Gallery of Modern Art Waterford
GOMA is a contemporary exhibition space currently located at Lombard Street Waterford City, adjacent to ' The Viking Triangle', the historic and tourist centre of the city. The building comprises two floors with a total floor area of approximately 300 sq. meters. The building, formerly known as SOMA Contemporary, commenced operation in 2009 as an artist led space, conceived and run by artists, with principals Paul Hallahan and Rachel Corcoran, and established itself with a very good reputation until sadly it closed its doors, for a variety of reasons, in 2012. There was some intermittent activity in the following years initiated by individual artists and groups and assisted by Waterford Council.
In 2016, a formal management structure was initiated to manage this gallery and members of the business community and academia were invited to get involved with the then gallery curators Jenna Whelan and Sandra Kelly.
Stephanie Taheny agreed to set up this new organisation and a new company called GOMA Waterford, a company limited by guarantee was incorporated in October 2016 with her as chairperson, Hillary Doyle, Secretary, board members Mary Ruth Walsh, James Merrigan, Conor Nolan and later Councilor Eammon Quinlan.
GOMA continues to be an artist led space for the benefit of artists, in particular artists recently graduated or embarking on their artistic career. GOMA provides studio space, exhibition space and opportunities for engaging with other artists in the gallery and through the 9 lives series. A limited number of residencies for a six month period are awarded to recent graduates based on merit.
The community is encouraged to engage with the gallery through curated exhibitions which bring the best of contemporary art to Waterford. In addition, classes and workshops are ongoing for children and adults in arts and crafts facilitated by artists in residence and invited artists. There is a strong focus on working with other organisations in the community, particularly schools and those working with the socially disadvantaged. The success of programmes such as ‘Beyond the Gallery’ is a model that may be copied and expanded to other areas. While the main emphasis is on visual art, musical groups are using the venue for rehearsal and performance events have taken place in the main gallery space.
GOMA Gallery of Modern Art is a newly formed company Limited by Guarantee with a board of based in a building at 6 Lombard Street Waterford. A building leased from Waterford City Council. Previously this building operated under the name of SOMA.
GOMA aims to foster within society an awareness, understanding and involvement in visual arts through policies and programmes which are excellent innovative and inclusive.
GOMA aims to support artists with an exhibition programme, incubation spaces, residencies, technical facilities such as the video editing lab, lecture series and skill development opportunities so that they can establish themselves as independent working artists.
In particular GOMA aims to create a lasting relationship with staff and students of Waterford Institute of Technology and help bridge the gap from graduating students to a stable working career as an artist through the development of artists CV’s.
GOMA aims to create a strong educational and outreach program within the community with exhibitions, lectures, workshops and residency program’s.
GOMA is currently funded by Waterford City Council