A NEW arts centre has opened to the public in Carlow.
The Visual Centre for Contemporary Art and the George Bernard Shaw Theatre is a 40,000sq ft complex which the management claimed “will rank among the best international cultural spaces”.
The €18 million building contains four galleries, which will be used to stage temporary exhibitions of contemporary art, and a 353-seat theatre, which will host touring productions and also be used for local amateur and professional groups.
Managers said that the main gallery “is without precedent in Ireland” as its size will allow the display of “large-scale contemporary art installations”.
The inaugural temporary exhibitions include The Weight of Light: Irish Abstraction, featuring work by artists Sean Scully, Charles Tyrell, Maud Cotter and others.
The complex is expected to become a significant component of the national cultural infrastructure. Arts Council director Mary Cloake described it as “a superb, imaginatively conceived arts centre”.
The Visual Centre is the second major cultural centre to be built in the southeast this decade following the construction of the new Wexford Opera House.
The centre is located in the grounds of St Patrick’s College and was designed by London-based architect Terry Pawson.
For further details see www.visualcarlow.ie