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County Mayo Libraries.
March- May 1998

This project came out of a meeting with the Local Authority arts officer of Mayo County Council. Mayo is one of Ireland’s largest counties but it does not have a Local Authority visual arts space. As a solution to this problem, the National Programme and the County Arts Officer devised a project in which a series of sculptures from the Collection would be exhibited in the county’s libraries. This was an ambitious plan with twelve libraries, large and small, being involved. A series of large sculptures were selected for display in the larger libraries. In Castlebar, the county’s largest library, two major pieces were installed. Other libraries took smaller pieces chosen to suit each space. The selection included significant international artists, Irish artists and work resulting from two previous Museum Education programmes which are in the care of the Museum. It is estimated that over the exhibition period (11 weeks) up to 30,000 people saw the exhibition. The Arts Office in Mayo County Council produced an exhibition guide and poster with a map, an education pack for teachers and a video. They also organised a series of lectures, one delivered by Catherine Marshall, Senior Curator of the Museum’s Collection, and also used the exhibition to highlight two sculpture symposia which had taken place in Mayo previously. Ag dul Siar, Ag dul Siar is probably the National Programme’s most successful and ambitious project to date and an example of a mature partnership between the Museum and a regional context which is able to function at a high level even without a dedicated gallery space.