Creative Café, Galway | Secret Garden Tea Rooms | Last Thurs of the Month | 5 – 7pm

Launched in October 2015, The Creative Café, is an open space for all artists to meet and network, exchange ideas, information, knowledge, thoughts, and their passion for the arts. The Creative Café is organised by Judith Bernhardt and Louise Spokes (126 Artist-Run Gallery). We get together every last Thursday of the month in The Secret Garden Tea Rooms, Galway. Open to all artists and creative individuals, it is an opportunity for people to meet in a friendly relaxed environment. All are welcome to join us for a chat, some tea and the chance to hear about upcoming opportunities, and events.

Here is a quick run-down our meetings so far:


22.10.2015 – Launch of Creative Café with presentations by Galway City arts organisations, groups + studios. 28 attended: 16 from Galway City – 12 from Galway County

7 Speakers: Judith Bernhardt welcomed everybody & talked about Artspace Studios, Louise Spokes talked for 126, Maeve Mulrennan presented the Galway Arts Centre, Red Bird & Burning Bright, James Harold represented Galway City Arts Office, Michaele Cutaya represented Engage Studios, Noel Arrigan spoke for The Forge Studios, and Joanna McGlynn spoke for The Loft Studios. It was a very promising start to a new networking venture in Galway. Lots of positive feedback!


26.11.2015 – TULCA Festival of Visual Art tour with Joanna McGlynn, TULCA education programme manager. 6 attended– 4 from Galway City – 2 from Galway County

Joanna took the group around the exhibition in the main TULCA exhibition space in the Connacht Print Works. The group then moved to 126 and had a thorough look and discussion about the solo exhibition Balor’s Mega Baalistic Gall Stones by Nevan Lahart aka The Remote Painter. The group appreciated the chance to see an exhibition in company of other artists, to get involved in discussions and have an opportunity to ask questions and reflect together.

CREATIVE CAFÉ #3 – Getting Involved

28.01.2016 – 126 open calls, GCCN, artist talk. 19 attended, 13 from Galway City – 6 from Galway County

Louise Spokes gave a quick overview of upcoming residency opportunities with 126. Martina Finn, the new head of the Arts, Heritage and Culture Linkage Group and Eleanor Hough, member and representative of the Galway City Community Network introduced the GCCN and spoke about its activities. Kate Howard was also present and made valuable attributions based on her own role in the GCCN in the past. Geraldine Robinson, an artist based in Dublin, gave a talk about her work which was showing at the time in The Secret Garden Tea rooms. Interesting and lively networking opportunities were enjoyed by all.

CREATIVE CAFÉ #4 – Opportunities for Artists

25.02.2016 –126 open calls, Galway visual arts, open calls and residencies. 14 (or more) attended, 9 from Galway City – 3 from Galway County – 2 from Burren College of Art

Louise Spokes introduced the 126 residency opportunity in Italy in partnership with AmistadeLab, the first phase of the Rare Exports exchange program: Rare Exports #1 and ARTFARM 2016 OPEN CALL. Judith Bernhardt spoke about a whole list of interesting open calls for exhibitions, artists’ residencies and more. Very rich and interesting conversations unfolded, everybody was included and inspired. The discussions lasted until 8pm (3 hours!).

CREATIVE CAFÉ #5 – Arts and Ecology

31.03.2016 – Ecology, Sustainability and Ethical Art Practice with guest speaker Sheila Flannagan (ARTFarm). 6 attended- 2 from the Burren, 2 Galway City, 2 Galway County.

For the fifth Creative Cafe on Thurs 31 March we invited Sheila Flanagan to tell us about her place the ARTFarm and what it stands for. The ARTFarm is an Artists’ retreat space with environmental ethos situated in a remote rural setting in the townland of Cloonkeen, 5km from Newbridge Village in North East County Galway. It is a place of quiet and solitude. It consists of an old style country cottage, separate large studio space and hay-barn. Artfarm aspires to bring artists to this rural area with an aim to increase arts awareness and participation in the region. The ARTFarm is offering another fabulous artists residency this year in collaboration with 126 (see more on We initiated a discussion around the questions concerning ´Arts & Ecology´. In light of Climate Change, what does it mean to be an artist if we accept the imperative need to reduce production? Is the designation ‘artist’ a matter of active practice or living praxis? Can artistic reflection influence the means of production? How can means of artistic production be transformed?

The next Creative Café will be held on Thursday 28th April, 2016, from 5-7pm in the Secret Garden Tea Rooms, Galway. For more information or to join the Creative Café mailing list contact

6 thoughts on “CREATIVE CAFÉ

  1. I just want to tell you that I am new to blogs and actually savored you’re blog. Probably I’m planning to bookmark your site . You certainly come with tremendous articles and reviews. Thanks a bunch for sharing your blog site.

  2. Heya i am for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It really useful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to give something back and aid others like you aided me.

  3. You can definitely see your skills in the paintings you write. The arena hopes for more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to say how they believe. All the time go after your heart.

  4. I think this is one of the most important information for me. And i’m glad reading your article. But should remark on some general things, The web site style is wonderful, the articles is really excellent : D. Good job, cheers

  5. I wanted to draft you this little bit of word to help say thank you once again for those extraordinary things you’ve shown on this site. It has been quite incredibly open-handed with you to present without restraint what many of us might have marketed for an e-book in order to make some profit for themselves, precisely considering the fact that you might have done it if you wanted. The pointers additionally worked to provide a great way to recognize that most people have similar desire much like my own to figure out a whole lot more concerning this condition. I believe there are many more pleasant occasions up front for many who check out your blog post.

  6. Thank you for the sensible critique. Me & my neighbor were just preparing to do some research on this. We got a grab a book from our area library but I think I learned more from this post. I am very glad to see such fantastic information being shared freely out there.

Comments are closed.