24 May 2022

Kilkenny's Butler Gallery inspiring new generation of artists on National Drawing Day

Events taking place on May 21


Each workshop begins with a visit to Butler Gallery's collection galleries to look at artworks in the collection

Kilkenny’s newly-restored  Butler Gallery is helping inspire an appreciation of the arts and enlighten a whole new generation of artists and creators through its workshops, exhibits and interactive tools.

Butler Gallery is fast becoming one of the county’s top family-friendly visitor attractions. And as National Drawing Day approaches on Saturday, May 21, a visit is an absolute must for families with creative children who love art, history and culture, architecture and safe, secure city gardens.

Events on National Drawing Day run from 10am to 4pm, they are free and include a Life-Drawing Marathon in the garden, Early Years Sensory Garden, a Collective Mural, Drawing Exercises and Chalk Pavement Art.

“The gallery is free of charge and open six days a week and offers a combination of collections and exhibitions, learning and public engagement programming. We’re delighted to celebrate National Drawing Day and to celebrate all things mark making on the day and throughout the year," said Anna O’Sullivan, Director and Chief Curator.

Hollie Kearns, Butler Gallery’s Learning & Public Engagement Curator, added: “Butler Gallery has an extensive programme of learning and public engagement events for children, families, adults and for people with access requirements and community groups. This strand of our work encourages creativity and supports deeper interactions with the work of professional artists.

“The Children's Programme at Butler Gallery includes a workshop that takes place the third Sunday of every month for 5-12 year olds. We’re a not-for-profit organisation so the fee is just €5. These classes are given by artists and children are encouraged to express their opinions, learn about art and use a variety of interesting and exciting materials to create their own art works.

“Each workshop begins with a visit to Butler Gallery's collection galleries to look at artworks in the collection, before returning to the Learning Centre to make artworks in response.”

The landmark heritage building opened at the height of the pandemic in 2020, therefore this will be its first, full, restriction-free tourist season. Butler Gallery’s welcoming staff are rolling out the red carpet for locals and visitors to the region over the summer months.

Families will revel in time spent in the various galleries, including the contemporary art gallery, the Learning Centre,   Digital Gallery and all are welcome to unwind in Muse Coffee + Food.

The Butler Gallery houses collection galleries highlighting some of the extensive and important Collection of 20th Century Irish art. An entire wing is dedicated to renowned Kilkenny artists, Tony O’Malley and Jane O’Malley.

Butler Gallery is closed on Mondays, except Bank Holidays when Sunday hours apply. It opens Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm, with late night opening til 8pm on Thursdays. For more, visit

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