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Preview of The Model, Sligo in 2010

The Model unveils a world-class programme for Sligo in 2010

One of the most anticipated Sligo events for the coming year is the re-opening of The Model, home of The Niland Collection. Closed for a major redevelopment since early 2008 the centre has been much missed, but the works will be worth the wait. With over 70 people currently employed on site, The Model is being transformed into a world-class visitor attraction with museum standard galleries, a purpose build performance space, a new destination restaurant, and nine stunning artist studios with panoramic views of Sligo below.

The redevelopment has been funded by The Department of Arts, Sports and Tourism (under the Access scheme) and the EU (under the BMW Infrastructural fund), with significant additional funding from the Local Authorities, Model fundraising, and Sligo patronage. Designed by Sheridan Woods architects, the redevelopment of The Model will deliver a space that focuses on the needs of the visitor and the artist in equal measure. As an unparalleled cultural resource for the region, and the place to be, The Model will have a vibrant programme and act as a vital hub for locals and visitors alike.

The first major project will be DORM. Artist collectives from around the world will inhabit The Model, transforming the building in an unprecedented, all-encompassing art project. The building will be filled by national and international artist collectives with art exhibitions, concerts, screenings and discussions forming part of the multi-disciplinary project. An innovative partnership with Sligo IT is also set to be unveiled as part of DORM in the new year.

After re-opening, The Model will also commence an international cinema programme in collaboration with the Irish Film Institute. This programme will bring first run, award-winning films from around the world to Sligo.

One of the first events to be held in The Model is the Sligo New Music Festival, curated by Ian Wilson and celebrating the early, ground-breaking music of Gavin Bryars, including two classic works. The festival will also include new work by leading Northern Irish composer Frank Lyons.

The Model is home to Sligo’s prestigious Niland Collection, which houses the second largest Jack B.Yeats collection in Ireland, second only to The National Gallery. The Niland Collection has been greatly missed since closure. The Model is delighted, therefore, to announce a majorly significant Yeats’ exhibition for summer 2010. Co-curated by internationally renowned artist and curator Brian O’Doherty, the exhibition, entitled Jack B. Yeats, The Outsider, will bring together Yeats’ greatest works. Opening in July, this is a hugely significant show for Ireland, taking place in Sligo.

Also in 2010, a Model co-commission of a Duncan Campbell film entitled Make it New John which tells the story of the DeLorean car, its creator John DeLorean and the workers of the Belfast-based car plant who built it, will also be screened alongside the Yeats exhibition.

The final exhibition of the year features new work from one of the world’s greatest living artists: Ilya Kabakov. Working with his partner Emila, the Kabakovs will present Fallen Angel; a full installation throughout the gallery devoted to a monument of an angel that fell to earth. The exhibition involves paintings, sculptures and entire rooms constructed around this fantasy – both child-like and richly romantic. The Kabakovs will literally be coming from their retrospective exhibition at The Louvre in Paris to mount their exhibition in Sligo, which is a major testament to the international level of Model programming.

Model Director Seamus Kealy has said that the entire Model team are eagerly anticipating a return to The Mall and looking forward to welcoming visitors back info this wonderful building. A major reopening celebration is being planned for the Spring, with details under wraps until the new year. A sneak peek at the building works is available through a sereis of short video tours on The Model’s blog: http://sligomodelblog.wordpress.ie


The Model is distinctive in Ireland as a multi-disciplinary arts organisation that is led by the contemporary visual arts, houses a major art collection of national importance, produces an innovative contemporary music programme, and hosts a film programme - all of which are mediated through an integrated Education programme. The Model is recognised internationally for its standards of excellence.

Already one of the country’s leading centres for contemporary culture, this redevelopment will see the building increase in size by over a third and allow the Model Niland to fully realise its potential as a flagship cultural centre in Ireland. The new extension will deliver high-level artists studios and incubation spaces for creative industries, a purpose built performance space and a new flagship entrance, while the redevelopment to the existing building will deliver a new gallery, a destination restaurant and additional education spaces. Together these works will combine to create a world-class cultural centre with an unparalleled visitor experience marking Sligo on the international cultural map.

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