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Another great line up of artists and musicians for this year’s K-FEST

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By Michelle Crean 

Organisers of this year's K-FEST Arts Festival from June 3 to 6 can't wait for yet another great weekend celebrating emerging artists and musicians.

EXHIBITION: Visitors pictured at a previous K-FEST in Killorglin viewing the art on display. Photo: David Hegarty

MUSIC: Derry band TOUTS pictured performing at a previous K-FEST in Killorglin. Photo: David Hegarty

The June Bank Holiday weekend marks the ninth chapter of the four day festival with an all-new schedule of events, featuring a gallery trail of over 60 visual artists, 30 live bands, spoken word artists, film, crafts, buskers, dancers, workshops, street entertainment, and a multitude of family activities. All the events at K-FEST are offered at no or low cost to the public.

This year organisers had a particularly tough selection process with the artists chosen to exhibit in their pop-up spaces, as they had such a high number of online submissions, and could only take on 60 from the bunch!

Approximately 300 artists submit each year and 60+ are selected to display at K-FEST. At least 15% of spots are ring-fenced for Kerry artists and all artists are being paid a fee in line with The Arts Council Paying The Artists Policy.

Every artist selected for K-FEST is entered into the Screaming Pope Prize automatically.

"This prize is chosen by our team and also by selected judge/judges who differ from year to year," Darragh Kinch of Kinch Design Studio and Marketing Manager for K-FEST, said.

"It is a tribute to their talent and the prize for the winner is €1,000 with four runners up prizes of €100 each and automatic acceptance into the next year's festival to exhibit! It is an opportunity for an emerging artist to maybe try something new with their work with an open space to experiment with exhibition space.

Last year it was a local artist from Tralee, James Hayes, that took the Screaming Pope Prize accolade at the festival.

"James is an incredibly talented painter, and a very deserving winner of our prize last time around. We are looking forward to seeing a new series of paintings from James at this year's festival. We also have a new judge to help with the selection process for this year."

PLENTY TO EXPERIENCE

The festival opens with The Poetry of Comedy Friday night, in which audience members are invited to recite verses that will make everyone titter and laugh. Spoken word events and film take place through the weekend alongside an open mic Rambling House on the Bank Holiday Monday. Pubs across Killorglin will morph into cutting-edge music venues with some of Ireland's best up-and-coming bands and musicians hitting the stage. A few names include Lemonade Shoelace, Naked Lungs and Everything Shook. K-FEST in collaboration with BIMM Institute Dublin will welcome seven student bands to K-FEST, where they will perform and create a live video production. K-FEST’s family and street programme this year includes buskers, art demos, kids market, circus skills, science, yoga, dance, Punch and Judy and the Fairy Trail.

DANCE

Continuing to support dance this year, there will be a Contemporary Sean Nós Dance Performance with award winning artist Sibéal Davitt and Creative Dance Project Film called ‘Imprints’, choreographed and created by dance artist Carol O’Connor will be shown over the weekend in one of the screening areas.

"We have visual artists across all disciplines, including painting, sculpture, print, performance, textiles, graphic design, photography, film, sound art and audio-visual. Selected artists show their work in curated, bespoke pop-up galleries throughout the town’s disused commercial and private spaces," Art Director Rochelle Lucey added.

"We are aiming to experiment a little more with some performance art this year. We will have performative spaces in a couple of our galleries with a diverse collection of performance art and dance."

The arts strand will include a number of artist-led workshops, one in leather-making being held by master crafter Conor Holden and a printmaking workshop with visual artist Aoife Claffey. Limited spaces available, booking is essential, visit www.kfest.ie.

NEW MURAL

"We will also be welcoming a new permanent fixture to the streets of the town of Killorglin with the arrival of a beautiful new mural by ‘Ominous Omin’ in the days leading up to the June Bank Holiday this year. The mural will be a tribute to Máirín Cregan, a historical figure with strong roots in Killorglin, and will be a testament to her life and work. She was an Irish nationalist who was involved in the 1916 Easter Rising and Irish War of Independence. She later made her name writing for children, as well as writing plays and novels for adults."

Another mural, created in support of President Volodymr Zelensky and the people of Ukraine, will be installed for the duration of the festival. Created by Aches, a Dublin based street artist, it will be temporarily installed in one of the gallery spaces.

Since 2013, K-FEST has housed over 800 visual artists and approximately 4,000 original works of art along with a number of murals on the trail throughout the town of Killorglin. With an attendance of more than 10,000 people over the June Bank Holiday weekend, K-FEST affords new and emerging artists from Ireland and beyond the ability to showcase their work to a diverse audience, providing opportunities for patronage, partnerships, and community building with fellow artists and local residents.

To see the full programme of events go to www.kfest.ie.

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Kerry rowing clubs flock to Killarney for the start of the coastal season

There was a fantastic spectacle of colour and rowing on Lough Leane last Sunday (June 16th) with the coastal rowing clubs of Kerry participating in the first ‘Head of the […]

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There was a fantastic spectacle of colour and rowing on Lough Leane last Sunday (June 16th) with the coastal rowing clubs of Kerry participating in the first ‘Head of the Lake’ time-trial for coastal one-design boats.

The event, hosted by the local Flesk Valley Rowing Club, signalled the start of the summer season for clubs rowing the coastal ‘one-design’ boats.

It was fitting that on the weekend that the Killarney National Park celebrated the 60th anniversary of the opening of Muckross House to the public, that hundreds of people also flocked to the Flesk Valley shore to appreciate and enjoy the splendour of the park.

Speaking after the event, Flesk Valley chairman, John Fleming thanked all the Kerry clubs who supported this new event and congratulated all the first-time rowers taking to the water in a competitive event for the first time.
“We were delighted to welcome our neighbouring clubs Workmens’ and Fossa, and look forward to renewing rivalries with them again at the Killarney Regatta at the end of this month,” he said.

“We would also like to thank Mary B. Teahan, Andrew Wharton, Johanna King and the Kerry Coastal Rowing Association for all their support and encouragement, and Denis O’Leary for coordinating safety on the water.”
Flesk Valley would also like to thank the Killarney National Park, Leanes Tool Hire, Hegartys Shop and Muckross Rowing Club for their support.

“This was a great start to the coastal rowing season, and augurs well for the months ahead as clubs build towards the All-Ireland Coastal Rowing Championships to be held in Dingle at the end of August,” added the chairman.

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NPWS announces nature scholarships to mark ‘Muckross 60’

Director General of the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Niall O’ Donnchú, this week announced the inaugural ‘Muckross 60’ nature scholarships to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the opening of […]

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Director General of the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Niall O’ Donnchú, this week announced the inaugural ‘Muckross 60’ nature scholarships to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the opening of Muckross House and Gardens to the public. The scholarships will be funded and managed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Niall O Donnchú said, “Killarney and Muckross have a very special place in Ireland’s heritage legacy, and  such beautiful gems need constant care, nurturing and indeed protecting by future generations. In supporting these third level scholarships, the NPWS is building the knowledge base of the future to assist those generations in continuing to realise the full beauty and nature value of the very unique Muckross House and Gardens and Killarney National Park.”

Mr O Donnchú added: “Killarney has a long history of scholarship, research and frontier work on nature and that continues to this day in the management of Killarney National Park and Muckross House and Gardens. The endowment of these annual scholarships is a very clear attestation that this crucial work continues to be undertaken across our national park system and especially here in Killarney and Muckross. This work has been pioneering in respect of wildlife and nature research and indeed the reintroduction of endangered species and the discovery, even this year, of more.”

Minister for Education and Kerry T.D. Norma Foley also welcomed new scholarships to mark the 60th anniversary of Muckross House.

“Muckross House is one of the jewels in the crown of Kerry tourism and received almost one million visitors last year. These scholarships will further add to our understanding of this outstanding part of our national heritage,” she said.

Muckross House was built by the Herbert family, who were local landlords. They became very wealthy during the 18th century due to the working of the copper mines on the Muckross Peninsula. They commenced the building of the present Muckross House in 1839. It was completed in 1843 at cost of £30,000, just two years prior to the Great Irish Famine. The Herbert family hosted the visit of Queen Victoria to Muckross House in 1861 but later got into financial difficulties and lost the house in 1897.

It was then bought by Lord Ardilaun, a member of the Guinness family. He in turn sold it in 1911 to William Bowers Bourn, a wealthy Californian gold miner. Bowers Bourn gave it to his daughter Maud as a wedding gift when she married Arthur Rose Vincent, an Irish barrister who later became a Senator.

After Maude died from pneumonia in 1929, Arthur Rose Vincent decided to donate Muckross house to the Irish nation as a memorial to his wife. Muckross House was transferred to the state in 1932 with its 11,000 acre estate and became Ireland’s first National Park in 1933.

The park and gardens were opened to the public but the house remained closed until 1964 when it was reopened as a folk museum on June 14, 1964 following a campaign by people in Killarney.

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