Culture Night, Friday 19th September.

Culture Night is an annual opportunity to explore hundreds of free, artistic events throughout Ireland. This year, Culture Night falls on the Friday of Fresher’s Week (19th September) – and what better timing? With so many events available, the only difficulty is choosing what to see. From The National Gallery of Ireland’s free gallery tours and ‘performative sculpture’, to events in smaller galleries and studios, experiencing art on this occasion is a truly unmissable event. The Graphic Studio Gallery’s letterpress printing and bookmaking workshop and the special exhibition of contemporary fine art, photography and illustration at The Copper House Gallery are just two of my favourites.

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The JAM Art Factory is displaying an impressive collection of contemporary art and design, in mediums such as screen prints and street art. The New Art Studio is allowing visitors to meet with the artists in their studio space to experience how their artwork is created and see the artists in action. White Lady Art will not only have the artists BUBU and MADE from the all-female street art collective (MINAW) painting live on the night, but they will also have an exhibition of other female artists on show, such as French artists Ciou and Malojo.

Dublin Castle is also opening its grounds, with the castle’s medieval undercroft and historic State Apartments open free of charge. Tours will be available in the Chester Beatty Library within the Castle walls, which holds artistic treasures from cultures all over the world. This is a great opportunity to explore the medieval castle if you have not yet done so. The undercroft at night promises to be especially chilling. I am particularly looking forward to the final event – the Ferocious Mingle Market, which will open with live music on stage and old movies shown in their mini theatre. Artists will have their own studio doors open to sell their works of art, making it a fun indoor market experience.

For those less interested in the arts, many other cultural events are taking place to suit a variety of interests. The Freemason’s Hall is open to the public to view the mysteriously decorated meeting rooms of this Victorian building. It is a special and rare opportunity to see first hand the mystical interior of this much-discussed fraternal society building. The Instituto Cervantes, Dublin is holding a Latin American crafts fair with the opportunity to taste Spanish and Latin American delicacies. There will also be Tango and Flamenco dancing shows and an art exhibition. The Contemporary Music Centre is hosting an evening of new music in their outdoor courtyard with leading contemporary composers and performers. This is an exciting way to see Dublin’s new music scene in an enjoyable venue.

These are just a few of the events that excite me, but get onto http://www.culturenight.ie/ to explore the over 200 events on offer.

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