Sunday, December 30, 2012

Did you Support Your Local Art Workers?

Galway city was magical during that December-time madness when everyone empties their pockets into the luxury goods market.

Galway Christmas Pathological Gomez

Did artists in Galway take advantage of this money-catching frenzy? Why yes, yes they did.

I took a wander through the city centre on the 18th of December to take stock of the most obvious efforts of Galway craft-makers to sell to the seasonal shoppers. From a market-perspective this is totally relevant to my art business-critiqueing study. Think of it as a art-market-permeability and accessibility assessment and as a chance to showcase my super vintage fun times with Pixel-o-matic.

First off, the Christmas Market:

Galway Christmas Market Pathological Gomez
Hip border, vintage and sparkles makes every lame camera-phone photo better.

Galway Christmas Market Craft Village Pathological Gomez
I remember a lot of bobbly scarves, wood carvings and soap.

My favourite part of the Market were the cute illustrations of various market sponsers - hotels, restaurants, etc, - on the Christmas Market barriers. So simple and so charming.

Pathological Gomez
Generic Galway Cornerstone Merchant

Christmas Market Pathological Gomez
 I have no idea who did them but I'm going to go ahead and imagine it was Proof for now, seeing as how go-to they are for all manner of grandiose design work in Galway. 

 The Saturday market down by St Nicolas's was operating during weekdays on the run up to Christmas. To my delight it was bursting with artist stalls. Galway city's 70,000+ population was simply spoilt for choice. Diana Piavorova and Chris Murray were the two that enraptured me the most.

Galway Art Market Christmas Pathological Gomez

Galway Art Market Pathological Gomez

Diana Piavorova Galway Art Market Pathological Gomez

Peter McManus the Framer and artist-promoter can be found at the market promoting the vivid expressionist  landscapey work of several artists in postcard, print and framed form. He has a gallery known as Blow-in Galleries that is currently...websiteless..sigh.

Peter McManus Framer Art Pathological Gomez

Galway Art Market Pathological Gomez

Peter McManus Galway Art Market Pathological Gomez

Bryan Bam Chisholm Art Galway Shop Street Pathological Gomez
Some properly mad fine art for unsuspecting shop street shoppers.
The most visible artist in Galway city has to be the one who has their own spot on Shop Street. The only time of the year that Bryan BAM Chisholm seems to share this en plein air gallery space (acquired after about 8 years of determined art squatting) is during the Arts Festival, where caricaturists, facepainters and hair-bead-braiders perch beside his permanent easel display. During the season, he was breaking out the abstract, the surreal and the ever-popular Samuel Beckett portraiture to strike gold and lure more Galwegians into art patronage. Because it's really really in vogue to be "working on" a website rather than to actually have one, here is a nice biographical video made about BAM and his work, and here are the photos from one of his indoor exhibitions (where I got to part ways with 20 euros for an earth-toned still-life).

I was proud of the smattering of private art galleries that had their doors wide open this end-of-December. For the Vanda Art Gallery I feel the most protective of and emotionally invested in, being a permanent gallery business run and stocked by one artist - yes, an artist - in one of the most expensive areas in Galway to rent. I also love how commerial Vanda Luddy has made her "Ronseal" art - iconic Galway postcard scenery picturing everywhere from the university to the Claddagh, in a clear, uncomplicated style that indicates yes you are definitely buying an artwork, you can even see the pencil lines and brush strokes, but you are not going to be challenged or art-elitist-ed out of the room in any way. Simply can't get more accessible than this.

Vanda Art Gallery Galway Pathological Gomez

Another artist who runs the Galway Art Classes (well done of your super high SEO for "Galway, art"), Jim Kavanagh, rented out another unit in super-rent-street for a few weeks to sell his very Irish, very likeable and ultimately sellable dramatic landscapes. All boxes ticked for a good Christmas art gift - lets hope his work now appears in everyone's auntie's sitting room.

Jim Kavanagh Art Galway Christmas Pathological Gomez
I have to say I am the most proud of this instagram-ing. I swear to the muses I am talented.

Here are two galleries in Galway I've had my eye on for a thorough nosey adventure and a hearty bit of gallery-owner interviewing: Obsolete Gallery in the Eyre Square Shopping Centre and Galway Bay Galleries off the illustrous Dominic Street. Both were in full swing for the Christmas season:

Galway Bay Galleries Day of the Dead Exhibition Pathological Gomez
Showcasing their Day of the Dead exhibtion earlier this year. Photo nicked from their expertly-utilised Facebook page.
Obsolete Gallery Space Invaders Eyre Square Shopping Centre Pathological Gomez
Galleries with massive graffitti art influences does things to me. Speaking of which Finbar247 had an admirable and highly successful Christmas effort to rake in the dollars.

 Also a word in for Funky Fairtrade in the Bridge Mills. A notable amount of Galway-based craftspeople sell their absolutley gorgeous, squeee-inducing work in this year-old enterprise. Again their Facebook page does more justice to their product display than my camera phone ever could.

Funky Fairtrade Galway Pathological Gomez
Photo also acquired from Facebook page.

 Also it was here that I did my part to Support Your Local Craft Workers this Christmas, an economic cause close to my heart.

Bandia Jack Roberts Pathological Gomez
Pendant featuring my favourite High Cross by Jack Roberts - Bandia Jewelery (weirdest link to an artist's contact details yet).

What did you do?

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