From its humble beginnings in a school gym, the Claremorris Open Exhibition has evolved into one of the premier events on the Irish visual arts calendar. Founded in 1978, COE has served as a showcase for the very best in contemporary visual art, both Irish and international.
In honour of the 2013 edition, which is running currently, CCR will broadcast Claremorris Open Exhibition: Big Art in a Small Town, a documentary celebrating 35 years of the COE, on Saturday at 2pm.
This hour-long documentary features interviews with Johnny Kirrane, Chairman of the Claremorris Arts Committee and driving force behind the exhibition for the past 35 years; John Behan, sole survivor of the first adjudication panel, and some of the winning artists over the years, such as local woman Bernie Prendergast, Wexford artist Michael Fortune, Dermot Seymour (the first artist from Northern Ireland to win the coveted prize) and Elizabeth McGuire-Cleary, who won the exhibition at the age of 72.
The documentary also features contributions from internationally recognised art critics and curators who have been involved with the Claremorris Open Exhibition over the years such as Mike Collier (University of Sunderland), Lizzy Carey Thomas (Tate Gallery, London), Tom Morton (Hayward Gallery, London) and art critic with the Irish Times, Aidan Dunne.