Artists rally together to keep Outhouse open

The future of the LGBTQ+ Community Resource Centre is under threat due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions so it has joined forces with Irish artist to raise funds.

exterior of Outhouse decorated in pride flags

The essential LGBTQ+ Community Resource Centre, Outhouse, is organising an art auction in order to keep providing its service. Outhouse is determined to keep its doors open, but is in need of funding. Fortunately, many Irish artists are teaming up with Outhouse to create Arthouse, their inaugural online art auction that will run from November 11 to November 21.

Internationally renowned Irish street artist Conor Harrington, singer and photographer Brian Kennedy, Gavin Friday, Niall Sweeney, Colin Martin, Leah Hewson, Eva O’Donovan, Gabhan Dunne, David Quinn, and Carol Hodder are just a few of the dozens of Irish artists who will be participating in the online auction to keep Outhouse open.

art piece, a painting of a white dog in a red sweater, up for Arthouse online auction to keep Outhouse open

Outhouse first opened its doors in 1997, and 23 years later it still continues to be a dedicated full time LGBTQ+ Community Resource Centre. Over 52,000 people utilized Outhouse in 2019, and those numbers continue to grow every year, proving how vital it is that the LGBTQ+ community have a safe space to meet people, make friendships and develop support networks.

With the closure of Teach Solais in Galway, another Community Resource Centre, other centres fear they are facing a similar fate. The hope is that with the funds raised from the online art auction, Outhouse can fully reopen its doors once COVID-19 is finally over.

Proceeds of the art auction will go towards raising much-needed funds to replace the income lost due to COVID-19 restrictions. Outhouse is aware that the art community is also facing an equally precarious future, so they are offering all contributing artists the opportunity to avail of 50% of the price achieved for their work.

art piece of black and white comic strips on blue painted background with a silhouette of two men. Up for auction online to keep Outhouse open.

Francis Fay, whose print Trade will be part of the auction, shared, “I’m honoured to have the opportunity to support Outhouse and the sterling work they do for the LGBTQ+ community.”

Another artist involved, Leah Hewson, shared: “A place like Outhouse is essential to any community, not only to give support and safety to the LGBTQ+ community, but to encourage and give space for diversity to flourish. Personally, as an artist and human I am always in search of my originality and truth.

“I wanted to get involved in the auction not only to help raise awareness of this great resource that is in the heart of our city but because it is vital that this work continues to progress, support and to be a safe space for people who might need it.”

art piece, abstract painting of landscape and blue sky with heavy and thick brush strokes. Up for auction to keep outhouse open.

Artist Martin McCann, whose painting Castro Culture is part of the auction, added: “Outhouse is an essential resource for the LGBTQ+ community in Ireland. The services on offer provide a welcoming safe space for many struggling, especially during these uncertain times. I’m proud to support and be included in the Arthouse auction and it’s a pleasure to be in such good company.”

The auction will offer artworks from the LGBTQ+ community and it allies, featuring paintings, prints, textiles, photography, and sculptures, spanning genres such as street, abstract, and figurative art. With over 150 artworks up for auction, there is something for all tastes and budgets.

“Outhouse was an amazing and unique space when I first came to Dublin in the late 1990s,” artist Gabhan Dunne says. “It still is that same extraordinary space providing a safe, inclusive community for LGBTQ+ people, family and friends.”

Help keep Outhouse open: to donate artwork and bid on the auction, click here.

art piece, two black and white photographs side by side. The first of a couple laying in bed, the next a mountain landscape with the text "Norway, 1941". Both up for auction to keep Outhouse open.

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