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The Merrion Hotel

The Merrion Hotel


Announcing The Merrion Plinth Winner

Artist Orla Whelan is the inaugural winner of The Merrion Plinth Award, pictured here with her winning piece: ‘Chaos Bewitched,’  2019, Oil,  birch wood, glass.

Orla Whelan is the first winner of this new biennial contemporary art prize of €5,000  with the winning piece of art taking up residence in the hotel for the next two years.

The Merrion Plinth was created to celebrate the hotel’s 21 years in business, and through an open submission process for professional artists a shortlist of five artists were selected including Alva Gallagher, Jane Rainey, Lee Welch, Marcel Vidal and Orla Whelan. The judges included Lochlann Quinn, Chairman of the hotel, Patrick Murphy, Director of the RHA and Oonagh Young, Director of The Oonagh Young Gallery.

As dedicated supporters of visual art, The Merrion hotel aims to support contemporary artists by sponsoring this prize honouring outstanding talent. The Merrion Plinth will continue to run as an open submission competition every two years. The hotel is already home to an important private collection of 19th and 20th-century art, to which the hotel’s grand interiors offer the perfect backdrop.

The Merrion Plinth Award

Photo by Naoise Culhane


Alongside its rich history, The Merrion Hotel is famed as holding the finest private collection of late 19th century and early 20th Century Irish Art. It contains some significant artworks relevant to the history of Irish visual culture and so the ambition of this prize is to promote the importance of visual art being made today.

To celebrate 21 years in business, The Merrion Hotel has launched a new biennial Contemporary Art Prize called “The Merrion Plinth”. As dedicated supporters of visual art, The Merrion Hotel aims to support living artists by sponsoring this prize honouring outstanding talent. We are inviting professional artists to enter this exciting new competition which will take place every two years. Our intention is to provide a platform for artists to bring their work to new audiences and be seen alongside some of the great Irish artists of the last century.

The Merrion Plinth Award will grant €5,000 to the winning artist chosen through an open submission competition to create a new work which will be displayed in the Garden Foyer for 2 years. A team of expert judges will include Lochlann Quinn, Chairman of the Hotel, Patrick Murphy, Director of RHA and Oonagh Young, Director Oonagh Young Gallery. Open to all professional artists, this competition is sure to attract entries from some of the most significant artists working today.

The Merrion Plinth Judging Panel are delighted to announce the following shortlist for 2019 with the winner Orla Whelan announced on June 27th

Marcel Vidal

Alva Gallagher

Lee Welch

Jane Rainey

Orla Whelan

For more information please click here to The Merrion Plinth Art Award Entry Information

Please click here to download The Merrion Plinth Art Award Entry Form

For queries and entries please email for the attention of Oonagh Young.


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