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Exhibition selected by Young Curators at the Irish Museum of Modern Art

An exhibition of some 22 artworks, selected by eight secondary school students from Waterford, Meath and Dublin, goes on show at the Irish Museum of Modern Art on Tuesday 13 July 1999. The exhibition, entitled somebodies, is being selected and curated from the Irish Museum of Modern Art’s Collection, by a group of Young Curators who have been working with the Head of the Museum’s Collection, Catherine Marshall over the last 3 years. This is the first time that people of their age have been invited into a national institution to curate an exhibition.

The Young Curators are a group of eight teenagers who have come together using the Museum’s Collection as their primary resource. Drawn from schools in Waterford, Meath and Dublin, the Young Curators developed out of Open Minds, a Waterford-based project which resulted in the exhibition Blah, Blah, Blah, selected from the Allied Irish Banks Collection and shown at the City Hall, Waterford, in 1997. Now, three years later, the group has grown to involve students from Meath and Dublin.

The concept of the exhibition was developed and refined through regular meetings at both the Garter Lane Arts Centre in Waterford and at the Museum at which art works were selected, venues agreed and problems of space, hanging, lighting and catalogue design discussed. Catherine Marshall, Head of the Collection, said :
“Despite the pressure of Leaving Certificate and other examinations, they have been an enthusiastic, inventive and hard-working group. Most inspiring of all – they have been astonishingly clear-headed and business-like in arriving at group decisions, sensible in their allocation of work-loads, in short, a model for older and more experienced professionals.”

Among the artists the group have chosen are Janine Antoni, Robert Ballagh, Dorothy Cross, John Kindness, Nigel Rolfe and Kathy Prendergast. One of the curators, Barry Gavin of Waterford said :
“The reason I chose the pieces I did is because they all stood out from the others in different ways. I didn’t pick them for any artistic reason really. I just like them, and that’s what I’d like to see in an exhibition of art, pictures that are selected because the curators liked them, not for any feat of artistic achievement, which, though skillful, can be horribly boring”.
The project is jointly supported by the Garter Lane Arts Centre, Waterford, and the Museum. An illustrated catalogue with texts by The Young Curators, will accompany the exhibition.

somebodies will continue at the Irish Museum of Modern Art until 26 September after which it will travel to Garter Lane Arts Centre in Waterford and Cavan County Museum.

Admission is free.

Opening hours : Tue – Sat 10.00am – 5.30pm
Sun & Bank Holidays 12noon – 5.30pm

For further information and colour and black and white images please contact Philomena Byrne or Rowena Neville, Tel : +353-1-612 9900
Fax : +353-1-612 9999

24 June 1999