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This year's touring Art of the State exhibition is titled Across Boundaries. It is an exhibition of forty contemporary art works acquired by the Department of Finance and Personnel in Northern Ireland (DFP) and the OPW in recent years. OPW has been working in co-operation with DFP on our joint art exhibitions since 1997 and the art works included have been purchased by both Departments for public buildings located throughout the island. The title of this year's exhibition refers to the artistic boundaries that the included artists cross in terms of genre, style and media. The exhibition contains paintings, prints and photographs. Some are figurative works and others abstract. The exhibition title also refers to the geographical boundaries that many of the featured artists physically crosssome currently live in Ireland but have originated from many different locations including USA, Russia and Japan. There are also artists featured whose work is known internationally, who live and work in Ireland for part of the year and spend time working abroad also. This year's exhibition travels to six venues, two in Northern Ireland - in September to Gray's Printer Museum, Strabane, and in October to Down Arts Centre, Downpatrick, and four in the Republic of Ireland - Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin in July; Emo Court, Co. Laois in August; Wexford Vocational College for the Opera Festival in October, and finally, Fota House & Gardens in Carrigtwohill, Co. Cork in November to co-incide with Cork City as European Capital of Culture 2005.
The exhibitions were opened by Minister Parlon in Rathfarnham Castle in July and at Emo Court in August and both opening nights were extremely successful with large audiences attending both venues. The staff of OPW's Heritage Services Division and Building Maintenance Services have played an important role in assisting the Art Management Office with this year's exhibition at the heritage properties. Artists included in Across Boundaries are: James Allen; Neisha Allen; Michael Boran; Rachel Burke; John Conway; RJ Brian Coulter; Jack Donovan; Chung Eun-Mo; TP Flanagan; Billy Foley; Martin Gale; Richard Gorman; Brian Gormley; Patrick Harris; Brian Harte; Denise Hussey; Sara Irvine; Anne Kernohan; Ludmila Korol; Alexey Krasnovsky; Ciarán Lennon; Cabrini Lynch; Brian Maguire; Carolyn Maxwell; Gladys Maccabe; Eamon McAteer; Gavin McCandless; Sheila McClean; Patrick McCoy; Colin McGookin; Yvonne Moore; Makiko Nakamura; Veronica Nicholson; Mark Pepper; Frank Phelan; Rajesh Rana; Brian Ranalow; Hamilton Sloan; Norman Smyth, and Francis Tansey. An exhibition catalogue is available from the Art Management Office (01- 6476078). Jacquie Moore Art Management Office.