From its humble beginnings in a school gym, the Claremorris Open Exhibition has evolved into one of the premier events on the Irish visual arts calendar. Founded in 1978, COE has served as a showcase for the very best in contemporary art, both Irish and international. As both a competition and event the exhibition has proven to be fluid in nature, adapting to the constantly evolving nature of contemporary art and the changing contexts in which it takes place. From a traditional, gallery-based exhibition of painting and sculpture to a site-based, multimedia showcase of all that is exciting, challenging, weird and wonderful, COE has consistently remained a vital force in Irish art. Both as a consequence of and a compliment to the consistently high standard of work showcased in the exhibition, COE has become renowned, both far and wide, for the calibre of curators seeking the pleasure of serving as both adjudicator and curator of the event. Indeed, the list of past curators serves as a roll call of some of the most highly regarded curators from both Ireland and the U.K. We believe that maintaining such a high standard in the selection of our curators has played an important role in ensuring the continuing high standard and success of the exhibition.
As we continue to strive towards bringing the most exciting, diverse, challenging and interesting contemporary art to the west of Ireland, we invite you to join us on our journey. Your journey may only be starting here; we hope it brings you to Claremorris next September.