THE TOWN Hall Theatre has been a central feature of Galway’s artistic landscape since it opened its doors in 1996 and, alongside the readings, plays and concerts, it also hosts art exhibitions in the bar area.
More than 200 artists, the majority of them locally based, have had their work exhibited in the venue including well-known names such as Joe Boske and photographer Joe Geoghegan as well as numerous emergent artists for whom it has provided vital exposure at a critical stage in their careers.
“It’s our policy to support local and emergent artists,” declares artist Jane Talbot who works on selecting and programming exhibitions at the Town Hall. “We fill an important role because it can be difficult for emergent artists to get exhibition space.
“Commercial galleries are only interested in you when you have already made a reputation while municipal galleries tend to be booked up for many months in advance. We’ve put on shows by a lot of artists here for whom it was their first exhibition and it’s given them a good platform to build their career on.”
While the Town Hall bar is not a custom-designed gallery space it does offer its exhibiting artists some notable benefits that a more conventional gallery might have difficulty in matching.
“The venue has a very high footfall, much higher than many galleries could lay claim to,” Talbot explains. “Thousands of people pass through the Town Hall attending the various events here so exhibiting artists get their work seen by a wide audience. Audience response to the exhibitions have been very good and we’ve had healthy sales figures for work shown here.”
Most exhibitions run for about four weeks but the venue has a flexible programming policy and will facilitate exhibitors who might wish to mount a shorter-run show, perhaps around a specific event – one example of this was a recent exhibition running for a few days which was part of a Town Hall showcase for the current TG4 crime drama series Corp Agus Anam.
The Town Hall is now inviting submissions/exhibition ideas from artists interested in showing their work at the venue. Artists /exhibitors can submit their proposals to Jane Talbot, c/o Town Hall Theatre (email, www.tht.ie or, alternately, [email protected] ).
Submissions should include a brief outline of the exhibition would content as well as a couple of images.