The Irish Times baptized it a “cultural hot-spot” and its beloved patrons, well they know as “the artistic heart of Rathmines”. Over the past three years MART has solidified itself as one of the capital’s foremost creative havens.

In a previous incarnation it was fire station and following its abandonment, the then derelict building became the home of studios, exhibitions, and an innovative energy that is adored by arts aficionados throughout Dublin and beyond – all thanks to the pioneering efforts of its founders, Ciara Scanlan and Matthew Nevin.

The transformation – from fire-house to art-house – took sixteen months, dozens of volunteers, and countless hours of renovation. The hard work and diligence certainly paid off and MART swiftly became the go-to centre for the arts in Rathmines.

Three years into a five-year lease there are “rumours” of a possible demolition project. The proposed development plan by Dublin City Council may see the building knocked to make way for a lane to the corporation yard out back, where they plan to build a medical centre and social housing.

Curator and Director of MART, Ciara Scanlan, told Nitelife: “We are firstly very grateful to D.C.C for the opportunity to take over the building and do what we have done. We want to work with them to become part of their plans for the area.”

The ‘I HEART MART’ campaign was launched earlier this month to muster up support, helping the team secure their place in the Rathmines community. If you would like to show your support to Scanlan, Nevin and the rest of the crew, log on to

For any and all info on MART, check out the website, Facebook, or follow on Twitter.