I would like to acknowledge the wonderful work of the team at GOMA, Gallery of Modern Art , Waterford.  I had my exhibition, The House That Built Me in the Gallery in August. I was delighted to be able to have the opportunity to exhibit in these strange times.

Jenna Whelan was superb in dealing with the organisation of the exhibition. I was really well looked after from collection and delivery of my works, artists fee, artists talk fee, and being accommodated over night.
As we had not long come out of lock down, there were so many new parameters and guidelines to consider for the opening, I must say the team worked hard at making the opening a safe and successful one.
The gallery were also so helpful when it came to the artists talk, which we had an in conversation with Aoibhie Mc Carthy, this was a wonderful event and again safety measures were 100%

In 2019 I was invited to exhibit in a group show Seen and Not Heard in Crawford Gallery, Cork I would like to say the attention and hospitality and level of organising that GOMA offered me was on a par with my Crawford experience.

If I could note one aspect that I feel could improve the gallery and for further exhibitions and the art scene in Waterford is the opening hours of the gallery. I feel if it were to be open every day, it certainly would improve the artist, gallery and visitor experience. It would also I believe increase revenue for the gallery which I believe would only be an advantage for the running of the gallery.

Bernadette Doolan

My name is Derek Flynn. I am a writer, musician, and actor based in Waterford.

GOMA Gallery of Modern Art is much more than an art gallery. It is a creative hub and a community space that is integral to the arts scene in Waterford. Having written and performed a number of plays, as well as musical events, I can attest to how critical GOMA is to Waterford, as a venue, a rehearsal space, and a community hub.

As a writer and an actor, I have written and performed in a number of plays in Waterford, including MEMOIRS OF A GHOST, which ran at the Garter Lane Arts Centre in October 2019. The rehearsals for MEMOIRS – and indeed all of my plays – took place in GOMA. The director of GOMA, Jenna Whelan, has always been receptive and helpful when it comes to facilitating rehearsals in GOMA, often going out of her way to ensure we had a suitable space to rehearse in, at a suitable time.

As a musician, I launched an album of original music called BALLAD OF A BROKEN GIRL in GOMA. The album was a collaboration with a local spoken word poet, and the launch and performance in GOMA took the collaboration a step further by combining the music with a live art performance by one of GOMA’s resident artists, Ruth Flynn. This kind of artistic collaboration – and the availability of a space within which to showcase it – would be impossible without the help of Jenna and the use of GOMA.

Most recently, myself and a group of others started a group called the Waterford Theatre Collective, with the aim of bringing together artists working in the theatre to create and collaborate on new plays. Again, Jenna was most helpful, giving us the use of the gallery space in GOMA to hold our meetings.

GOMA Gallery of Modern Art – and its director Jenna Whelan – have become an integral part of the Waterford arts scene, and I commend her for it and look forward to GOMA’s continued success.

Derek Flynn

I am a visual artist living in Waterford. I have a studio in GOMA Gallery of Modern Art for the past four and a half years.

GOMA Gallery of Modern Art is integral to the art scene in Waterford and the local community. The exhibitions are of the highest quality impeccably curated by Jenna Whelan and attract visitors from all around. GOMAs policy is that art should be inclusive to all, local primary schools regularly attend workshops and a guided tour of the artwork.

On a personal note my studio space is invaluable to me. It’s a space for me to create and to also interact with the other studio artists within GOMA. The studio spaces are affordable with excellent conditions. I am a member of Outcast Theatre Productions and we regularly rehearse in the gallery. The gallery serves as a rehearsal space for musicians, actors and artists in the local community. Jenna will go out of her way to facilitate rehearsals in GOMA making sure each group gets adequate time.

GOMA has given me the opportunity to work with various groups providing art workshops. I have worked with kids and adults of all abilities and have received fair pay for my work. Jenna will make sure each group is well received, providing refreshments and a very warm welcome.

GOMA is so much more than an art gallery, it regularly hosts music nights, live performances and collaborations within the artistic community. It allows artists to perform their work in a safe encouraging space.

GOMA Gallery of Modern Art is the creative hub of Waterford’s arts scene and Jenna Whelan is responsible for its success.

Kindest regards,

Ruth Flynn

I won the GOMA Graduate Award in June 2019, which gave me the opportunity to work in a studio attached to the Gallery for six months. This was a welcome opportunity to continue working as a visual artist, having finished in Waterford Institute of Technology. I knew Jenna Whelan and most of the studio artists at GOMA because of the strong support the gallery gives to the Art Department in W.I.T.

At the end of my second year in college I did a Live Art performance in the gallery as part of a class assessment. To most students this annual performance is their first professional interaction with a gallery and I immediately felt at home there. The Graduate Award, wasn’t just helpful to me as a place to work but the professional development that GOMA has provided has been fantastic, allowing me to be involved in the mounting of exhibitions, in the planning that goes on behind the scenes, and in general just learning how the gallery works has been very useful to me.

I began my residency in September 2019, and apart from producing new work for a couple of exhibitions, I was unsure of what direction to go in. With a lot of encouragement and discussion with Jenna, I applied for an M.A. in Art & Process in Crawford College of Art and Design. Being able to bring my experience of six months working in GOMA’s studios I found the transition to working in Crawford quite easy and am now half-way through the M.A.

The other key part of the Graduate award was the opportunity to be included in a 3-person Graduate exhibition, for which the three artists received a fee. That level of commitment to emerging artists has been one of the pillars of GOMA’s ethos for a very long time.

GOMA has become my artist base, and the popularity of the studios is testament to how they are run, always with the artist put first, and I intend to continue in GOMA’s studios for the foreseeable future.

Through my residency I also got to see the huge commitment the studio artists have in terms of engagement with various communities in the city. That diversity across cultural and social strands coming through the gallery/studio doors allowed me to develop new work and approaches to work and people.

The GOMA experience for me has been invaluable.

Seamus O’ Brien (Visual Artist)

I am a studio artist in GOMA, Waterford and I occupy one of the studio spaces at the Park Road Business Centre. This is an ideal location and space for me as there is ample room for me to construct large scale 3D work.

As a member of GOMA I am able to participate in exhibitions and collaborations with other artists and studios. Recently I was involved in the studio exchange with Backwater Artists Network, Cork. GOMA director Jenna Whelan was instrumental in getting me involved in this project. She also provided financial support through van hire for transportation of my sculptural pieces as well valuable assistance and advice with the install.

On a personal note I find GOMA to be a very supportive and inclusive space with a blend of established and emerging artists. There are also very enjoyable informal gatherings organised throughout the year that allow the artists to catch up and have a chat. I have benefited enormously from my involvement with the gallery and I continue to be supported while I am undertaking my MA in Crawford. I am also looking forward to being involved with the gallery into the future.

Joe Fogarty

I am currently renting a studio at GOMA, Waterford.

Renting here has opened up many opportunities to me ,such as paid facilitation of group projects with schools and community groups, it has also offered opportunities to collaborate with fellow artists in GOMA, such as a collaboration with Enda Moran of GOMA “Immersive Expression” a performance piece with participants from Brothers of Charity, Waterford, choreography by Enda ,and I facilitated workshops with the group to make fabric panels, showcased at GOMA.

Subsidized rent is of huge benefit to me , with no other bills to worry about. I have rented studios in several places in Waterford where I didn’t know how much my electricity bills would be each month, which is difficult to manage when you are on a tight budget.

Jenna Whelan has always been supportive and open to ideas, and she has made GOMA a very welcoming place to be. I have been involved in helping Jenna set up open access printmaking facilities at GOMA, which will be an amazing asset for artists in the South East who do not have these facilities available to them.

Kind Regards

Anne Mc Donnell