The Great Paint!

Photography Workshop

Would you like to help us make this year’s Midleton Arts Festival poster? Be part of The Great Paint!

We will paint 50 canvasses and then put them all together to make one huge image to advertise the festival. The huge painting will be displayed during the festival.

Participants can purchase a 40cm x 30cm canvas on the day which will contain a few lines of the overall painting, on this you can paint anything you wish but remember the theme of this years festival is ‘Secret Spaces’.

All welcome from ages 8 up but we only have 50 canvasses so it’s first come first served!

We’ll be painting on the floor of METNS hall so bring along a cushion or an easel if you wish to make yourself comfortable.

You don’t have to be an experienced painter, just a love of fun, collaborative creativity and a keen interest is enough.

Painting will start at 11am sharp.

€10 per canvas
All materials provided.

Street Gallery

For the past two years we have had the wonderful artist Fiona Cavallo organising our Street Gallery for the festival. Shop fronts along the Main Street and side streets display paintings from East Cork artists. It adds to the great atmosphere and buzz along the Main Street leading up to and during the Festival.

We d like to give a HUGE Thank You to Fiona for all her hard work and the time and expertise she has generously contributed to the Festival.

For MAF 2018 she will be taking a break and passing the palette to Annie Cummins.

If you are interested in showcasing your art in a shop front, or even decorating a shop front please email us with your name, number and a photo of a sample of your art, or the paintings you would like to display, so we can match paintings to shop fronts.

We will be creating a list of shops involved and encouraging more shops to have their windows become displays, so if you have a shop, please contact us and we will have a chat about what would work in your shop front.

Junkyard Playground


The Junkyard playground took place on May 12th and 13th in MyPlace, Midleton. The aim of the project was to encourage children to create their own adventures using recycled material. The inspiration for this project came from my PhD thesis, which looks at children’s unstructured play. Unfortunately, due to the institutionalisation of children’s time and space, children have limited time to play in unstructured environments and I wanted to create a creative space where children were only limited by their imagination.

After months of scavenging, the project had collected an impressive amount of cardboard boxes, tubes, bottle tops, string, blankets, clothes pegs and plastic bottles. Using scissors, duct tape and a lot of imagination, the children (and adults) busied themselves creating dens, robots, kitchens, rockets, armour, drums and much more.

One of the most rewarding parts of the project was watching the parents and children becoming absorbed in their activities. Many spending hours working on their projects without being aware of the time passing. Some children were happy to leave their creation behind for others to play with and others took theirs home with them. Overall, more than 150 people attended the Junkyard playground over the weekend and all went away happy.

Many of the children who attended the playground on Saturday returned on Sunday. Some even stayed until it was time to clean up! Thankfully, a number of families even helped with the clean-up, which took three-trailer loads to remove from MyPlace!

I am extremely grateful to all those who took part in the project and to the staff in MyPlace for facilitating it. Plans are already underway to ensure the playground will return for Midleton Arts Festival 2018! See you all there!




History Talk and Live Music Event

The event took place in Midleton library, also known as “The Market House”, the oldest civic building in Midleton and so a historic icon in town. The talk was about the building itself explaining the local history and transformation along the four centuries since it was built.

Tony Harpur introduced the event by introducing the four-piece band, John Cronin and friends, who played a beautiful Irish traditional tune.

Tony proceeded by giving a history talk full of facts with bits of humour that held the audience’s attention all the way to the end.

The band played two more tunes before the audience asked for one more so the event finished with one more tune.

All seats were taken and the public response was very good.

The event lasted over an hour, it was free of charge and family friendly.

Big thanks to Tony Harpur, John Cronin and friends, and Midleton Library staff who so kindly provided invaluable help.

Animation in the Courthouse

The fourth Midleton Arts Festival film competition took place on Saturday the 13th of May. The competition is an opportunity to highlight the wealth of filmmaking talent in the East Cork area, but the competition is open to all and entries came in from as far away as Kinsale.

The films were shown in the beautiful surrounds of Midleton Courthouse on a large projector screen. It is very difficult to have a film competition because it is hard to compare these different pieces of art. The appreciation of art is such an individual thing, and different people will like different films. But this is the fourth year of the competition and we have found that it is an excellent way to celebrate the filmmaking of all the participants, not just the winners.

Prizes were given in four categories:

1. Indy Kids. Films produced by children working independently. This year’s worthy winner was Sean Coffey from Mill Road, Midleton, with a film entitled ‘Know your town”.

2. Community Groups. This year’s winners were Enable Ireland, Littleisland, with their unique interpretation of the ‘Wizard of Oz’.

3. Primary Schools. This year’s winners were Midleton Educate Together’s 3rd class with a film entitled ‘Spaced out Planets tour’.

4. Secondary Schools. This year’s winners were St. Colman’s Community College Midleton, with a film entitled ‘Davina and…’

The quality of the entries this year was spectacular and though it was very difficult to pick winners, the winners were particularly praiseworthy.

The school entries were particularly good this year, and it was very difficult to pick winners, but Midleton Educate Together’s 3rd class with a film entitled ‘Spaced out Planets tour’ was imaginative, beautiful and educational. St Coleman’s ‘Davina and…’, was a humorous take on the trials of teenage life, and went down so well with the audience in the courthouse. Enable Ireland, Little island, unique interpretation of the ‘Wizard of Oz’ was a wonderful example of what community groups can achieve when they work together.

But Sean Coffey’s ‘Know your Town’ stole the show, as it showed his native place (Midleton) through the eyes of a 12-year-old. The film takes us on a journey through Midleton, but in the spaces and places that children like to inhabit. So we have walls, rooftops, lanes and alleyways, trees that yearn to be climbed and beautiful skies full of mystery and wonder. All edited beautifully and wedded neatly to a well-chosen soundtrack. Sean makes Midleton look beautiful, highlights to adults that we are blindly walking past pure beauty every day.

He reminds us that beyond our narrow focus on traffic jams and shopping, the simple beauty of the trees, grass, flowers, old houses are around us all the time. Sean Coffey knows this, and his film reminds us about that.

One of the coordinators of the Arts festival Belinda Walsh commented: “the Midleton Arts Festival aims to celebrate the arts in our town and to celebrate those that make it. The Film competition is a central part of the programme, and it continues to grow and grow every year”.

So get filmmaking, the 2018 competition is now only 11 months away.

A piece by Dr. Lorcan Byrne, PhD, BSocSc who generously gives his time every year to present the films at the Midleton Arts Festival

Fruitcake written and performed by Alice Barry


The Courthouse, Midleton – May 13th at 8pm

Limited tickets; €10 available from Midleton Books


Alice Barry originally from Carrigtwohill and living now in Aghada will perform her one-woman show Fruitcake at this years Midleton Arts Festival. The festival is delighted to welcome Noggin Theatre Company as the first professional theatre company to perform at the festival. Noggin has toured nationally and internationally and is looking forward to impressing a local crowd. Alice is quick to point out that although the piece is titled ‘Fruitcake’ and the premise is that of a woman coming to give a cookery demonstration the production is equally loved by men and women aged thirteen and over as it tells the story of growing up on an Irish country farm. It is a dark yet funny tale involving hardship, murder and intrigue but most of all great sacrifice, realisation and love.


Midleton Arts Festival Press Release


Midleton Arts Festival Celebrates Creativity and Community

The Midleton Arts Festival is a vibrant and welcoming weekend that promotes, expresses and celebrates the bountiful creativity in Midleton and East Cork. Main Street comes alive with art filled shop fronts, public performances, busking, open studios and film installations. The festival features all facets of the arts and has something for all ages, including film, animation, a creative playground, fine art, sound art, sculpture, craft, music, dance, literature, poetry and drama. Event details can be found on our website: Workshops and events offer a chance to join in with the art that happens locally throughout the year. Organised and directed by local artists, who voluntarily contribute their time and resources to the running of the festival, it offers opportunities to try new art forms and engage with others in the community. The festival is a highly enjoyable experience whether you are participating actively or just chilling out listening, watching, exploring. Midleton Arts Festival promotes art as a catalyst for change and growth within its community, and as a wonderful way to explore, share, reflect and express yourself. It aims to bring the community together through the arts.

“Midleton Arts Festival is rapidly emerging as one of County Cork’s leading Arts Festivals. With its strong emphasis on making the arts accessible for all, it brings together great artists and great audiences to enjoy and participate in a programme of events that range from the cutting edge of contemporary art to the traditional”

– Ian McDonagh, Arts Officer, Cork County Council

Midleton Arts Festival would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors. Friends of Midleton Arts Festival include: AIB, Cork County Council, East Cork Municipal Council, Garryvoe Hotel, IMRO, Market Green, Park Hotel, Sage Restaurant

Midleton Arts Festival Launch


Everyone is welcome to come down to the Courtyard and find out what’s in store for Midleton at this year’s art festival. The artists that are organising the events will be there to talk about their plans. Live music, screening of highlights of last year’s movie, craft, junkyard fun and animation for kids, Family friendly free event.

The event will take place on Sunday 30th April from 4 pm – 6 pm in The Courtyard (Next to Sage). Look forward to seeing you all there!