Party Time in Wexford!

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The Spiegeltent Festival is underway. And it seems like the epicentre of the Wexford entertainment scene has moved closer to the water’s edge. Imagine, folks used to come to Wexford in October to hear opera music! http://wexfordspiegeltent.com

Wexford Opera Festival officially opens on Wed, Oct 21 with the traditional fireworks display over the harbour followed by the first of the operas, Koanga by Frederick Delius. The trio of this year’s opera’s is completed by Mascagni’s Guglielmo Ratcliff and Le Pré aux Clercs by Herold. Dress rehearsals take place Oct 18, 19 and 20. Time then to dust down the glad-rags and buff the brogues! www.wexfordopera.com
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Wexford Fringe Festival, which fits like a loose and well adorned overcoat over the main festival, runs Oct 16 to Nov 1. The first Saturday (Oct 17) is always a blast with the hordes moving from one exhibition opening to another and sensible people behaving as though they spent every Saturday afternoon downing hors d’oeuvre and vino! Always a great day on the town. www.wexfordfringe.ie
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There are too many exhibitions for me to list here so I am am just going to highlight a few. To see the full list head to http://www.wexfordfringe.ie/exhibitions.
The Cultural Imperative hosts the launch of ‘ROUND’ at the Saturday Gallery, Wexford this Saturday October 10th at 4pm. The gallery is at 88 South Main Street, Wexford. The exhibition includes hundreds of artworks from local, national and international artists. All artworks are for sale at €100 or less. Exhibition, which is usually a Saturday only affair, runs daily for the duration of the festival. All welcome – with the exception of quadrilateral types who don’t wash their armpits. Wine and water served.
Wexford Arts Centre hosts Yeats & Son – John and Jack Butler Yeats, selected works from The Niland Collection from 18th October – 21st November, 2015. Opening Reception: Saturday 17th October at 4pm with guest speaker Emer McGarry, Deputy Director The Model. Paintings on loan from The Model, home of The Niland Collection, Sligo.
Wexford County Council HQ at Carriglawn, Wexford hosts Selected Works: 2004-13 – A solo exhibition by Nick Miller from 19 October to 20 November 2015. Opening Reception: Friday 23 October at 7pm.
Greenacres Gallery, Selskar, Wexford hosts its annual Festival Art Exhibition with featured artists John Behan RHA & Ken Browne along with over 90 other top drawer artists. Official opening Saturday October 17th @ 6.30pm.
Great selection of affordable art at the Collins-Grant Gallery, Rowe Street, Wexford.
Neil Shawcross is showing at the National Opera House, Wexford (Oct 21 – Nov 1).
Pigyard Gallery, Selskar, Wexford hosts artist Trevor Geoghegan. Official opening Sat, Oct 17 at 7.30pm.
The Harmonics Visual Arts Group has a lovely little show in Selskar, Wexford, just across from Greenacres.
The Old Library, McCauley’s Carpark has work by a selection of Irish artists (Oct 17 – Nov 7).
An Tobar, Westgate Heritage Centre, Wexford hosts Marja van Kampen. Runs Oct 16-Nov 1, 10am-5pm daily.
Talbot Hotel and White’s Hotel welcome back their regular army of exhibitors. A favourite of mine is Senan O’Brien who is showing in White’s Hotel lobby. Also looking forward to Mary T Carberry and Mary Wallace, also at White’s. The Collins Grant Gallery has a selection at the Talbot Hotel. Perennial favourite Jacinta Crowley Long is there also.
The Artistic Endeavours at La Speranza (White’s Hotel), Main St. Wexford features the work of Andrew Kenny, Ewa Babiarczyk, Deirdre Tighe/Schulz, Fintan Ryan, Fiona Byrne, Kate Kos, Kevin P. O’Neill, Jackie Edwards, Jane Meyler, Peter Kelly, Zane Sutra. Photo Exhibition by Kristin Gray. Launch is 6.30pm, Oct 22.
The Tate Guerin Gallery at Well’s House, Ballyedmond hosts “The Makers” exhibition. It launches Tuesday 20 October at 6pm. Features selected portraits from an ongoing series of work by Claire-Jeanne Nash. www.facebook.com/TateGuerinGallery
Fusion Café, Monck St, Wexford has an exhibition of works by Serena Caulfield entitled In:fusion. (Great title!) Launch is 6pm, Thursday, Oct 22.
Artist David Daly‘s festival exhibition at The Pumphouse, Wexford Wildfowl Reserve is always a must-see. Launch happens 4pm, Sat, Oct 24. Runs to Nov 1.
The National Heritage Park has an exhibition of paintings and felted sculptures by Roisin Markham (Oct 16 – Nov 1).
Sift opens at Enniscorthy Institute, Church St, Enniscorthy on Oct 16 (7pm). Sift is a co-curated project initiated by John Busher and Trudi van der Elsen. Without addressing a specific theme, the works examine emerging developments in contemporary painting practice. Over a number of months, all artists will engage in dialogue to explore the shared concerns of their practice that will eventually conclude and unfold in the space. This dialogue will examine literary connections that may emerge, and eventually provide a framework for works through a series of spoken word events. Author Caroline Busher will write a series of short stories in response to the works that will be exhibited alongside the show. Enniscorthy Choral Society will respond to the space through works selected by choral director Donagh Wylde.
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Two annual events at the Talbot Hotel are part of the fabric of Wexford Festival: Wexford Antiques Fair (Oct 22-26) and Wexford Book Fair ((Nov 1). The Antiques Fair goes ahead this year without the presence of chief organiser and super-knowledgable Mairead Furlong. RIP.

There are some great talks over the festival at Wexford Library covering everything from history (1916 Rising) to poetry (Yeats) to children’s literature (Marita Conlon McKenna). www.wexford.ie/wex/Departments/Library/WhatsOn
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Then there’s the music, the comedy and the drama. There really is a jam-packed programme to look forward to. Some of my favourites in no particular order: Eleanor McEvoy, Humperdinck’s Hansel & Gretel, Delorentos, the ever droll Dylan Moran, the South Sea music collective showcasing the best of Wexford music, Oyster Lane’s Hairspray at Dun Mhuire, Ballycogley Players at St Michael’s Hall, Steve Earle and The Dukes, local heroes Corner Boy, film maker Barrie Dowdall’s Ruby Backdrop, WLOS’s Hits from the Musicals, Bridge Drama‘s performance of The Cripple of Inishmaan, Piano Recital by Nathalia Milstein, winner of this year’s Dublin International Piano Festival, Puccini’s Tosca.

Enjoy!
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