Established in 2005, 126 Artist-Run Gallery s an artist led organisation integral to the visual arts culture in Galway. Run voluntarily by a board of professional artists, 126 curates and programmes an arts space including a contemporary exhibition programme, talks & workshops, residencies and research projects. Its focus is to support emerging contemporary practices & partnerships, by creating exhibition, commission & development opportunities.
126 was founded on a democratic structure, in which power flows from the membership to the Board of Directors. The Board promotes the ideology of the membership, as laid out in the organisation’s aims, through the activities of 126. The Board directly represents the membership and it is on the basis of this relationship that the projected success and longevity of 126 is based.
Membership provides a platform to individuals to connect with a larger network of professional artists. There are currently about 200 members. Opportunities include participation in annual members shows, artist talks, events and national and international residencies. By paying an annual subscription fee of €10 (students/concession) and €20 (waged) here you are supporting the core funding of the gallery programme and the sustainment of a vital visual arts organisation in Galway City.
126 will continue its contribution to the visual arts in the greater Galway area by aiming to:
- Maintain a central permanent exhibition space and resource centre for all visual artists.
- Provide a unique platform within Galway for the presentation of art works that are risk-taking, experimental and contemporary.
- Present diverse programming, ranging from established to emerging artists, from international to local practitioners and from conventional to new medias.
- Encourage a growth in the visual arts in Galway and in critical discourse in Ireland.
- Develop an information and support network through our membership.
- Offer support for art college students and recent graduates by promoting unique exhibition opportunities and feedback on their work.
- Promote international exchanges of ideas and artists.
126 has four areas in which in order to best fulfil the aims listed above. We provide an exhibiton space for risk-taking contemporary art by maintaining our central location and holding a programme filled with engaging new works, we research Artist-Led Organisations and the issues facing Contemporary Artists today, we run a residency programme in co-operation with our partners to foster emerging talent, we produce publications to continue the exciting debates and conversations sparked by all our other activities.
Each year 126 runs a full 12-month exhibition programme. This is a combination of show series’ tackling a single curatorial arc (as in the Primary Resource Project of 2015) or solo and group shows that foster emerging talents. We are a visual art venue for both GIAF (Galway International Art Festival) and TULCA festival of visual art. Each year we exhibit work by our members as a group show, either in our gallery space, or as an off-site project. The Members’ show is advertised by Open Call in the first quarter of the year. The Board of Directors programmes the gallery every August and member artists/curators are encouraged to submit proposals for solo shows, click here to find out more.
In order to foster emerging talent 126 has developed a series of residencies with the cooperation of its valuable partners: The Burren College of Art and the ARTFarm. Our residency opportunities are advertised by Open Call and are advertised throughout the year.
As an Artist-Led organisation, 126 seeks to foster a self-reflective stance to its modes of operation and it position within the fabric of the Visual Arts Community. This began with the ‘Tracing Artists’ project which examined the career trajectories of artists who had exhibited with us in the past. The FOOTFALL report and symposium built on this idea, gathering data from various Artist-Led organisations and questioning how we might articulate the non-economic and yet distinct value of what we do.
126 produces a range of publications in order to provide a platform for budding arts writers and establish a continued critical dialogue around current cultural trends and issues. As a celebration of its 10th Birthday, 126 is producing a quarterly magazine in 2015. This publication is a critical look, not only at the gallery’s 10 year history, but the work it has exhibited and its approach to self-organisation and collaboration. You can find out more about this project here.