Athlone’s Luan Gallery is fast growing in reputation, and this week one of the people who came up with the name for the gallery was honoured with first prize in the gallery naming competition.
Tom O’Neill, who regularly volunteers with Athlone Art and Heritage providing Athlone Castle tours and tourist information, was one of a number of people who came up with the name ‘Luan’, derived from the historical ford which gives Athlone its name, Áth Luain.
Tom, from Baylough, entered the gallery naming competition back in July of last year. His entry was one of 250 proposed names for the space. He, along with a number of others, suggested Luan or variations of the same for the Shannon-side contemporary visual art space. The varied public entries were collated and whittled down to 20 shortlisted suggestions. The new name was then agreed upon by town councillors and the board of Athlone Art and Heritage in September.
As the name Luan was suggested by a number of people, a further draw occurred to select the overall winner. On why he chose the name ‘Luan’, Tom explained, “I thought it was appropriate as the gallery is located on the banks of the river Shannon and only a short distance from the site of the historical ford from which the town derives its name, Áth Luain or Ford of Luan.”
Tom was presented with his prize, an iPad 2, at Luan Gallery last Friday by Mayor of Athlone Jim Henson. Speaking at the occasion, Cllr Henson said, “The gallery name has been really well received, the brand and identity of the space is growing, and the name fits the gallery perfectly.”
Others who also suggested the name Luan were awarded a prize of gallery membership, entitling them to a number of benefits including discounts, previews, and free castle entry.
Athlone’s Luan Gallery has received astounding support from local art enthusiasts interested in volunteering at the gallery and other sites managed by Athlone Art and Heritage. A sizable pool of volunteers of varying ages and expertise has been cultivated in the organisation.
Luan Gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday 11am-5pm and Sunday 12-5pm. For information on volunteering with Athlone Art and Heritage see www.athloneartandheritage.ie