Launch Art Exhibition ‘Apple Blossom’

Image credits: Ian Maginess

Library staff have been very pleased to work with members of the Ukrainian community again.

Last year local families worked with the Library on a project called Global Voices, Local Choices. This year, family members were invited to take part in an art project with local artist, Patricia McMurray, and the Library’s Education and Outreach Officer, Ursula Monaghan.

The art project centered on identity and integration. The families chose to paint apple blossom, because County Armagh is known as the orchard county of Ireland, and because they have been made very welcome to County Armagh. Their intention is to be able to bring their artwork back to Ukraine to hang in their own home.

The project started in February 2024 with four adults and four young people from the local Ukrainian families working with acrylic artist Patricia. The artworks were then framed locally.

The exhibition was launched in the Library in the presence of the artists and their families, along with some of the Library’s Governors and Guardians, volunteers and staff members.

In addition to the eight artworks, a special poem to complement the exhibition was written by local man, Malachi Kelly, and will be on display.

Referring to her involvement in the project, artist Patricia McMurray said,

I love working alongside people to help people ease their journey, as life can be tough at times for us all. Using art allows me to do that.  

Speaking ahead of the exhibition launch, Ursula Monaghan said,

Armagh Robinson Library is very keen to support outreach programmes which make a genuine difference in people’s lives.  Being actively involved in the delivery of this project, I have witnessed at first-hand the positive benefits that these families have received, by providing them with a platform to connect with the heritage of Armagh, and create their own positive perspective of the beauty of Armagh, as their place of refuge and safety, at a time when they are dealing with the trauma of war in their own country.

Funding for this project has been made possible thanks to the support of the Esme Mitchell Trust and Social Enterprise Academy, as part of the outreach project ‘Steps to Sustainability’.