Islandmagee art studio joins international artisans network

An Islandmagee art studio has joined a growing network of food and craft artisans who open their doors to visitors and tourists.

Audrey Kyle and the Mayor, Cllr Maureen Morrow. Photo by McAuley Media.
Audrey Kyle and the Mayor, Cllr Maureen Morrow. Photo by McAuley Media.

Audrey Kyle Art, which is located on a scenic clifftop above the Gobbins path, is the ninth business in Mid and East Antrim and Causeway Coast and Glens areas to enjoy Économusée Artisans at Work status.

The workshop offers classes in watercolour painting, tours and of the chance to view Audrey’s work.

The Économusée Artisans at Work concept was developed in Québec and involves partners from Canada, Norway, Sweden, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland, Haiti, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Speaking at a special launch event, Graham Thompson, chief executive of Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust, said: “Audrey’s workshop brings yet another diverse and unique authenticity to this growing network of Économusée businesses. We are delighted to welcome Audrey Kyle Art to the Économusée network in Northern Ireland.

“With views across the sea to Scotland and an idyllic small working farm set on an iconic peninsula, I can’t think of anywhere more picturesque to develop another amazing artisan workshop.”

Audrey began painting in 2009 under the guidance of well-known landscape artist, Paul Holmes and was accepted as a full member of the Art Society of Ulster in 2014.#

Audrey said: “I would like to express my thanks to everyone for attending this special launch and all those that helped me reach this important milestone in my career.

“As part of my commitment to the Économusée network I will offer visitors pre-booked watercolour painting classes and tours of the workshop where they will see the storyboards which tell the history of the area and my personal journey.”

There are now four artisan workshops in the Mid and East Antrim area and five in Causeway Coast & Glens.

Carole O’Kane, Corporate Services manager, said: “By visiting each of the nine Économusée artisan workshops, tourists and visitors will gain an enhanced experience; learn about the history of the craft and the business; the enthusiasm of the artist along with the added opportunity of meeting the artisans face to face and discovering the beauty and authenticity of the products made and sold onsite.

“We are thankful to our funders: Mid and East Antrim Borough Council and Tourism NI to enable us to increase the Économusée network in the area”.

Northern Ireland’s eight other Économusée workshops are Broighter Gold Rapeseed Oil in Limavady, Scullion Hurls in Loughgiel, Steenson’s Jewellers in Glenarm, Hillstown Brewery in Ahoghill, Hot Milk Forge in Martinstown, Ursa Minor Bakehouse, Broughgammon Farm and North Coast Smokehouse in Ballycastle.