An eagerly awaited finished building to house a large contemporary gallery for major temporary exhibitions, the Butler permanent collection, the Tony O’Malley collection, a media gallery and an education and learning centre will open in Spring 2020, as part of a €6 million project.
Some elected members of Kilkenny County Council visited the site of the new Butler Gallery at Evan’s Home on Friday last, where refurbishment and conservation work is well underway to transform Evan’s Home into the new Butler Gallery due to open to the public in Spring 2020.
Evan’s Home, while it is not well known, is a significant building in Kilkenny City’s rich history. Having been formerly the site of St. John’s Priory Monastic Settlement, it later became a military barracks. The current building was created by the bequest of Joseph Evans in 1818 as a Servants’ Asylum and continued as a home until the 1980’s. Kilkenny County Council’s Project Liaison Architect, Evelyn Graham commented “It is a great privilege to be part of this exciting refurbishment project and follow the authentic restoration of this hidden gem into a vibrant contemporary art gallery and public garden“.
In addition to the refurbishment of the historic building itself, the development delivers a significant new area of public open spaces which will include a Children’s Garden, an Archaeological Garden, a Sculpture Garden and a new pedestrian connection from John Street through the site to John’s Quay. There will also be a café which will include an outdoor seating area with views of the neighbouring St. John’s Priory. This world, a mixture of old and new, history and heritage, inside and outside will provide an engaging, enjoyable and accessible visitor experience for locals and tourists alike.
Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council, Cllr. Peter ‘Chap” Cleere said: “the amazing transformation of the Evan’s Home to a new home for the Butler Gallery demonstrates the continuing commitment of Kilkenny County Council to the preservation of the City’s built heritage and patronage of the arts.”
The transformation of Evan’s Home into the new Butler Gallery is a €6 million project funded by by Kilkenny County Council with support of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Fáilte Ireland.