— Art Historian
Jackie Ryan Art was established to share the joy of living and working with Irish art. As an art historian, I have also worked as a producer in a number of art forms, and love nothing more than uniting a hidden gem that an artist has made with a good home.
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 (now MA in Arts Management), where I have been teaching Arts Marketing for the past eight years. 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). The final part of the ACCA membership path is the completion of a BSc in Applied Accounting at Oxford Brookes University London, where I have recently submitted my final thesis (result pending September 2020).
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 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, many of which will feature in collections I assemble here. The blogs part of this site will share insights into processes and practice of Irish art.
Present & Future
In recent years I added film to my producer skills and managed Dublin’s International Film Festival for its 2013, 2014 and 2015 editions. Since 2015 I have been working as an accounts consultant and arts producer specialising in developing ways for creative people to make a living in buildings that are fit for their creative purpose. Please contact me if you have any queries, and enjoy looking through our gems of fine art print and drawings.