Visual arts exhibitions are almost certain to be a part of the Galway International Arts Festival's planned autumn programme of events, with the An Post site, off William Street, a likely exhibition venue.
In May, the GIAF issued a statement saying that while the summer would have to be postponed due to the "unprecedented circumstances" of Covid-19, there would be "a programme of events this autumn".
While details have yet to be revealed, visual arts exhibitions will form part of the programme, following confirmation in recent days that the An Post facility, which proved a highly successful exhibition space in 2019 - and focussed minds on the need for Galway to have a dedicated gallery space - would be used this year by both the GIAF and the TULCA Festival of Visual Arts.
'Galway is the artistic capital of Ireland, but we are lacking basic infrastructure to match our coveted reputation. The city needs a dedicated visual arts space'
The confirmation came via the new Minister of State at the Department of Transport, with responsibility for Ports, Airports, and Road Transport, Hildegarde Naughton, who is also Fine Gael TD for Galway West.
“An Post management, following the agreement I brokered last year, will again facilitate the Galway International Arts Festival and the TULCA Festival of Visual Arts in 2020, for their respective exhibitions this year,” Dep Naughton said.
The site was originally highlighted as a potential exhibition venue by Independent city councillor, Donal Lyons. Minister Naughton has also been at the forefront of the campaign to make the space available to the arts community in Galway.
“Galway is the artistic capital of Ireland, but we are lacking basic infrastructure to match our coveted reputation in that regard," she said. "The city needs a dedicated visual arts space. We have no gallery space suitable for large-scale exhibitions."
Discussions are still ongoing in relation the use of the site for a permanent municipal arts space, but Minister Naughton believes An Post’s "positive attitude to date", and her discussions with senior management, signals a "willingness to retain ownership of the site" and that any future development of it will include "an arts facility that will benefit the people of Galway".