Cairde Sligo Arts Festival 2017

The Model presents Cairde Visual – Submissions Open / Deadline June 12th

In 2013, a group of established Sligo based artists came together with Cairde Sligo Arts Festival with an aim to create a significant, international open submission exhibition for the North West. Cairde Visual was born and the first annual submission took place in The Hyde Bridge Gallery in 2014. The exhibition has, in a short space of time, become a much-anticipated feature in the arts festival’s programme and in the cultural calendar of the region, not to mention an increasingly important fixture for artists all over Ireland and abroad.  The third annual exhibition in 2016 boasted over 70 artworks from local, national and international artists, featuring a great diversity of media.

The Model came on board as a collaborative partner in 2015, offering The Model Cara Award – a short-term residency in The Model’s artist studio. Recipients of the Model Cara award to date have been Helen Blake in 2015 and both Daniel Chester and Selma Makela in 2016.

Photo by Barra Cassidy

Heidi Wickham, Emer McGarry, Tara McGowan and Cormac OLeary . Photo: Barra Cassidy

The move of Cairde Visual to The Model for 2017 is an exciting development for all concerned. Director of Cairde Sligo Arts Festival, Tara McGowan, believes that the collaboration with The Model will further enhance the reputation of the annual exhibition. ‘We are delighted to collaborate with The Model as one of Ireland’s leading arts centres. The phenomenal growth and success of the exhibition over the past three years has lead to an increase each year in submissions. The Model’s beautiful gallery spaces will ensure that we can showcase selected works in the best possible way”.

Acting Director at The Model, Emer McGarry is equally looking forward to collaborating with Cairde Sligo Arts Festival on Cairde Visual. ““Part of the core work of The Model is to offer opportunities for the development of professional artists. We are delighted to partner with Cairde Visual in 2017 and to extend the opportunity for local, national and international artists at all stages in their careers to submit work for consideration. We believe that we can bring our expertise and experience to the progression of this Sligo-based open submission exhibition”

Submissions are now being accepted for this year’s Cairde Visual. Guidelines and submission forms are available here and also at The Model reception desk. The deadline for receipt of applications is June 12th 2017.

The Big Auction 2017


The annual big auction fundraiser for Cairde Arts Festival takes place on Thurs 1st June from 7pm in the Riverside Hotel, Sligo. This always proves to be a great night out with some amazing donations and unbelievable bargains!

Pick yourself up a treat while helping out your local arts festival! You deserve it!

Have a look at our Auction Catalogue 2016

Cairde Sligo Arts Festival wishes to take this opportunity to thank all of those who have donated.  If you wish to make a donation to the auction you are more than welcome to contact us at

Cairde Sligo Arts Festival will take place this year From July 9th to 15th and once again Sligo will come to life with an excellent range of music, theatre, dance, children’s and family events, visual art and more. All will be revealed in time! Be sure to mark the dates off in your calendar and keep a close eye on our Facebook, Twitter and website for more information on the festival and the line up for 2017.

The Model presents Cairde Visual – now accepting submissions!

We are delighted to announce that Cairde Sligo Arts Festival 4th annual open submission exhibition will take place at the Model this year. Submission details are on the terms and conditions available here:


Save the date – Cairde Arts Festival returns from July 9th – 15th 2017

Cairde Arts Festival returns for 2017 with an action-packed programme of events and family fun taking place from July 9th – 15th! Save the date!

Cairde Arts Festival, Sligo’s annual celebration of cultural diversity and inclusion, is a summer highlight for families and visitors. The Cairde Arts Festival Committee are planning another creatively fuelled programme of inspiring summer time cultural events.

An exciting programme of events to be announced in April 2017.

For more information on Cairde Arts Festival follow on and on twitter @cairdefestival