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Offaly festival seeks to celebrate, transform and surprise

Offaly festival seeks to celebrate, transform and surprise

An image from Birr Vintage Week's promotional material about its main art exhibition which has asked artists to focus on the column in Emmet Square.

There is once again an exciting line-up of Art Events during this year's Birr Vintage Week & Arts Festival, which takes place from 13th- 20th August 2021.

The ethos of Vintage Week is to celebrate, connect, share, transform, surprise. "While we cannot gather together as we would have liked to," says committee member Caroline Conway, "we can celebrate and connect through shared experiences.
This year we are doing everything we can to bring the ‘Spirit of Vintage” to Birr despite the times."

The bunting will be up, the windows will be decorated, and prizes will be awarded for the best costumes for children, adults, and businesses on Vintage Sunday. 

The festival will include a drive-by “Peoples Parade” of decorated cars around the streets of the town, with more prizes, and pop-up Street Performers and buskers on Main Street. There will be Festival Domes with music, workshops and community events throughout the week.

"We are focussing particularly on children with the return of Pavement Art and the Kid’s Treasure Hunt," added Caroline, "and two shows of Parade favourites Fanzini at the theatre.

"We are asking the community to show their Vintage Spirit in the windows of the shops and houses to create a magical window walking trail."

Vintage Luminaries has some surprises this year – some unexpected locations, combining dance with projections for some after dark magic.

Take a walk around the backstreets during the week and you will see strange characters popping out of windows and doors. These are more than they seem and with the Artivive app downloaded, they will spring to life as artworks.

"For 2021 we are bringing the inside-outside with Open air Galleries. Our main exhibition has artists from across the world focussing on Birr, particularly what it means to have an empty column as the main landmark in the town. With New Orleans curator Ric Kasini Kadour, these artists, from as far afield as Poland, Iran and Canada have been connecting via zoom with Birr Historical Society and have produced collages on the theme Empty Columns are a Place to Dream.

"Accompanying the exhibition will be Collage workshops with visiting artists, and an evening talk at Birr Theatre & Arts Centre.
Staying on a dreamy theme, the Open Submission Exhibition, curated by Therry Rudin is titled Through the Looking Glass. There will be artists painting around the town and a pop-up day in the domes for local artists.

"The Vintage Week Committee has been working hard to be able to bring a safe, fun week to the town, reimagining events within Government Guidelines. We are doing all we can, and the rest is up to you. So, dress up decorate your windows, and show what the Spirit of Vintage is for you."

Find out more on the festival's social media channels. 

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