National Gallery invites online creativity from all around Ireland with National Drawing Day 2021

National Drawing Day logo featuring pink and green squiggle lines and a purple starburst line. Text says National Drawing Day Saturday 15 May 2021

Annual celebration of drawing on Saturday 15 May 2021

As the National Gallery celebrates its first week of reopening after 137 days of closure, participants from all over Ireland are invited to grab their pencils and get creative for National Drawing Day on Saturday 15 May 2021. The Gallery and its partner venues will bring the joy of drawing to homes across the country through online platforms, with virtual workshops, videos, blogposts and more.

An annual celebration of drawing and creativity, this National Gallery of Ireland initiative is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media and is co-hosted by dozens of partner venues around the island of Ireland. 

For National Drawing Day 2021, the Gallery is collaborating with over 40 venues across the island of Ireland. Museums, libraries, galleries and arts centres in Antrim, Clare, Cork, Derry, Donegal, Down, Dublin, Dun Laoghaire, Fermanagh, Galway, Kerry, Kildare, Kilkenny, Leitrim, Louth, Mayo, Meath, Monaghan, Navan, Offaly, Waterford, Wexford, Westmeath, and Wicklow will be getting involved.

Participating venues will share drawings with the hashtag #NationalDrawingDay. Participants are invited to tag the Gallery on social media: Facebook // @NationalGalleryofIreland, Twitter // @NGIreland and Instagram // @NationalGalleryofIreland.

People of all ages and all abilities are encouraged to pick up their pencils and draw. Special activities offered by the Gallery this year include an Online Creative Activity for FamiliesApollo Project Creative Careers: Holly Pereira; and a Sensory Drawing Class for Adults, in association with Gheel Autism Services. Pre-booking is required for these events, see

A dedicated National Drawing Day hub on the National Gallery of Ireland’s website offers lots of drawing activities and resources, and a list of participating venues. See

Media contact:
Kate O’Leary, Communications National Gallery of Ireland / [email protected] / 087 334 1587
Emma Pearson, Communications, National Gallery of Ireland / [email protected] / 087 9187941


Participating venues:

Artnet DLR (DLR Artists Network) | Backwater Artists Group | The Butler Gallery | Castletown House | Centre for Contemporary Art Derry-Londonderry | The Chester Beatty | Crawford Art Gallery, Cork | Creative Spark, Louth | DLR Libraries | The Dock, Leitrim | Draíocht Arts Centre | Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane | F.E. McWilliam Gallery and Studio | Fota House, Arboretum and Garden | Galway City Museum | Garter Lane Arts Centre, Waterford | Glór, Ennis | The Glucksman | IMMA | Kerry County Museum | Lismore Castle Arts | Mermaid County Wicklow Arts Centre, Bray | Mid-Antrim Museum at The Braid | Monaghan County Museum | Muckross Traditional Farms | National Library of Ireland | National Maritime Museum | National Museum of Ireland, Decorative Arts and History, Collins Barracks | National Museum of Ireland: History and Archaeology | National Museums NI, Ulster Museum | National Print Museum | Northern Ireland War Memorial | Oughterard Courthouse Arts Programme | The Pearse Museum | Presentation Centre, Enniscorthy | Rathfarnham Castle | RHA | Richmond Barracks, Dublin | Russborough House | Schoolhouse For Art, Enniskerry | Science Gallery Dublin | Solstice Arts Centre, Navan | Susie Maloney, artist | Temple Bar Gallery + Studios | Uillinn West Cork Arts Centre | United Arts Club | Waterford Museum of Treasures | Wexford Arts Centre

About Drawing Day:
National Drawing Day has been running since 2005. What began as a small initiative has blossomed, with thousands of people now taking part each year, all over Ireland. National Drawing Day is supported by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. Events, whether onsite, offsite or online, encourage and support access to the arts for all, regardless of age, ability or social circumstances. #NationalDrawingDay 

Gallery opening hours:
Mon: 11am – 5.30pm
Tues to Sat: 9.45am – 5.30pm 
Sun: 11.30am – 5.30pm
Gallery Shop reopens on 17 May 2021

Visitor information:
Advanced booking required for entry to the national collection and for the New Perspectives exhibition. Sanitising facilities at all entry points and throughout Gallery. Tours and audio guides will not be available, but versions of Gallery initiatives are available online. Lifts will be available but for single use or disability access only. Cloakrooms will be closed. Entry via Merrion Square only: a one-way system is in place at the Gallery. 

About the National Gallery of Ireland:
The National Gallery of Ireland is one of the country’s most popular visitor attractions housing the nation’s collection of European and Irish art from about 1300 to the present day, and an extensive Library & Archive. Entry to the collection is free for all to enjoy, learn and be inspired.

More information