For Bealtaine 2013, West Cork Arts Centre is celebrating the many programmes and projects with older people that take place at the Centre and throughout the region. Bealtaine is the Irish national arts festival celebrating creativity as we age. It takes place each May countrywide and involves thousands of participants in every art form.

The festival theme for 2013 is ‘Grow Happy’ inspired by WB Yates’ quote: ‘Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that but simply growth. We are happy when we are growing.’

In partnership with Cork County Council Library and Arts Service, West Cork Arts Centre has co-ordinated the annual Bealtaine Art Trail, a range of exhibitions in libraries in Bantry, Castletownbere, Dunmanway, Schull and Skibbereen. Arts for an Active Mind will host Tea & Talk, a social afternoon of celebration and song at Drinagh Coop Café in Skibbereen on Monday 27 May at 3.00pm. This motivated group of over twenty participants, who work weekly with artist Paul Forde-Cialis at West Cork Arts Centre, will mark their numerous accomplishments with an exhibition at the Café. The group will also exhibit work inspired by the Bealtaine theme at the West Cork Hotel. On Tuesday 14 May, the West Cork Hotel will also be the venue for West Cork Older People’s Network’s Bealtaine Tea Dance, a social afternoon of music, dance and performance brought to you by Liz Clark and Tess Leak from the Starling Song Project.

Other highlights include a special lunchtime screening at the Arts Centre on Monday 20 May of Last Statue Maker in Cork, a simple story of one man’s life and work. Maurice O’Donnell’s fascination with statues as a small child led him to Italy where he learnt from the great masters and continued to make statues into his eighties. Clonakilty Hospital is the venue for Artefacts, an exhibition of bronze sculptures made by residents of Clonakilty and Dunmanway Community Hospitals working with artists Anne Harrrington-Rees, Sarah Ruttle, and Helle Helsner. Portrait of a Street, a fascinating exhibition of work about North Street, Skibbereen made by residents of Skibbereen Day Care Centre working with artist Toma McCullim will be open to the public on Saturday 24 May at the Arts Centre.

Among many other free events and workshops taking place at West Cork Libraries, artist Sean O’Laoghaire investigates the written word in his three part workshop In Memory of the Written Word, where participants will explore the memoir and the art of fixing memories on paper.

For more information contact West Cork Arts Centre | 028-22090 or your local library.

Bealtaine is co-ordinated by Age & Opportunity – the national organisation working to promote greater participation by older people in society.


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