While the Northwest is best known for its natural spectacles, its regional capital, Sligo, hosts an important national arts outpost in The Model. Housing The Niland Collection, it was built in 1862 as a Model School, with two modern-day extensions in 2000 and 2010 adding music venues, a visitor centre, and more.
While the centre is entrenched in the Irish arts establishment, more progressive artistic forces reside therein, most notably Art for Blind Records, one of the country’s most progressive and fearless record labels and shops, releasing albums in the last year from artists like psych-rock five-piece The Altered Hours and minimal techno composer ELLLL.
The building itself includes an in-house restaurant and coffee dock, a bookshop, a gallery circuit, and a series of artist studios on the top floor with astounding views of Sligo town and County. The Niland Collection of art resides here, including works by John and Jack B. Yeats, Estella Solomons, Paul Henry and Louis LeBrocquy among others.