttons and shoelaces are made from bronze.
On the west-side of the square is the Rutland Fountain dating from 1792. The fountain is a commemoration of the Duke of Rutland, Charles Manners who commissioned the piece before his untimely death at the age of thirty-three. Originally water poured from the two bronze lion heads on either side and from the small central conduit water flowed into a large stone conch shell at the base of the fountain. It was restored in late 2008 and 2009.
Organising a major promotional campaign for the wonderful ‘Merrion Square Open Art Gallery’…large Foam Board Posters, 10,000 full our double side leaflets, Car Window Decals to start…So calling on all Merrion artists to get on board for distribution duties, Its your gallery! More to follow…
‘CHRISTMAS ON MERRION SQUARE 2016’ Saturday November 26th, an open day with events for all ages in the magnificent buildings and environs of the Square, 10am-5pm. Merrion Square artists are joining in the festivities, exhibiting on both Saturday and Sunday.
Link to some planned events, more to follow:
I met a gentleman last Sunday on Merrion, Eddie Sheehy, the man responsible for the set up of Merrion Square 30 years ago! Eddie kindly followed up our chat with an e-mail:
….I’m delighted to see that Merrion Square is still thriving after 30 years
It was originally established in 1985 by formally designating Merrion Square West as a Casual Trading Area and restricting the Casual Trading Permits to the sale of original works of art. (This was to prevent the fruit sellers and jewellery sellers who were trading illegally in the City Centre from being allocated spaces ). Ads were placed inviting applications from artists who were interested in exhibiting on Saturdays and Sundays. It started modestly with a number of artists at either side of the Rutland Fountain opposite the National Gallery. Later we extended the permits to include weekdays in December.
It was slow in taking off . In order to generate some interest we organised music from groups who were busking in Grafton Street. In order to give it some further momentum , we renamed it as ” The Boulevard Gallery ” and organised a formal launch in June 1987.
Sales were very slow at first and I bought 2 paintings from an artist called Peig McMahon on the first day.
The relaunch in June 1987 generated some media interest and I attach a copy of a photograph which appeared in the Irish Times on 8th June 1987 . I retained this press cutting because I had purchased the painting from Judith Walshe on the day of the relaunch.
Good luck with the celebrations next weekend .
18th September 2016
Prayers for God’s Blessings and Sincere Thanks To Liz Prendergast and her friends in the Merrion Square Artists Association For the
Fundraising Activity that raised €602.
Just a brief note to acknowledge receipt of €602 which was passed on to us by Elizabeth Prendergast and which was the proceeds of your fundraising activity in aid of the Day Centre. This money will be used to help us in our work with people who are homeless or in need.
While the number of people in need of our service is growing every day, we Capuchins know that with the help of God working through kind people like you, we will continue in our apostolate to those most in need for as long as it is necessary. Every day I thank God for your generosity and it strengthens my own Christian commitment to the work.
On behalf of the people who attend the Centre and the Irish Capuchin Franciscan Order, I offer renewed thanks and our prayers for God’s blessings on you and your families.
With every good wish,
Bro. Kevin Crowley ofm cap.