Encouraged by Derek Hill, four islanders began to paint in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Knowing little about art and often lacking the most basic equipment, they painted in a style which was termed naive or primitive. A second generation of Tory painters -Patsy Dan Mac Ruairí, Ruairi L. Mac Ruaidhrí, Micheál Fionnbar Mac Ruaidhrí and Antóin Ó Mionáin emerged in the 1970s and 1980s. Their work is starker and more sharply defined than that of the earlier painters but they, too, are preoccupied with the island and the sea which surrounds it.
Tory artists have exhibited in major galleries in Ireland, Britain and throughout Europe and their paintings are to be found in many important collections. The work of the painters and other examples of island art such as model boats are exhibited in Gailearaf Dixon. Mainland artists also exhibit in Gailearaí Dixon.