The Council’s art collection is varied and came together from the late 1970’s when Derry City Council was putting together plans for a gallery and museum space in the city.
For many years, the Alley has been a home to a varied range of art exhibitions and programmes, enabling locals and visitors to engage with different art practices. Bernadette Walsh, Council Archivist, explained: “We collect, record, conserve, curate and make our collections available to the public. Much of the art collection is in storage and staff were keen for the collection to be seen and appreciated,” explained Bernadette. “The collections include everything from landscapes and portraits to abstracts and still life studies, with some notable artists and many representations of historical moments in time.
“Many of the items have been donated to the Museum Service over the years, whilst others were purchased with assistance from the Northern Ireland Museum Council’s Specimen Purchase Fund. We have a number of pieces which were gifted from the Northern Ireland Arts Council, as well as items that were originally part of the Orchard Gallery and the North West Arts Trust collections.
“A number of artworks were displayed in the Tower Museum in early 2019 and we decided to bring a range of pieces to Strabane so we could share them with an even wider audience.”
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Michaela Boyle, added: “This is a fantastic opportunity for art lovers and for those who want to delve into the history of our district and see some pieces that have been in storage,” she said. “The collection represents many different local, regional and international artists, media and themes so there is sure to be something that will interest everyone.”
The ‘Collecting Art’ exhibition will be on display until Friday, January 31. Admission is free.