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June 2017 Art Network Showcase

Once again it was a 'full house' in the Markethouse, Monaghan, on Wednesday night June 28th when the Monaghan Arts Network staged their June Arts Network Showcase. It is an ideal venue for this event and a great opportunity for anyone with any form of artistic talent to display it to a very appreciative audience. The MC on this occasion was Fintan McKenna, whose youthful looks betrays his knowledge and ability to carry out the function with aplomb. First up was Paula McAree, who would be well know in North Monaghan for the quality of her singing. She is organist and soloist in St. Patrick's, Corracrin, and also plays the guitar, tin whistle and harp. At the Showcase she was superbly accompanied by her sister, Edelle, on the guitar. Paula sang songs that most would know and they represented various influences in her music and love of singing. She has a very melodious dulcet voice and provided easy listening and a relaxing start to the night. Next up was Kate Beagan, an Irish artist, who began her art work art when her brother bought her an oil painting set for her birthday. Kate paints landscapes mostly and says that landscapes have an enormous impact on her. She spent time in Australia where she worked with top artists but she returned to Monaghan in 1995. She is in constant demand by corperations and private businesses and continues to produce wonderful landscapes capturing the different light effects on the terrain and trees. She had a number of large landscapes on display and gave a background to some of them which demonstrated how she records views and scenes of 'beautiful Monaghan'.
The usual interval followed and this too is an essential part of the night when like -minds can chat, discuss, compare and question others and is an opportunity to meet the performing artists of the night. Of course the finger food is always a hit and adds greatly to the occasion. We were also able to view a fantastic and beautiful exhibition of Woodturning by the Cross Border Wood-turners group and was given great admiration by all. That exhibition is still running and can be viewed in the Markethouse during opening hours. We have some photos of some of the items below.

The second half began with 18 year old Aoibhín Ní Ghabhann who is following in the great footsteps of her mother, Dara, and has been a backing vocalist on many occasions. As a fluent Irish speaker she composes songs in Irish and English and has performed on Monaghan stages at many events. She also writes short stories and plays and has won awards for some of these. She plays piano, fiddle and bass guitar and loves all types of music. At the Showcase she demonstrated a powerful voice with the songs she selected and she also had her own arrangements for some of them. The lyrics are obviously very important to her and she communicates them to us with a great visual passion and draws one into the story. She was very ably accompanied by Shaun Monaghan on guitar. Shaun displayed his exceptional ability on guitar as a soloist at last month's Showcase and once again his extraordinary talent was clear. Last but by no means least we heard the beautiful voice of Niamh McCormack from Shercock accompanied by the pianist Patrice Keegan. She stunned the audience with the range of her voice and her melodic presentation of arias and some well-known songs. It is no wonder that she has such a CV of places and occasions where she has performed and how much she is in demand. We were honoured to have had the experience of such talent - talent that has been recognised world wide and by presidents of our country.
Well done to all involved and to the Arts Network for making such nights possible.