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:

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.


Sofia Fasulo

I am an Italian cultural worker based in Galway. I graduated with a BA in Communication and Media with a master’s in Creative Development and Management of Cultural Activities, with a focus on visual arts. Since then, I’ve been collaborating with festivals, galleries, and collectives who were committed to organizing cultural events. My educational and professional background is motivated by my interest in the process of mediation\interaction between the artwork and those who experience it. In 2022 I co-curated the group show ‘The Permanence of Change’, in the 126 Gallery. I am currently working as a Volunteer and Gallery Coordinator for TULCA Festival of Visual Arts and as administrator for the Galway International Arts Festival.

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.


Sona Smedkova

Sona Smedkova is a Czech multidisciplinary artist based in Galway, Ireland. Identity, in-between spaces, and models of disruption are investigated through a nexus of cultural displacement and spatial reasoning within abstract paintings.   Smedkova recently gained First-class Honours from a Master’s in Creative Practice, at the School of Design and Creative Arts, ATU, Galway. In 2020 Smedkova was an Integral member of the student-led curating team for an exhibition for GMIT contemporary art graduates Not a Degree Show, Printworks, funded by Galway City Art Council. She was awarded an Agility Award by Arts Council Ireland in 2021. Most recently, her work was exhibited in a group show DÉAD in Transmediale, Berlin under the Creative Pathways Programme, funded by Irish Embassy Berlin and Goethe Institute Ireland.

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.