126 Gallery

Board of Directors

Members of the board of directors serve up to two years at 126 Artist-Run-Gallery. They are professional creatives who give their time for free to keep the exhibition space open, to plan and deliver diverse and exciting programmes year in and year out. Democracy is fundamental to the way the Board of Directors operates. Your current board of directors are:

Cadhla Forde

Cadhla Forde, a visual artist from Galway City, graduated with BA in Fine Art from the Limerick School of Art and Design. With a passion for fostering community engagement in the arts, Cadhla has been actively involved in various art initiatives, including directing the Artist of the Month programme at The Portershed, Galway and volunteering at the TULCA arts festival. As the founder of Studio 8, Cadhla aims to promote visual arts events in Galway while supporting emerging local artists. As a painter, Cadhla is inspired by natural landscape. Cadhla's oil paintings reflect a deep connection to nature and challenges viewers to reconsider their relationship with the environment. Through a diverse range of mediums and a non-linear approach to composition, Cadhla's work celebrates the spontaneous beauty and interconnectedness of the natural world, inviting viewers to embrace the chaotic yet harmonious essence of nature.

Jack Knowles

Jack Knowles is a Photographer based in Galway. His work is concerned with seeing the ‘everyday’ as spectacular. Dancing with the ordinary, the day to day, the 9 to 5, the mundane lived experiences and translating them into something special. He weaves together portraiture, still life and landscapes to create lyrical narratives of people and their lived environments.
His debut solo show ‘The Chess Tables’ was presented by Clonakilty Arts Centre in 2022. A show examining skateboarders in his local area at the time and their sense of community, identity and belonging.
Since then, he has continued to develop and exhibit work featuring in galleries nationally and internationally. Taking part in group shows in Rua Red, The Darkroom, Outset Gallery and The Humid.

Emily Lohan

Emily Lohan is a visual artist and musician based in Galway. She graduated in 2021 from ATU with a Bachelor's degree in Contemporary Art and now continues her practice as a member of Barton Studios run by 126 Artist-Run Gallery. 
Her current visual work takes the form of paintings and wool based installations that explore the juxtaposition of existential loneliness and a profound connection between all things. She plays guitar and is the vocalist in her band ‘Cinch’ who play original songs varying from spoken word to fast paced punk.

Lily O’Shea


Lily O’Shea is a visual artist and writer based in Galway concerned with political questions surrounding  the contemporary labourer.  Lily’s work utilizes performance, sculpture, and text to expand on the materiality of precarity while foregrounding various anxieties endured by the modern-day worker. Lily recently received the Creative Practitioners Bursary 2023 from the Galway City Council.


Vanessa Jordan

Vanessa is a multidisciplinary visual artist based in Co.Galway. She just completed the MA in Creative Practice at ATU, Galway, where she re-engaged with her art practice, using the year as an opportunity to refocus on, invest in, and develop her practice further. Jordan has been working as a professional, commercial photographer since 2001 and set up West Coast Arts, an art school in 2011. During the course of her Masters she developed a body of work called Our Blood, which explored concepts of identity and investigated ways in which the portrait can create ambiguous, challenging and emotive experiences. Reflecting on personal history, memory and dreams, she uses expressive portraiture to create narrative in an attempt to reveal that elusive, intangible notion of identity.

Kate McSharry

Since graduating with First Class Honours and the Academic Achievement Award in Contemporary Art at Cluain Mhuire, ATU Galway, Kate has been working in non-formal art education and developing her art practice through residencies and exhibitions. She is the Education Officer at TULCA Festival of Visual Arts, Administrator at Artspace Studios, and worked as an Exhibition Mediator at the Venice Biennale in 2022. Her practice explores moments of (in)action, social and sexual dynamics, and engaging with art as an act of care. Kate's practice has been supported by the Galway City Council Arts Office Artist Bursary 2023.
Instagram: kate_mcsharry

Naoise Sheridan

Naoise Sheridan is an award-winning Irish artist based between Galway and Wicklow. Her practice is primarily focused on human-kind's forgotten place on the earth as creatures of nature, producing large-scale botanical paintings, installations, sculptures and murals featuring naturalistic creatures of the nude female figure. She is Co-Director of the 126 Gallery, Galway and has organised & curated multiple exhibitions over the past number of years. She has been awarded funding by the Arts Council of Ireland and graduated with a BA(H) in Contemporary Art in 2020. She currently works out of MART Studios and is a member of the Westend Art Collective. Alongside her practice she also creates installations for Irish music festivals such as Electric Picnic and has launched the Bleached Jungles project, a community-inclusive mural project aiming to reintroduce elements of nature into urbanized spaces.

Conor Burke


Conor Burke is a multi-media Visual Artist based in Galway City. Burke has a Masters in Art & Design Education (TUS, Limerick) as well as a BA in Fine Art/ Art and Design with digital media from ATU (Galway). He is a founding member of Unit-22 artist collective and currently works out of Mart studios Galway.

Burke incorporates strong architectural and construction based elements into his work which are often laden with political and philosophical underpinnings which emanate from his role as community activist, Burke's work is concerned with processes of change, with a strong emphasizes on transitions between concept and materiality.


Advisory Board

The advisory board maintains the long-term memory of 126 gallery. As well as advising the Board of Directors on a range of issues, they actively advocate for the gallery to support its work.

Previous Directors

Location 1 – 126 Laurel Park – 2005

Austin Ivers, Ben Geoghegan

Location 2 – Ballybane Beg – 2006

Eileen Healy, Aideen Barry, Megs Morley, Niall Moore, Sharon O’Grady, Norma Collins, Martin Rochford, Aoife Cassidy, Linda Monks, Jojo Hynes, Jim Ricks

Location 3 – Queen St. – 2009

Dave Callan, Alwyn Revill, Ann Maria Heally, Gina Ruane, Grainne McHale, Simon Fleming, Victoria Smith, David Finn, Jeroen van Dooren, Lisa Sweeney, Matthew Doherty, Allison Regan, Siobhan McGibbon, Zulaikha Engelbrecht, Anne O’Byrne, David O’Malley, Noel Arrigan, Tadhg Ó Cuirrín

Location 4 – Flood St. – 2014

Anne Marie Mc Kee, Bernie O’Donnell, Katriona Gillepsie, Ramona Burke, Martina Finn, Cormac O’Neill, Shelly McDonnell, Marie Hannon, Martin Rochford, Helen Caird, Joan Sugrue, Carol Anne Connolly, Adrianne Parsons, Grace Mitchell, Marcel Badia, Eoghain Wynne

Location 5 – St. Bridget’s Pl. – 2016

Lucy Elvis, Johanna Kavanagh, Louise Spokes, Gino Querini, Joanne Couch, Phil Foley, Cliodhna Timoney, Blaithin Hughes, Stephan Roche, Victoria Furey, Connor Robertson, Rita McMahon, Ronan Connor, Emma Zukovic, Meadhbh McNutt, Sarah Keenan, Simon Fennessy Corcoran, Tom McLean, Kaitlynn Webster, Emily O’Brian, Emily O’Flynn, Morgan Madison, Mary McGraw, Méabh Noonan




In June 2014, 126 launched an internship programme in partnership with GMIT’s Centre for Creative Arts & Media. The internship is awarded to recent graduates who apply through an open call and runs for six months every year. Those selected have the opportunity to take on tasks and learn new skills, they then have the task of curating an exhibition in the 126 Gallery at the end of the internship.