Footprint Award

A Midleton Arts Festival Award for Contribution to the Arts in Midleton

In 2016 we created an award to give to a member of the local community, Betty Moloney, to recognize and acknowledge her huge contribution to the arts in Midleton.
We now carry on this tradition every year, as the Footprint Award: A Midleton Arts Festival Award for Contribution to the Arts in Midleton

2022 Footprint Award

Midleton Arts Festival award for Contribution to the Arts in Midleton: Belinda Walsh & Ilse de Ziah.

Since the start of the festival Belinda and Ilse have been involved in bringing art to the community and sharing their vision of a town-full of artists connecting with the community to create and come together through art. As Co- Artistic Directors, they were both awarded the Footprint award 2022 for all the years they have been involved in the local arts community, and the work and promotion of the festival and art in Midleton.

2021 Footprint Award

Midleton Arts Festival award for Contribution to the Arts in Midleton: Ronan McCarthy & Jess McCarthy of Midleton Books

Jess & Bones as we know them, were the recipients in 2021 for their amazing work through their Main Street bookstore. Here’s a lovely article about them (photo source):

2019 Footprint Award

Midleton Arts Festival award for Contribution to the Arts in Midleton: Susan Herlihy of Crafty Hands Studio

Susan and her mother with Footprint award at the Half Light Gallery

The 2019 award goes to a wonderful woman, full of energy, and a passion for art and for the community. She has given a huge contribution to so many people for the past 13  years. 

Susan started working with ceramics 23 odd years ago. She had converted her house in Scotland into a studio where she was working and teaching. Early on she saw how much the students were benefitting from being in a creative space and realized the importance of it.

She came back home to Midleton in 2006 and with a clear vision of what she wanted for herself and her community, and she started Crafty Hands studio.

Her vision: to normalize creativity in the the community through the medium of clay. To encourage wellbeing through creativity and to develop her own skills to be able to always have more to offer.

She has a strong business model and since opening her studio there has been a steady flow of thousands of children and adults through her welcoming doors. People come for years.

In her courses she teaches basics and glazes and clays which opens the door for students to go which direction they would like. She gives people a space to be free and a space to work. 

She has Developed in her words “a creative place for the Midleton community to feel and understand the freedom of the arts.”

Her own works are beautiful and we were proud to have her exhibition in the Half Light Gallery for the festival.

The prize is a beautiful footprint painting by Belinda Walsh. It was her and Susan who started the first mid May arts festival, so a huge thank you to both of them for their vision and passion.

2018 Footprint Award

Midleton Arts Festival award for Contribution to the Arts in Midleton: Ina McCarthy of Ina McCarthy for Flowers

Midleton Arts Festival 2018. Picture: Rory O’Toole

The shop is an artwork in itself, and often filled with Ina’s works and other artists paintings for exhibitions. It’s a place that enlivens the town, and adds an artistic feel.

Having started working with another florist thirty years ago and training in the field, having been an art teacher, and having been a psychiatric nurse, Ina was well placed 11 years ago to start up a florist in Midleton. first where Monty’s is now, and 5yrs ago they moved to the present premises on the Main Street.

Ina has created a quirky and welcoming space where people can come in and have a look, and feel comfortable. It’s a place where you are not jumped upon by somebody, or pushed to buy, and the colours, smells and artistry slowly infuse into your senses.

There’s even a sofa where past patients come in and read the paper and have a cup of tea. What better healing than that!

Ina likes people to be able to look, and take photos. She appreciates and feels humbled by people coming in and liking the taste of what they do.”

Her daughter Rachel has been working with Ina since she was about 7. She helped her open the shop and never left. She is also a creative powerhouse in the flower world

Every flower combination for customers for weddings and other events they consider in an artistic manner, reflecting the dresses, the skin tone, what suits the person. The whole process is creative, it is art and many people at many events over the past 11 years have appreciated the beauty of their work.

when I asked Rachel for a quote about her mother she said one that makes her think of Ina is

“blessed are the cracked for they let the light in”

A big thank you to Belinda Walsh who has generously created an artwork for Inas mantelpiece which is the Footprint Award.

please give a big Boula bos to Ina McCarthy as she comes up to collect the Midleton Arts Festival award for Contribution to the Arts in Midleton

2017 Footprint Award

Midleton Arts Festival award for Contribution to the Arts in Midleton: Ross Daly Tattoo Artist 

Ross works at Holy Cow Midleton and has been putting his artwork on people of Midleton for 16 years. See his website here

2016 Footprint Award

Midleton Arts Festival award for Contribution to the Arts in Midleton: Betty Moloney

The 2016 award recipient was announced at the official festival opening on Friday, 12 May, in the Courtyard Gallery above Sage Restaurant. Below is a transcript of the speech given by Ilse de Ziah, which tells a little of Betty’s story in Midleton.

“It’s Betty Moloney’s 80th Birthday today and still a vibrant contributor to the Arts in Midleton.
When I discovered her birthday coincided with the Mid May Arts Festival I thought about the huge contribution Betty has made to the Arts in Midleton and thought it would be wonderful to acknowledge the musical footprints she has made all over the town and in East Cork.

In 1947 she moved to Midelton from Cork. She was playing piano from an early age and the nuns noticed her great talent and encouraged her to play with others so that by the time she was 12 she was accompanying local Midleton singers John Martyn and Michael Moloney, and by 14 she was playing pipe organ at St Mary’s Church, and at 16 appointed official organist there. She still plays for services there and plays organ every Sunday in Balintosis church.

Through the years she has made so many contributions and encouraged hundreds of pupils, many of whom have gone on to be successful musicians.
She founded the Midelton Arts and Music Academy which had teachers of violin, speech, singing, piano, cello and more and ran concerts with pupils past and present including her “Summer Serenade” concerts every year.

She founded the highly successful Midleton Feile (Feile an tSamhraidh) which was held last weekend, attracting over 100 singers and instrumentalists from around Cork, plus over 20 school groups, choirs and bands, and four adult choirs. And all helped out by excellent pianos supplied by her son Peter Moloney, Moloney Pianos and renowned adjudicators from around Ireland.

Her work towards creating a Midleton Theatre did not happen, but the funds she raised were donated to My Place Community Centre, which is now an integral part of the festival and an important place for young people in Midleton.

All this work happened with the help of people, who inspired by Betty, are happy and willing to get on board and give their time generously.

Her footprints have marked these streets and the lives of many and her encouragement, vibrant energy, and sense of humour and fun has been an inspiration.

Betty, I would like to present you with a sculpture made by Belinda Walsh, recognizing and acknowledging your contribution to the arts in Midleton. This mark you have made is symbolised by a foot with a tendril growing up and out representing your vibrancy, input and encouragement to the community.

Thank you for your work and love of the local people and of Arts in Midleton.”