Since the late 1990s, the Department of Finance, Northern Ireland (DoF) and the Office of Public Works (OPW) have collaborated to plan an annual traveling art exhibition that displays pieces from the two public collections at locations all across the island with varying themes.

The current exhibition, Person Presence Perception, will debut to the public at Kilmallock Library in Kilmallock, County Limerick, on December 15.

Minister of State Patrick O’Donovan, who oversees the Office of Public Works, welcomed the exhibition to Kilmallock and made the following remarks:

“I’m honored to be present to welcome this innovative and captivating traveling exhibition to Kilmallock, which enables guests to view artworks from these two state collections on view in nearby public structures. I’m happy that this is the second collaborative exhibition to be on display in Co. Limerick in recent years. The partnership on this cultural initiative has been ongoing for the past 24 years, establishing ties between our two government agencies. This provides locals with the chance to see artworks that are often exhibited in public buildings in Belfast, Dublin, or other parts of the nation locally in an exhibition environment.”

The theme of this year’s show, Person Perception Presence, is on people — the various ways they are portrayed in artworks and the reactions they generate from viewers.

The 40 artists’ 41 works of art express humanity and feature a variety of portraits from collections in a range of mediums, including paintings, photography, prints, and sculpture.

Each work celebrates the uniqueness and the people who are the center of it—those from the past as well as the present—while showcasing the artist’s perspective.

Each exhibition’s artworks serve as a superb illustration of the quality and originality present in today’s visual arts. From both up-and-coming and seasoned artists, there is a diverse spectrum of artistic media and techniques.

The Person Presence Perception exhibition traveled to the Burnavon in Cookstown (September 2022) and the Dunamaise Arts Centre in Portlaoise (October – November 2022) before landing in Kilmallock Library in County Limerick, where it will stay until mid-March 2023.

Mid-March to the end of April 2023 will see it at the Main Guard in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, and in May 2023 it will be at the Armagh County Museum.

In order to organize art exhibitions, the Office of Public Works (OPW) and the Department of Finance of Northern Ireland (DoFNI) have been working together since the late 1990s.

A tour of locations around the island is part of these shows, which feature pieces from both public collections. In recent years, the shows have expanded into larger collaborations with other cultural organizations, allowing audiences to experience the artworks in both collections in a variety of public spaces, including art centers, libraries, universities, historic sites, and other structures.