Saolta Arts first brought visual art to the waiting rooms and corridors of Galway University Hospitals as an Arts Committee in 2003 with the long-term loan of the Hunt Collection, which comprised over 100 works of Modern Irish Art including works by Louis le Brocquy, Alice Maher, Samuel Walsh, and Geraldine O’Reilly. Since then, hanging rails have been installed in patient areas so that work made in our participatory workshops can be celebrated, staff have created artworks for permanent display in public areas, and the GUH Arts Corridor is home to a rolling programme of exhibitions. Through open call and invitation, we provide opportunities for artists at all stages including local community groups. We give early career artists their first solo shows and our longstanding partnership with Galway International Arts Festival has exposed more established artists to a wider audience.

Our annual partnership with Tulca Festival of Visual Art has brought experimental, contemporary art practices to the hospital community whilst supporting professional artists to devise challenging, site-specific work outside the gallery context. Previous works include large-scale temporary installations by Rhona Byrne and Jane Butler, a permanent wall painting by Miranda Blennerhassett, Yoko Ono’s 1961 work Voice Piece for Soprano re-presented as a postcard for dissemination, Vagabond Review’s work with the staff of UHG Laundry Services, and Jennie Guy’s audio work which made recorded sounds, stories, and texts available to patients at all 7 Saolta sites. With Tulca, we have worked with curators including Val Connor, Gregory McCartney, Matt Packer, and Megs Morley.