Galway Art Club was founded in 1937 and is one of the oldest clubs in the country. Among the founder members were Geraldine Dillon, Cara Donagh, Hubert Broderick, Martin Flynn, Francis Corbett, Archie Barnett and Donagh McDonagh, the well known poet and writer. The club’s first studio was located at Mary Street and later moved to various premises at Mill Street, Eglington Street and the Jesuit College in Sea Road. The club presently meet in the GMIT Centre for Creative Arts and Media located in Wellpark. Among the famous artists associated with the club are Charles Lamb RHA and Aileen Law. The Club holds an annual exhibition to give the members an opportunity to display their paintings and sculptures. The 1965 exhibition was opened by well known Galway author Walter Macken. For the past number of years the exhibition has been held over two weeks in July at St. Patrick’s school in Lombard Street.
Galway with it’s neighbouring counties Clare and Mayo offer countless opportunities for artists, with Connemara, Achill, the Burren, Cliffs of Moher, and many more beautiful landscapes all within a short drive from the city. The city itself, with it’s narrow streets, lanes, river, lake and canals and of course the world famous Claddagh, Spanish Arch and Long Walk has so much to offer local artists who can capture their own unique interpretation of the scene before them.
In 2012 the club celebrated it’s 75th Anniversary with a visit to Aras an Uachtarain and met with President Michael D. Higgins. The late Helen Spellman, who was a member of the club for over 60 years, presented Sabina, the President’s wife, with a bouquet of flowers.
The club has between 40 and 50 members and continues to inspire and encourage local talent.