Merrion Square open-air art gallery makes a welcome return

Artists’ weekly showcase resumes as easing of Covid-19 restrictions gets under way

The Merrion Square Open-Air art gallery is now open each Sunday from 10am to 5pm.

The Merrion Square Open-Air art gallery is now open each Sunday from 10am to 5pm.

 

The Merrion Square outdoor art gallery, which has been running every Sunday since 1985, is now exhibiting again after the restrictions on open-air markets were lifted in phase one of easing Covid-19 restrictions on May 18th.

“We checked with Dublin City Council [which operates the gallery] and our insurance companies, and we were given the go-ahead to open” says artist Willie Redmond, who has a stand on the railings of the Georgian square in Dublin 2.

“We are operating social distancing, and complying with the rules to ensure the safety of our customers, and last weekend we had a few buyers who were delighted, saying that it was great to have a bit of normality back, and to see art in the flesh rather than on a screen.”

A painting by Willie Redmond, who has a stand at the Merrion Square open-air art gallery: ‘Many artists are now painting en plein air, due to the inspirational light over the past few weeks,’ he says
A painting by Willie Redmond, who has a stand at the Merrion Square open-air art gallery: ‘Many artists are now painting en plein air, due to the inspirational light over the past few weeks,’ he says

It has been a slow return, according to Redmond, as some of the artists reside outside the travel distance permitted, but half of the 101 members are now showcasing their art each Sunday.  

The gallery, which appears to be the only art exhibition physically open at present, was established in 1985 by Dublin City Council, and provides a colourful way for visitors to view and purchase paintings, while also having the opportunity to meet artists and learn about their work.

No commission

Annual licences from the council require artists to exhibit only original works, and the fact that works are purchased directly from the artists means there is no commission.

“While some of our artists have been based in their studios since lockdown, many are discovering what is on their doorsteps, and have taken to painting en plein air – due to the inspirational light over the past couple of weeks.”

The gallery is open every Sunday from 10-5am. See merrionart.com

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