A new era of creativity for students of art and design in the Mid-West has begun with the official opening of refurbished buildings in the Limerick School of Art and Design.
The opening by Minister for Education Batt O’Keeffe comes after the completion of a €9 million refurbishment at the third-level campus catering for 600 students, many from Clare.
President of LIT, Dr Maria Hinfelaar, said the refurbishment has reinforced the School of Art & Design’s reputation for quality education with a creative flair. “The newly refurbished School of Art and Design is the flagship of LIT. It has dedicated studio spaces for students, with natural light streaming in. The church gallery exhibition area provides a wonderful training ground, as well as an opportunity for the general public to see work produced by our students. The facade and reception area is stunning. It would be difficult to conceive of any space which would be more inspiring to art and design students anywhere else in the country,” she said.
The new head of the school, Mike Fitzpatrick, said that, as the longest established school of the Limerick Institute of Technology, dating back to 1852, the official opening of the refurbishment is a momentous event. “As a purpose-built home for art and design in the Mid-West Region, it’s exciting for all of us – the students, the lecturers and indeed, the wider community, to have one of the finest art education institutions in Ireland or abroad, right here in Limerick.” He continued, “We’re committed to supporting students in their education, in honing their artistic skills and encouraging them to become part of the creative culture through their chosen artistic career.”
Speaking at the official opening, Minister O’Keeffe said that the school retains its links to the past while pointing to a new era of creativity. He commented that the campus was “alive with a sense of renewal”.
“Once the Good Sheppard Convent, the new school of art and design is now a bustling centre of activity for more than 600 students. It took vision to take these distinctive buildings and regenerate them as an inspiring location for the study of art and design.
“The graduates have always taken their skills and training far and wide and I look forward to enjoying their continued artistic and cultural contributions to this city and country,” said Minister O’Keeffe.