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:

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

Elizabeth Curran


Elizabeth Curran is a painter, performer, writer, and singer. Curran is a Galway native recently completing a Masters in Creative Practice in the Centre for Creative Arts and Media, ATU Galway. Curran graduated with a BA (Hons) degree in Painting from NCAD in 2013. The artist is currently on the Board of Directors at 126 Artist - Run Gallery in Galway.

Curran’s work is laced with mythology of the self, with strong correspondence to universal mysticism and Irish tradition, folklore and myth. Curran utilizes reflections of the self and personal experience, embodied as the protagonist of the work, to which finds her identity rooted in her homeland of the west of Ireland.


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.


Lindsay Merlihan


Lindsay Merlihan is a Michigan-born, Galway-based visual artist working through mixed media, painting, and creative production. Her art is inspired by concepts of depth psychology, alchemy and archetype informed by a certificate in Jungian Psychology with Art Therapy and an MA of Art, Psyche and the Creative Imagination through Limerick School of Art and Design. She is the creative director of the Irish language project ALLTAR which programs Irish arts through live events.

As a Co-Director of the 126 Board, she is passionate about platforming pioneers of Irish arts who are responsive and forward-thinking. Her involvement began in December of 2021.

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.


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.