House Rules: How to spot the next big thing

From now until the end of June, art and design schools and colleges are setting up their diploma, degree and graduate shows

Most exhibitions take place in the colleges themselves, though some branch out

Most exhibitions take place in the colleges themselves, though some branch out

 

Wouldn’t you love to be one of those smug people, sorry I mean canny collectors who, when someone mentions a very famous artist or designer, or when astonishing prices are made at auction, says, “Oh, yes, I bought from her degree show . . . ”

Starting from now until the end of June, art and design schools and colleges around Ireland are setting up their diploma, degree and graduate shows, and going gives you an astonishing cocktail of brilliance, coupled with a heady dash of self-interest, because not only do you get to see what the next generation are up to and marvel at their creativity, you also get to discover and support young artists, makers and designers at the very beginning of their careers. Plus, when something does take your fancy, you can pick up a brilliant work to treasure for far less than you’re ever likely to see it again.

But aren’t they just for the art crowd? Not at all, or rather: the big secret about the art crowd is that anyone can join in. You get to be a member just by going to shows and loving art. Right, now that one’s solved, how do you find out where and when they’re on?

Most exhibitions take place in the colleges themselves, though some branch out. Just look up your nearest college online, or phone them for info. Some are only up for a few days, so you have to be organised, but here are a few to get you started: Wexford / IT Carlow May 20th to June 16th (wexfordartscentre.ie); IADT Dún Laoghaire, June 3rd to 8th (iadt.ie); Griffith College Dublin, including interior design, May 26th to June 8th (griffith.ie); and NCAD June 17th to 26th (ncad.ie).

DIT’s showcase covers artists and designers, and while the exhibition is at the new campus in Grangegorman from June 2nd to 8th (dit.ie), they also have part of it this weekend on Sherkin Island off the coast of Cork. With a special ferry deal for €6, plus lunches in the local pubs, it’s a great day out. Ends Sunday at 5pm, see sherkinbava.com for more.

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