Thanks to a very special invitation Banbridge based artist Tommy Barr has been participating in the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Sdružení Q Association of Czech Arts.
The local man, who was born in Dromore and has a studio in Banbridge, is one of six international artists invited to help mark this very special occasion.
The association is an inclusive national body for all arts and has a membership which includes visual artists, writers, dancers, musicians, composers and those in all aspects of film and theatre.
It is a virtual who’s who of current Czech arts practice and as is to be expected, they have been celebrating with a diverse range of events, presented at a number of much loved venues across the region.
Having exhibited in the Czech Republic consistently in recent years, Tommy has many friends there and was delighted to have the opportunity to spend time sharing in their enjoyment of this special occasion and the many events they had worked so hard to create.
He was quick to extend his gratitude to the association for their generous invitation.
Tommy describes his participation as, a short series of painting master classes, providing paintings for the exhibitions and presenting his lecture on the impact of spirituality on Irish visual arts.
And whilst the celebrations were focused on fun, he greatly appreciated and benefited from his conversations with association members, whose thoughts were often rooted in a lifetime of experience and success.
Opening night for Tommy’s solo exhibition, in the Archbishops’ Summer Palace, was unlike anything he has been involved in previously.
It was an interweaving of art with classical music and took place in the beautiful surroundings of one of the Czech Republic’s finest remaining baroque hall.
In the Czech Republic they have a rich artistic heritage and a lively arts environment, of which they are justifiably proud.
Openings like this are infrequent little highlights and great memories.
For Tommy they provide the inspiration and energy that keeps him going.
He also took great pleasure in the presentation of one of his paintings,
“The clothe of gold” to the permanent collection of the palace.
This sees a painting inspired by the Tudor period added to a very appropriate and important collection.
Other paintings from the same series “From the forest deep”, which made up this exhibition may be viewed on Tommy’s web site at www.tbarr.com.
* His next events will be held on August 21 in Japan (group exhibition) and on September 28 in Romania (residency exhibition).