The architecturally significant Parnell Square and location of the Hugh Lane Gallery is home to a two day free family art event, this bank holiday weekend.
The closure of Parnell Square North outside the gallery is a first in its history and has been granted to host what has been aptly called ‘Art and the Outdoors’ by the City Council gallery.
Since the pandemic, people have gotten out and about and are noticing the environment more. The Art and Outdoor theme celebrates the creative potential of what is around us. The Georgian streetscape is key to inspiring Dubliners to stop, look up and around them and to be creative at the event as we embrace an outdoor summer. The two day celebration forms part of a wider programme led by the City Council’s Office of City Recovery in reopening the city safely.
If you are planning a day trip with the family, the location couldn’t be better, as it is on the doorstep of all the major transport links and within walking distance of car parking. Places are limited for social distancing reasons, so come early is the advice.
“Everything will be in adherence to current guidelines so people can feel relaxed and safe. If you can’t make one day, you can make the other as the same artists feature each day” says Jessica O’Donnell, Head of Education and Community Outreach at the Hugh Lane Gallery.
The event kicks off at noon on Saturday 31 July, with the official opening by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Alison Gilliland who says “After so much time spent in lockdown, it’s a great way for people to reconnect with creativity and enjoy a truly inspiring cultural space in the city”.
What you can expect is that the square will be zoned into areas where artists will lead workshops in the outdoors. They’ll be accompanied by street performers, Dublin Circus Project and a live music stage will feature performers from jazz to a string quartet, traditional Irish music and spoken word performances.
The workshops are designed as a family activity and participants will also get the opportunity to share their work. There will be prize draws of a €25 voucher every hour to be spent in the Hugh Lane Gallery Bookshop but to win you must be there in person.
“Trips with children can be expensive but the art materials are provided free of charge, so you don’t need to bring anything just yourselves and your enthusiasm” says Jessica.
Visitors are encouraged to dip in and out of the offerings, have a coffee and a bite at one of the street food stalls. “We want people to try everything or to mix and match. You will have the opportunity to make your own prints. Try some sketching or listen to the musicians. When you have done all that, wander into the Hugh Lane Gallery and take in what is on offer there” says Jessica.
She recommends while people are in town they look out for the gallery’s street commission by artist Asbestos, close by on O’Connell Street.
Art and the Outdoors includes artists podcasts exploring their experiences. There are also art talks on the Gallery’s YouTube channel of artists featured in the gallery, so there is something for everyone. Bring your own ear phones if you want to tune in at the event or do so from home.
Check out www.Hughlane.ie for a list of the performers and times of the events.
Art and the Outdoors takes place this Saturday 31 July and Sunday 1 August from noon to 4pm each day.