AN IRISH bar in Manchester is taking steps to open up the world of art to everyone and encourage people to use their local pubs and clubs.
Levenshulme’s The Union Inn has taken the unusual move of opening its doors to allow three artists to exhibit their work. And regular customers have been enjoying a different type of view as they enjoy their evening pint in the local Irish pub.
Lawrence Hennigan, whose parents hail from Ballycong, Co. Mayo, has been running The Union Inn for six years.
The idea to stage the exhibitions came about partly due to the presence of Bankley Art Studios — a local studio behind the pub.
Studio bosses approached the Irishman about staging an art exhibition as part of this year’s Levenshulme Festival.
Only too happy to support the local artists and photographers he said: “We’re running a campaign to encourage people to use their local pubs and clubs.
“Staging the exhibition here means all are made welcome, no-one feels too intimidated to come in and have a look around.”
The exhibition represents a huge boost to artists based in the region.
Those being staged include: The Levenshulme Portrait project, which is the work of 22-year-old portrait photographer Rebecca Lupton; Levenshulme Cobbles by Vicky Walker and Levenshulme Inside And Out by festival photographer Dave Brunton, featuring shots of last year’s festival.
Former exhibition Looking Through The Eyes Of A Child — a photo exhibition by local children aged from three-nine years of age — has been moved to the local library.
Mr Hennigan says regulars to the pub have reacted well and many who attended for the exhibition opening last week stayed for the Irish session that night.
He said: “Local people can appreciate both the traditional music and the local theme of the exhibitions, so people who come for a drink will view the art and vice-versa.”
The Union Inn will also be supporting the Irish Festival in March by staging many Irish-themed portraits and exhibitions.
Mr Hennigan said: “We will be staging a local photographer’s exhibition of photos from all over Ireland and hope to get more artists’ work displayed in the pub during the festival.”
With a great love for Ireland and having recently bought a family home for his father in Mayo the pub owner claims he will continue to back the local campaign to see local pubs and clubs supported by residents in the area.
He said: “These campaigns are useless when the places have already been closed down, let’s start campaigning and supporting our local area while these places are still there.”
The current exhibitions will be showing in all three rooms of The Union Inn until Sunday, November 4.
Text by Irish Post