Established in 2005, 126 Artist-Run Gallery is an artist-led organisation integral to the visual arts culture in Galway. Run voluntarily by a board of professional artists, 126 is an art space that programmes contemporary exhibitions, 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 for 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) 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 artworks 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 media.
- 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 five areas with which to best fulfil the aims listed above. We provide an exhibition 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 contemporary artists face today; we run a residency programme in co-operation with our partners to foster emerging talent – and we produce publications to continue the exciting debates and conversations sparked by all our other activities. In recent years, 126 has moved to its largest space yet and are able to host studio spaces.
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 to our email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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. We also host (when possible) our own residency opportunities with the creation of a new residency space.