— 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 became 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 then completed the H.Dip in Arts Administration in UCD, a great path to be the business brains behind an arts entity in Ireland. From there I was appointed Education Officer in the National Gallery of Ireland, 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 all sorts of cultural activities in their local centre. I am proud to have instigated and raised the finance to open a café in the Arts Centre, so people enjoying a coffee would venture to buy tickets for new experiences.
My next role is probably the one which inspired this site, 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. Many of those will feature in collections I assemble here, to share some of the ‘behind the scenes’ techniques which are part of art alchemy. I have written a number of blogs based on fine art printmaking on the news and reviews part of this site.
Present & Future
In recent years I completed ACCA accountancy exams while managing Dublin’s International Film Festival. It made me so aware of how important it is for creative people to be able to make a living. As an accounts consultant and arts producer I am always collating small collections to unite artists with buyers. While artists keep making art, we need to find new ways for you to see it, love it and buy it. Please contact me if you have any queries, and enjoy looking through our gems of fine art print and drawings.