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To Contact

VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art and George Bernard Shaw Theatre
T: + 353 (0) 59 9172400
W: Old Dublin Road

Opening Hours:

Tuesday – Saturday

11 a.m. – 5.30 p.m.

Sunday 2 – 5 p.m.

Closed on Mondays.

Free admission.

VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art and George Bernard Shaw Theatre

A dynamic multi-disciplinary arts facility, the VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art is one of the most exceptional galleries in Ireland, presenting the best of local, national and international work in the visual and performing arts. Standing in a strategic location in the centre of Carlow Town on the grounds of Carlow College, VISUAL rivals its contemporaries in New York, Berlin or Tokyo in terms of its scale and contemporary architecture. Facilities include a theatre bar and full service restaurant. The centre has won numerous awards including the RIAI (Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland) Award 2010 for Best Cultural Building in Ireland.

Currently on display is Beasts of England, Beasts of Ireland, a group show curated by Stephen Brandes and featuring the work of Ben Long, Gareth Phelan, Isabel Nolan, Stephen McKenna and Polly Morgan. Three other exhibitions run concurrently – Extinction examines eight groundbreaking Irish illustrators such as Niamh Sharkey, Steve Simpson and the Project Twins; a commission of a sculpture in wood from 22 collaborating artists from all over the world; and an Open Submission selected by Stephen McKenna and Amelia Stein, including work from Dorothy Cross, Richard Gorman, Gary Coyle and Eithne Jordan. 

In addition to the gallery exhibitions VISUAL runs a number of workshops each season for children, teenagers, adults and families such as 3D animation, lace making, painting and drawing skills, print making, collage, portrait drawing, jewellery making, African drumming workshops and a Parent and Toddler Group which is facilitated by an artist and guarantees a morning of fun.

The George Bernard Shaw Theatre, named after the renowned Irish playwright who had strong Carlow connections, is a 290 seat high-spec performance space. The performing arts programme includes some of Ireland’s leading theatre production companies featuring a wide variety of live music, theatre, film, comedy, opera and dance from local, national and international performers.