126 Artist-Run Gallery set to reopen on Wednesday

By Charlotte Lavin

The 126 Artist-Run Gallery, a project in partnership with the Circuit Arts Festival in Galway and Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture, is set to reopen on May 19. 

Tom McLean, Board Director of the gallery and Circuit Arts Festival volunteer, says “they will continue with its postponed program,” 

The first exhibition after reopening is called ‘Backwater Artist Group show – Fuzzy Logic’ and will feature the artists Ailbhe Ni Bhrian, Ben Reilly, David Dunne and Lorraine Cleary.

The gallery will also showcase a public art commission by Irish printmaker and visual artist Shane O’Driscoll. 

“This colourful and bright edition to the gallery will be a great marker to signify our re-opening,” says McLean about O’Driscoll highly anticipated artwork. 

The Circuit Arts Festival was funded by the Galway City Council and Galway 2020. Initially set to take place last year, McLean said “they had to re-image the program entirely due to the Covid-19 strict restrictions,”

The first edition of the festival has paid and promoted over 60 artists, making McLean hopeful for a truly successful 2021 edition, and awards for the Circuit Arts Festival 2020 have been announced.

“The awards have been announced and each recipient has automatic entry into Circuit Arts Festival 2021 which is due to take place later this year”, adds the 26-year-old CCAM GMIT graduate.

“As artist ourselves we realise how hard the sector has been hit over the last 12 months and I believe it’s essential to create opportunities and support individual artists” says McLean. He adds that in some cases the government and local councils have failed to support artists.”

McLean adds that even though Galway is “overflowing with talent and creativity”, the city lacks facilities for Arts. 

“Galway 2020 highlighted the rich culture within the city in a lot of cases, but its function was never to solve the internal problems that were here before.”

“On a positive note, I’m hearing more and more talk different projects working towards more accessible spaces in Galway and I’m excited to see how Galway grows over the next five years and solidifies its role of the Arts capital of the West.”

The Circuit Arts Festival is run on a voluntary basis and all funding received is allocated to participating artists.

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