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Art with Heart

October 15, 2014 – Culture

This weekend Temple Bar Gallery and Studios will host an art show with a difference. The Animation Art Show is an exhibition that opens Friday 17th featuring over 150 pieces by animation professionals based in Ireland, and increasingly, further afield all of which will be auctioned on Sunday 19th with all proceeds going to the Jack and Jill foundation and the ISPCC.
The show, which provides creative people with a refreshing and satisfying opportunity to use their skills to help others, has been a fantastic success. Niamh Brennan is one of the main volunteer organisers, who in the midst of their momentous week of final preparations kindly shared some words with us about the show and its humble beginnings.

“Over three years ago three workmates, Bianca Beneduci, Simon Kelleghan and Estrela Lourenco, decided to hold an in-house auction for charity in Boulder Media, an animation company in Dublin. There were about 50 pieces all donated by Boulder animators, background artists and compositors, and it raised €2,500. They were amazed by the result and naturally decided to bring it back on a bigger scale. The first official Art Auction was held in the Science Gallery and raised €8,500! The response has been amazing! We have so many brilliant sponsors helping us fund the show (so that all money raised can go to charity) and donating prizes for our raffle. We have so many passionate volunteers and the number grows with every year.”

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To date, the shows have raised over €20,000 euro for a number important of non-profit organisations who specifically work with children. This year, along with a host of fantastic domestic contributions, pieces have come in from all around the word from L.A. to India as word about the show trickles through the animation grapevine. It’s a great time for animation in Ireland. In addition to working with major networks such as BBC and Cartoon Network, increasingly, Irish studios are producing original work. This year at Cartoon Forum, nine Irish Animation projects were pitched. It is exciting. At this point, hopefully you are excited too. You’re probably dying to take a sneak pee at this year’s catalogue which is viewable here.

I asked Niamh if she was particularly excited about any of the pieces: “I was a huge Rugrats fan as a kid, so I have my eye on the cel donated by Rugrats Director Norton Virgien. The quality of the submissions from the Cartoon Saloon crew is crazy good this year and I honestly cannot pick a favourite. Freelance artist and animator Helena Egri’s Parliament of Owls is really beautiful too, and has to been seen in real life to be properly appreciated. They’re just personal favourites though, there isn’t a single piece in this year’s catalogue I wouldn’t be happy to hang on my wall if I could afford them all!”

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There’s something for all tastes, definitely worth having a mosey over to Atrium Space of the Temple Bar Gallery and Studios on Friday night when the exhibition opens at 6pm. “The venue is really gorgeous, three floors of bright open space with the beautiful roof garden as our opening night setting. The Auction on Sunday will be held in the Studio 6 space and we will have an area dedicated to entertaining the kids also!” Niamh enthuses. “The auction will be held on the Sunday from 2pm to 6pm with a short break around half three. Bidding generally goes up in increments of €10. Last year pieces sold for anything from €20 to €600 and everything in between.”

This show offers a rare opportunity to experience the wealth of talent of animation professionals today, many of whom do not usually sell or exhibition their work, and maybe come out with an amazing original piece of artwork while helping an important charity at the same time. If you already have your heart set on a piece and can’t attend, you might be interested in the absentee bidding from here.

I hope you enjoy the video of last years show to put you in that feel-good charitable mood.