The Galway Art Club was formed at a meeting in Geraldine Dillon's house in Lenaboy Park in October, 1937. Those present were Mrs. Dillon, Francis Corbett, Hubert Broderick, Martin Flynn, Archie Barnett, Cara Donagh and the wellknown poet and writer Donagh McDonagh. These artists and art lovers had a simple aim� to further the pursuance of art in Galway.
They met every Thursday for demonstrations or lectures, and to share ideas and practise their art. They invited visiting artists to talk, and they occasionally made arrangements for outdoor sketching when the weather and the season permitted.
Their first studio was a room in Mary Street, but the club soon moved to a premises in Mill Street, and later again to the Chamber of Commerce which had meeting rooms in Eglinton Street, over where the Cellar is today. They eventually moved back to Mill Street, and today, they meet in rooms in the Jesuit College.
Every year, they hold an exhibition of work by Club members. This annual show, which has been a major factor in the improvement and development of their work, was initially held in the Chamber of Commerce rooms, and later in Moons, Corbetts, Kennys, St Nicholas' Collegiate Church, Leisureland, UCG, and for a number of years now, in Saint Patrick's national School. Among the artists who showed with the club were Charles Lamb, RHA, Michael Burke RHA, Somhairle MacCana, Professor Gerry Hayes McCoy, Dr. Stelmach-Skalik and John Mulhern.
Walter Macken in opening the 1965 exhibition, described it as "The only speck of culture in the city".
Among the stalwarts who kept the club going over the years were Lillian Greaney, Rose Lee, The Corbett family, Pat Naughton, Helen Spellman, Albert O'Toole, Etta O'Sullivan, Helen Connaire, Patsy and Gay Farrell, Charles Caldwell and many more. They have made a huge contribution to the promotion of art in the city down through the years. In the past, the Galway Art Club has bought paintings which were presented to the city. Today, it is still thriving, and having it's annual exhibition in Saint Patrick's School. As the club is approaching it's 70th year, the members are compiling a history of the club. They are looking for help in the form of documents, press clippings, photographs, programmes or stories about the club, so if you can be of any assistance, please contact Patsy Farrell, John Connolly, Maria Mansfield , Eileen Duffy or any committee member.
Our photograph today was taken at an exhibition opening in St. Patrick's School and shows, from the left, Mrs. Lillian Greaney, Salthill, John Mulhern who was the art teacher in the Technical School, and Patricia Burke Brogan, College Road.
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