Award-winning gallery calls on Arts Council for funding

THE funding which supported establishment of the award-winning Glucksman Gallery is nearing an end and management have called for the Arts Council to give them the much-needed finance essential to the maintenance of its international reputation.

The 12 million art gallery, opened in University College Cork in 2004, is coming to the end of the five-year funding period which began at the start of its two-year construction phase.

At its official opening the then college president, Professor Gerry Wrixon, said it would have to secure its own financing when the private funding which brought it to fruition ran out.

The past three years have been littered with success stories for the gallery. It won the best public building at the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland’s annual awards in 2005.

It recently celebrated its 200,000th visitor and is the second most visited facility in Munster after Muckross House.

A recent visitor survey yielded results which showed a 96% satisfaction rate — 95% of visitors said they would recommend it to a friend.

Yet in the last round of revenue funding the Glucksman received just 55,000 from the Arts Council.

That compared to 135,000 for the Sligo Art Gallery, 200,000 for the Butler Gallery in Kilkenny and 375,000 for the Douglas Hyde Gallery in Dublin.

“The same challenges are facing us as face any arts organisation, we are all looking for funding but there is very little,” said Glucksman director Fiona Kearney. “We are being very proactive in trying to create self-funding.”

Ms Kearney said the Glucksman would also be looking to UCC and Cork City Council for financial support.

She said there were positive signs for the gallery. “We are very confident about the future of the gallery but that can only be achieved with the support of funding partners,” said Ms Kearney.

The Arts Council however, said it could not give any guarantee of increased funding to the gallery.

“In 2007 there was an allocation of 55,000. We have received an application for 2008. All the applications will be considered,” a spokesman said.

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