Time to get creative this National Drawing Day!

People from Co Wexford are invited to grab a pencil and paper to celebrate National Drawing Day. Now in its nineteenth year, the much loved event will see the National Gallery of Ireland collaborate with over 50 art centers, museums and libraries nationwide, including Wexford Arts Centre.

On the day, visitors can enjoy a wide range of free activities at the National Gallery of Ireland, including ‘A Life Drawing Session’ with artist Fintan Mahon, where beginners and experienced artists alike can join in on the fun. The Education Studio in the Millennium Wing will be set up for a ‘Sensory Space’ so that people with autism can draw in a calm and creative environment. Visitors can also attend a tour of the exhibition Pastel Revealed, which will be led by curator Adrian Le Harivel. The Gallery Youth Panel and Transition Year work experience students will be onsite drawing ‘the future of the Gallery’ at the Merrion Square forecourt , and members of the public are welcome to take part.

Visitors are also invited to explore fascinating items, from drawings sketched into the corners of letters, to artists’ portfolios in a library and archives display taking place in the Milltown Wing. A scavenger hunt and a series of sketching tours, including one tailored for visually impaired visitors, will run throughout the day too. The Atrium, a creative space in the heart of the Gallery will also be open all day.

Sinéad Rice, Head of Education at the National Gallery of Ireland, said: “National Drawing Day is a true highlight of our year here at the National Gallery of Ireland, and we’re delighted to be celebrating it again on Saturday 20th May 2023 with partners across the length and breadth of Ireland. Wherever you are, you’ll find something happening near you – National Drawing Day is for all ages and abilities, and not just artists! It is about celebrating the most fundamental method of creative expression; making your mark, and we hope that everyone will join us making marks this May.”

The National Gallery of Ireland’s unmissable summer show Lavinia Fontana: Trailblazer, Rule Breaker will be free to enter between 9.15am-11.30am and 2.30pm-4.15pm on National Drawing Day – advanced booking is essential.

Other exiting activities happening across the country on National Drawing Day include a workshop for grandparents and grandchildren with artist Chelsea Canavan in the Excel Arts Centre (Tipperary), a drawing session with artist Val McLoughlin at Ballina Arts Centre (Mayo) and a Picasso inspired workshop for teens at the Hunt Museum (Limerick).

Elsewhere, Experience Glasnevin (Dublin) will hold stained glass themed workshops, and the International Literature Festival (Dublin) will facilitate a ‘Wine and Design’ event at their festival village in Merrion Square, Dublin 2.

Visitors who cannot attend in person on National Drawing Day are invited to join a full range of online activities. A list of participating venues; the schedule for the day at the National Gallery of Ireland; and drawing activities and resources can be found on a dedicated National Drawing Day hub at nationalgallery.ie. People of all ages and abilities are encouraged to find the joy in drawing on 20th  May 2023, there really is something for everyone!

National Drawing Day is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

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