Mayo galleries host dementia-friendly visits

Going Out

EXPERIENCED GUIDE Artist Tom Meskell has over 20 years’ experience as an art-in-health practitioner working in various care setting with older people, adults with mental health issues and people with disabilities. He is pictured here discussing artworks with viewers during the Bealtaine Festival.

As part of Social Inclusion Awareness Week 2019, which started yesterday (Monday) and runs until this Sunday, October 20, dementia-friendly gallery visits are being organised by Mayo County Council Arts Service in collaboration with Community Action on Dementia Mayo and well-known Mayo artist, Tom Meskell, as wll as two arts venues, the Custom House Gallery and Studios, Westport, and Ballina Art Centre.
These dementia-friendly gallery visits aim to support people living with dementia and their  carers to engage with visual-art exhibitions in both arts venues.
In Ballina Arts Centre, the event will take place on Thursday, October 17 from 3pm to 4.30pm. Starting off with a cup of tea on arrival, the group will then explore the Leah Hilliard exhibition and discuss the artwork together with Tom Meskell. The visit will end with a singalong in the gallery.
In the Custom House Studios, Westport, the dementia-friendly visit will take place on Monday, October 21, from 3pm to 4.30pm. Again, starting off with a cup of tea on arrival, the group will then watch a painting demonstration by Tom Meskell and explore the prestigious Camille Souter exhibition that is taking place there in conjunction with Westival – Westport Music and Arts Festival.
Booking is required for both visits. For the event in Ballina Art Centre, contact Frances Maloney, Community Action on Dementia West on 086 8366312, or email For the event in the Custom House Studios, Westport,
contact Fiona Hoban, Commnity Action on Dementia West, on 086 0294029 or email

For more information, contact Mayo Arts Service at 094 9064376 or email