The LAB was established by Dublin City Council in 2005 as a municipal arts hub, housing gallery, rehearsal and incubation spaces for a range of art forms. The LAB Gallery supports emerging art practices and delivers a year round programme of free events for all ages. In addition to Dublin City Council, the LAB Gallery is supported by the Arts Council.
Exhibitions are selected from proposals and by direct invitation usually eighteen months in advance. We actively encourage collaboration across art forms and work with artists who are motivated by a strong line of enquiry. In line with the Dublin City Council Arts Plan, our focus is on working with artists at critical points in the development of their practice, providing a first solo show or an opportunity for a more established artist to try out something new for example. Artists such as Vera Klute, Lee Welch and Bea McMahon had their first solo shows at the LAB. We also commission new writing with every exhibition and develop carefully curated events and education programmes to provide spaces to look closer, share, enjoy, play, chat, experiment and critically debate art and the ideas inherent in the exhibitions.
We would like to acknowledge the support of our key partners including GradCAM on a range of conferences and events; Create, NCAD, iadt and DIT on the Create Learning Development Programme, and in 2015, UCD Art in Science. In 2016 our key partners include the National Gallery of Ireland and National Museum of Ireland. Since 2008 we have hosted an MA programme from iadt, previously MAVIS and since 2014, Art Research Collaboration. A key programme at the LAB is our involvement in the arts education Project 20/20.