The MONTO Picnic
FSAS is ever-sensitive to the need for community arts programming to be carefully integrated within the broad social, cultural and economic objectives of the NEIC. The Monto Arts group in Dublin continues to represent one of the most exciting growing arts ecosystems and cultural quarters in Ireland. It comprises walking tours, community meetings and highly successful bespoke events including Culture Night.
Five contemporary art galleries and artists’ studios can now be found in the new cultural hub of Dublin’s historic Monto quarter in Dublin 1. ArtBox, The LAB Gallery – Dublin City Council’s Arts office, Fire Station Artists’ Studios, Oonagh Young Gallery and Talbot Gallery & Studios all reside in 500m2 area, bounded by Talbot, Foley and James Joyce Streets. Calling themselves the MONTO Arts group, this group of studios, galleries, residency and workspace providers, educators and cultural producers, have come together to power change in Dublin 1 through visual art and design. Collectively, the MONTO art groups supports artists to make work offering studios, advice, commissioning, exhibitions, facilities in the Monto, as well as working with children and adults in our neighbourhood to support looking and thinking about art. MONTO art group aims to make art more visible in the local neighbourhood and in the city for residents and visitors.
In 2015 in celebration of the area’s rebirth as a hive of artistic invention, these 5 organisations began to work together, offering tours of art spaces and various collaborations, culminating in a very successful MONTO Picnic in the local park. In 2016, MONTO’s second picnic in Liberty Park took place on Wednesday July 14th celebrating what the 21st century MONTO has to offer, with music, arts exhibitions, art tours and a historical walk through the old Monto quarter.
These five MONTO partners offer unique identities and activities within the contemporary art sphere, with artists from Ireland and abroad living, creating, exhibiting and selling their work all within this small area. Fire Station Artists’ Studios has been providing Irish and international artists with living and working spaces for over twenty years. Talbot Gallery and Studios offer studio and exhibition space for recent graduates and emerging artists working in all visual art disciplines. The LAB, is Dublin City Council’s municipal arts hub and supports a range of art forms, with a gallery that is open to the public seven days a week. The Oonagh Young Gallery, established in 2008, exhibits and sells work by Irish and international artists at various stages of their career. Newest on the block and next door neighbour to Oonagh Young is ArtBox, now with quite a following in the 18 months since its doors opened, specialising in exhibition and sale of contemporary art.
The MONTO Picnic featured a free Tai Chi class, an installation of visual artist Rita Duffy’s The Souvenir Shop curated by Helen Carey, a sneak preview of artist Vanessa Donoso Lopez’s 2016 LAB exhibition, as well as activities for children with artist Seoidín O’Sullivan, in collaboration with DCC Arts office, Kids Inc and Dublin Adult Learning Centre. The picnic concluded with local historian Terry Fagan giving a walking tour of the historic Monto quarter. The MONTO Picnic is supported by Dublin City Council in addition to the MONTO arts group.