— Art Historian & Production Accountant
Jackie Ryan Art was established to share the joy of living and working with Irish art and architecture. As an art historian and producer I love nothing more than uniting a hidden gem that an artist has made with a good home. In 2020 I also qualified in accountancy, and am currently working on a number of arts infrastructure projects. You can read about these on the blog section of this site.
I began working with Irish Art as a student, working part time in Gerald Davis’s Gallery in Capel Street. ‘The Davis Gallery’ was the modern precursor to the Irish Arts Centre. Its ground floor housed a gallery and the second floor was a recording studio for Gerald’s jazz label, Livia Records. The top floor had Gerald’s ‘penthouse’ flat. The Living Above the Shop Tax Initiative of the 1970s breathed new life into buildings and creative people saw the opportunity to energise parts of Dublin that at that time were mainly retail.
I completed a H.Dip in Arts Administration in UCD in 1993, where I now teach Finance on the MA in Cultural Policy & Arts Management. In 2012 I began ACCA Accountancy exams, interrupted briefly in 2014 while I undertook a Certificate in Leadership at Ulster University (as an Arts Council of Ireland Scholarship). In 2020 I finally finished all those accountancy exams and online modules culminating in a BSc (Hons) in Applied Accounting/ACCA at Oxford Brookes University London, receiving an A grade for my thesis ‘The Impact of Digital Technology on the Business Objectives of The National Portrait Gallery London 2017-2019’.
My first ‘proper’ job was as Education Officer in the National Gallery of Ireland where I began three weeks before the Gallery announced it had discovered a Caravaggio. Its route to Dublin was a fascinating insight into the social history of art buying, collecting, and donating. I was bitten by the bug of uniting audiences with those stories, organising tours for over 10,000 people a week in those days! After five years in the Gallery I spent ten years as a theatre producer, first at TEAM Educational Theatre Company, a company that ran from 1975 until 2013, pioneering play commissions for young people. I worked with an amazing pool of writers, playwrights, directors and actors with a gift for young expression. It led to a leap into venue management at Draiocht Arts Centre in Blanchardstown. As one of Fingal County Council’s two flagship venues, we worked together to ensure that 100,000 people a year engage with cultural activities in their local centre. I am proud to have instigated and raised the finance to open a café in the Arts Centre.
My next role inspired this website, as CEO of Ireland’s largest and oldest fine art print collective, Graphic Studio Dublin. It was established in 1960 as an artists’ member organisation with a studio and gallery (based on a Parisien Studio ‘Atelier 17’), and specialises in hand made printing techniques. While working with a formidable team of almost 100 artists I produced a number of major Irish and International exhibitions, including Revelation at the National Gallery of Ireland, Artist’s Proof at The Chester Beatty Library Dublin, and Graphic – 50 Years at the Irish Museum of Modern Art.
Present & Future
From 2012 to 2015 I managed Dublin’s International Film Festival for its 2013, 2014 and 2015 editions. It was an extraordinary experience both as a cultural producer and a Dubliner. Since 2016 I have worked with a small and talented crew at OBFA Architects, where I lead cultural projects at the practice. In my spare time I co-produce art shows and write about art. Please contact me if you have any queries…