What’s On

To find out what’s planned now and in the near future at Waterford Gallery of Art, see below.

For all arts and culture activities taking place in and around Waterford, visit: What’s On Waterford! W.O.W!


Celebrate National Drawing Day 2023 (20th May) at WGOA and get ready to mark-make with nature. Learn how to make some simple tools from found natural materials and get creative using natural dyes and colours.

Suitable for all ages and abilities.

Drop in session – no booking necessary, all materials provided.


‘A Survey of the Landscape’ focuses on how the environment has been captured, depicted, and reframed by artists, and will feature works by some of Ireland’s most renowned artists including Mary Swanzy HRHA, Seán Keating PPRHA, William Conor RHA PPRUA, Eileen Murray, Paul Henry RHA, Dermod O’Brien PPRHA, Bea Orpen HRHA, Donald Teskey RHA and more.

The exhibition will also launch two new exciting commissions for the gallery.  Supported by Creative Ireland, visual artist Paula Barrett has developed a series of three photographic images as part of her Turf Projects series.  A graduate of the National College of Art and Design (Dublin) Barrett centres her work on the theme of Landscape and the systems which inform our experience of it.

In 2015 she initiated Turf Projects, a photographic study of the particular qualities of light and colour experienced in the Irish Landscape.  She has been compiling a catalogue of Irish colour palettes from around Ireland and alongside her photographic palettes she has created a set of paints and worked with communities in Cork and Roscommon to put these colours back into the landscape, drawing attention to the natural features of these areas and promoting a specificity and harmony between the natural landscape and the built environment.  Barrett says, “The historical genre of landscape painting is the primary reference point for my work. I am interested in place-making and perception of place, the crossover between the wild and domestic.”

The exhibition will also feature a new immersive artwork by Waterford native Carmel Cleary, who studied photography at the Crawford College of Art & Design in Cork.  Since graduating in 1990 Cleary has received many awards including Photographer of the Year in her graduating class.

Cleary notes, “Nature fascinates and inspires me. Rock, which appears solid and immobile, is shaped and softened as water insistently carves a pathway for itself.

“Boundaries are overstepped.  As I photograph nature it is framed by my interpretation and echoes human sensuality.”

Recent generous donations of artworks will be included as highlights of the exhibition.  The Friends of the National Collections of Ireland (FNCI) have acquired for the gallery ‘The Coulin’, c.1949, painted by Waterford based artist, Robert Burke.  The FNCI, founded in 1924, have been long standing supporters of the gallery and its collection and The Waterford Gallery of Art is in particular extremely grateful to FNCI Council Member, Dr Bulbulia.

Artform Dunmore East will also present to the collection a significant new artwork, ‘Parchment Tree 5’ (2018) by artist Michael Wann.  Born in Dublin in 1969, Wann lives and works in Co. Sligo, gaining his BA in Fine Art from Sligo Institute of Technology.  Wann’s work is specifically drawing-based and often featuring masterful charcoal mark-making techniques to depict the surrounding natural environment.

Joan and Roger Johnson and Newtown School (the historic foundation of the Waterford Art Collection) very kindly donated a fascinating map of the city of Waterford created in 1948, also by artist Robert Burke.

‘A Survey of the Landscape’takes place from May 4th to November 4th 2023.


The Waterford Gallery of Art, Thursday 16th of March 6.30pm

In association with Waterford City Arts Office there will be a free screening of Writing Home, a documentary about creative engagement developed by poet Colm Keegan for homeless service users. The programme was supported by Kilkenny County Council, Creative Ireland and Poetry Ireland.

The initiative was developed to improve understanding around issues of homelessness while supporting social integration and aims to inform policy decisions around the use of the arts within state funded services.

Colm worked with several service providers across the country, developing and delivering a programme of workshops to engage with homeless service users in Dublin, Kilkenny and Waterford with each location working towards a public celebration of the creativity of participants.

Colm worked with selected groups over a period of 6 weeks. These groups explored multiple means of written self-expression and reflection, like rap and spoken word as well as looking at structure, character and storytelling. Each participant created a small body of work, based on their own life experiences.

The process was far more successful than envisaged, with real engagement from homeless service users, a marginalised group who can be difficult to reach using established Arts project delivery. The creative potential unleashed and the wellbeing outcomes were such a revelation that the initiative was awarded Best Education/Training Initiative at the All Ireland Community & Council Awards (LAMAs).

Tickets are free but booking is advised as there is limited space.

For more information visit www.colmkeeganpoetry.com



FREE TALK AT WGOA: On Saturday 11 February, 13:30pm, hear Dr Marie Bourke’s fascinating talk on the painter-director Sir Frederic William Burton (1816-1900) – an artist renowned for creating ‘Ireland’s Favourite Painting’. Burton was born in Wicklow though his background was in Clare. Bourke will shed light on the career of this artist, renowned for his ‘The Meeting on The Turret Stairs’1864 (National Gallery of Ireland), and discuss some of the women in his life, notably his fiancée, Mary Palliser from Waterford.  Burton’s painting ‘Portrait of Mary Palliser’ (1871) can be seen on display in the current WGOA exhibition, ‘Portraits: People & Place’.

Dr Marie Bourke is a cultural historian and former Keeper-Head of Education at the National Gallery of Ireland. The author of ‘The Story of Irish Museums 1790-2000’(2013), she curated the National Gallery of Ireland’s recent Frederic William Burton exhibition ‘For the Love of Art.’  She is an Assessor on the Heritage Council’s Museum Standards Programme chair of the RDS Arts Committee and, member of the board of the National Library of Ireland.

Tickets are free to this event. To guarantee a seat, for questions regarding accessibility, or further information, please email: WaterfordGallery@waterfordcouncil.ie


This building-wide exhibition presents over fifty key artworks from the Waterford Art Collection, with a particular focus on the different ways that artists have attempted to depict the essence and personality of people and places within their work.

The newly designed in-house display includes paintings, drawings, films, photography and audio by artists Una Sealy (RHA), James Hanley (RHA), Thomas Ryan (PPRHA), John Behan (RHA), Hilda Roberts (HRHA), Mildred Anne Butler (RA, RWS), Tony Ryan and more. Accompany the exhibition is a series of talks, events, workshops and artist commissions.   

One of the highlights on show is the painting, ‘Portrait of Mary Palliser’ by Fredric William Burton (1871), currently on loan from the Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan, Canada. It is thought that the painting was initially gifted to Palliser as an engagement gift from Burton. The couple were engaged for 10 years though never married. Mary died of pneumonia in 1879 and is buried at Comeragh Cemetery, Waterford, close to her family home.

Sound & Portraits presents a series of open-call commissions for musicians, artists and those working with sound. The project aims to spotlight how identity, representation and lived experiences are also captured creatively beyond the canvas. A gallery tour and live performances of the work will take place during Imagine Arts Festival, October 2022.

Dates: 8th September 2022 – 18th March 2023

Launch and Private View, Oíche Chultúir / Culture Night, 23rd September 2022


The Arts Office, Waterford City and County Council is pleased to announce the winners of the national Waterford Poetry Prize 2022.

Ian Hickey overall winner of the Waterford Poetry Prize 2022 at the Waterford Gallery of Art.

First prize goes to ‘In Between’ by Ian Hickey, Limerick. Ian Hickey grew up and lives in Limerick City. He currently works as a lecturer, teaching English literature. His first book Haunted Heaney: Spectres and the Poetry was published by Routledge in 2021 which was the joint winner of the British Association for Contemporary Literary Studies Monograph prize. He is developing his interest in poetry. His passion in life in surfing, and he says would give up everything to just spend to rest of his days aimlessly wandering Ireland’s west coast in search of waves.  Ian was awarded €400 plus a course at the Molly Keane Writers Retreat, Ardmore.

Second prize goes to ‘A Break in the Weather’ by Christina Park, Wexford. Christina is a freelance writer and editor based in Wexford who has had pieces published in various national newspapers, and broadcast on RTÉ’s Sunday Miscellany. Her poems have appeared in Poetry Ireland Review, the Stinging Fly, the SHOp and Crannóg. She was shortlisted for the 2015 Bridport Prize, runner up in the 2020 Trócaire/Poetry Ireland Poetry Competition and placed second in the Shahidah Janjua Poetry Competition 2022.  Christina receives €300 in prize money plus a writing course in Ardmore, Co. Waterford.

Third Prize is Pigs Meat by Ciarán O’ Rourke, Galway. Ciarán’s first collection The Buried Breath, was highly commended by the Forward Foundation in 2019. His second collection Phantom Gang has just been published by The Irish Pages Press. He is a previous winner of the Cúirt New Irish Writing Award, the Fish Poetry Prize, and the Westport Poetry Prize. More information about his work is available on www.ragpickerpoetry.net. Ciarán was awarded €200.

Margaret Organ, Arts Officer said that the Waterford Poetry Prize was an integral part of the Waterford Writers Weekend and that it played a part in stimulating new poetry from all over the country. She thanked everyone who has taken the time to enter and remarked on the energy and enthusiasm of the writer Colm Keegan who took considerable time over the adjudication process. You can see Colm Keegan read the winning poems and give the background as to why he chose them on the YouTube section of  www.imagineartsfestival.com


The Waterford Gallery of Art (WGOA) and Waterford Arts Office are seeking proposals from musicians and sound artists to create new audio artworks to be performed as part of the 2022 Imagine Arts Festival. ‘Sound & Portraits’ presents a series of five small artist commissions inspired by the gallery’s current exhibition, ‘Portraits: People & Place’.

Category: Commission (sound)

Application Deadline: 11:59am 7th October 2022

Link to further details: CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE AND APPLY (PDF)

Artist Payment: €500

Submission fee to apply: None

Denis Power: O’Connell Street 1900 Wall Mural

Waterford Gallery of Art unveils new courtyard wall mural depicting O’Connell Street in 1900

’31 O’Connell Street Wall Mural’ by Denis Power, 2022

A new artwork by Waterford artist Denis Power was unveiled this week as part of the galleries ‘Recent Works: Donations, Acquisitions, Commissions’ exhibition. The artwork was inspired by a series of photographs depicting the street in 1900 and includes a portrayal of the Waterford Gallery of Art with its now removed clock tower. The gallery was built in 1845 as a savings bank and also hosted the first ever art school in Waterford in 1950.  

Power is mixed media artist who studied art at Waterford Institute of Technology (now SETU) under Tony Ryan.  He takes his influence from his childhood memories, pop culture, and the environment.  Power is a resident artist at GOMA, co-founder of the Rogue Gallery, and has been involved in various art institutes in the city including Waterford Healing Arts Trust, Greyfriars, and Waterford Gallery of Art.

Power notes: “After over a year of trial and error, lessons learned, stops and starts, sections redone and an ungodly battle with the very concept of perspective, it’s finally done! My Mum joked that it wouldn’t be finished in her lifetime, something she was heartbreakingly right about. I’d like to dedicate this piece to her.”

The mural and exhibition is free to visit during gallery opening hours, Wed-Sat, 10am-5pm

Other artworks on show in the ‘Recent Works’ exhibition include paintings by:  Letitia Marion Hamilton (RHA), Geraldine O’Brien, Harry Kernoff, Lillian Davidson (ARHA), Rebecca Shackleton, Frances Kelly (ARHA), Josephine Webb, Damaris Lysaght, Fr. Jack Hanlon, Tony Ryan, Anna Moore, Samuel McCloy­­ and Patric Stevenson (PPRUA).        

Times: The gallery is open to the public Wednesday -Saturday, 10am-5pm – Free for all.


RECENT WORKS: Donations, Acquisitions, Commissions presents key artworks newly gifted, purchased or commissioned by the Waterford Gallery of Art and the Waterford Arts Office. Much of the work on show has rarely been seen on public display before. Exhibiting these significant additions to the Waterford Collection of Art acknowledges the generosity and foresight of those that have helped to further enrich the cultural heritage of Waterford and the South East.

On view will be artworks by Letitia Marion Hamilton (RHA), Geraldine O’Brien, Harry Kernoff, Lillian Davidson (ARHA), Rebecca Shackleton, Frances Kelly (ARHA), Josephine Webb, Damaris Lysaght, Fr. Jack Hanlon, Tony Ryan, Anna Moore, and Patric Stevenson (PPRUA).

The exhibition also features: recently commissioned poetry in partnership with the Waterford literary journal The Waxed Lemon; Waterford Cultural Quarter films celebrating the rich heritage of O’Connell Street; work in progress by SETU graduate and Waterford Collection of Art Graduate Award winner, Rhys Wallace; courtyard wall mural by Denis Power; documentary short film on Una Sealy (RHA) whose painting ‘Portrait of Caoilfhionn Hanton, Waterford’ was commissioned by Waterford City and County Council and featured in the Royal Hibernian Academy of Arts (RHA) Annual Exhibition 2022 (this work will be shown in the upcoming WGOA exhibition, ‘Portraits: People & Place’ opening 8th September 2022).         

Waterford City and County Council, Waterford Gallery of Art, and Waterford Arts Office wish to thank and acknowledge:
John Sexton and the family of Oswald Reeves
The Sweeney family in memory of Eric Sweeny
David Sheehan in memory of Thomas and Ei­­­lish Sheehan
Family and friends of Anna Moore

The artworks on display in this temporary exhibition have all been selected by the Waterford Young Arts Critics and launches in association with SprÓg – an annual arts festival for children and families run by Garter Lane Arts Centre.

18th May – 25th June
Waterford Designers and Makers Exhibition 2022

Creative Waterford and Waterford Local Enterprise Office  showcase a group exhibition of exquisite works by some of the best designers and makers from across the city and county of Waterford. FIND OUT MORE HERE


26th May at 2pm

Free Walking Tour of The Index Gallery & Waterford Gallery of Art 26th of May 2022 at 2pm as part of the Bealtaine Festival. Register Now by emailing: jloughran@waterfordcouncil.ie

FILM SCREENING at Garter Lane: Pissarro Father of Modern Impressionism

Book Now!

Date: 19th May (Thursday)

Time: 7.30 pm

Duration: 94 minutes

Price: €7.50/ €9

Booking: https://garterlane.ticketsolve.com/shows/1173624952

The Ashmolean Museum has a long tradition of excellence. As the UK’s first ever public museum (it opened its doors in May 1683) it houses a wonderfully rich collection, including the remarkable Pissarro archive. With exclusive access to most extensive archive of any Impressionist painter, and to the first major Pissarro retrospective in four decades, this film explores and highlights the enthralling and hugely important biography and output of an incredible artist.