Category: News

Artists’ Building Cooperative Dublin (ABCD) accepting expressions of interest from artists   Recently updated !

ABCD is an exciting new cooperative, of artist households, working together towards the development of affordable live-work space in Dublin City Centre.

ABCD is now seeking expressions of interest from professional artists to form a panel, eligible to join ABCD, as membership spaces become available within the cooperative.

ABCD are currently a mixed group of households; some with savings; some who can secure a modest mortgage and some who are eligible for or already on the Dublin City Council Housing List.  Expressions of interest for the ABCD Panel are invited from artists with similar financial means.

Please note that this development will not provide stand-alone studios. It is being developed to provide residents with both housing and studio space in the same building. Artists invited to the panel will not be guaranteed cooperative membership, this will depend on spaces available.

If you are in either of these financial situations, described above and would like to be considered for membership of the cooperative in future please fill out the following form and provide information on your current housing, studio needs and financial circumstances.
N.B. The information you provide will be strictly confidential.

Expression of interest form: ABCD New Members Questionnaire 

Please email completed expression of interest forms and any queries before 12 June 2017 to:

For further information on the cooperative see:

Thomas Brezing awarded Creative Spark Artist-in-Residence 2017

Artist Thomas Brezing from Balbriggan, Co. Dublin has been awarded artist-in-residence on the Creative Spark Residency Programme.

Thomas was born in Germany in 1969 and moved to Ireland in the early 1990’s. Thomas’ work explores the collective shadow of contemporary mass culture from a variety of conceptual, painterly and performative perspectives. Edge-walking the lines between beauty and horror, abstraction and representation, the near and the far, the visible and the invisible. Brezing’s images and installations confront the enormous power of humanity’s collective will and its impact on the environment.

Thomas will develop a new series of work for the Creative Spark Residency Programme exhibition at An Táin Arts Centre in October 2017.

This residency programme has been generously supported by Louth Local Authorities Art Service as a means of supporting the development of visual artists in the region.

Creative Spark
Clontygora Drive,
T: 042 9385720

Call for Nominations | Allianz Business to Arts Awards 2017

Closing date for applications: Monday 8 May 2017, 5pm

2017 sees the Allianz Business to Arts Awards celebrate 26 years of world-class relationships between business and the arts.

The Allianz Business to Arts Awards champion the spirit of collaboration between businesses, artists and arts organisations. They recognise creative partnerships that bring the arts and artists into mutually beneficial relationships across society.

Nominate your partners and demonstrate your pride in what you have achieved. Join the prestigious list of winners, which represent the very best models developed between the corporate and cultural worlds in Ireland.

Award Categories:
The Awards recognise outstanding examples of business and arts organisations working together in areas such as sponsorship, commissioning artists, CSR initiatives, community engagements, training and events, staff engagement or development etc. Within the new online entry system, you may wish to apply for the Jim McNaughton/TileStyle €10,000 Bursary for Commissioned Artists.

1. Best Large Sponsorship (> €50,000)
2. Best Mid-Size Sponsorship (€15,000 – €50,000)
3. Best Small Sponsorship (< €15,000)
4. Best Long Term Partnership (3 years or more)
5. Best Use of Creativity in the Community
6. Best Creative Staff Engagement
7. Jim McNaughton Perpetual Award for Best Commissioning Practice
8. Jim McNaughton/TileStyle €10,000 Bursary for Commissioned Artists
9. daa €5,000 Arts Award
10. Allianz €5,000 Community Art Award
11. Judges’ Special Recognition Award for Portfolio of Arts Sponsorship

See for more information and to enter.

Nominations Sought for UK National Lottery Awards 2017

Deadline for entries is midnight on 7 April

Lottery players raise £30 million each week for projects across the UK and the Awards are a great way of celebrating the unsung heroes improving lives with National Lottery funding.

Now in their 14th year, the Awards recognise the incredible difference that Lottery-funded projects have made to people, places and communities all across the UK through the 500,000 grants awarded since 1994.

There are seven categories, reflecting the different types of projects to benefit from National Lottery funding: Art, Education, Environment, Health, Heritage, Sport and Charity/Voluntary.

You can nominate your favourite project or put yours forward. All entries must have received National Lottery funding, at any time since the Lottery started in 1994.

Winners receive a £3,000 prize for their project and star in a BBC One television show.

Vote here:

Late Night Art Belfast | Thursday 6 April

Late Night Art Belfast happens on the first Thursday of every month with over a dozen galleries opening their doors for an evening celebration of the vibrant visual arts scene in Belfast.

Join in around the world next week by following the hashtag #LNAB and reshare your favourite images, videos and surprises with your friends and colleagues.

Share your own experience on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Periscope and Pinterest and share this story with the world.


Fully guided bus tour departs from outside the front of the Linenhall Library at 6.30pm and finishes approx. 9.15pm. Join this tour by booking through paypal on or by ringing the Townhouse on 028 90311798. £10 per person.


Or make your way around the galleries at your own pace. Here are just some of the highlights of this Late Night Art:


Northern Ireland | Delays in Political Parties forming a Government Impacts Arts Organisations

Organisations in receipt of annual funding from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland (ACNI) have been notified that they will be allocated 50% of their funding as an interim measure to deal with the uncertainty of the exchequer budget 2017. In the absence of a Budget Act, the Permanent Secretary of the Department of Finance will use powers assigned to him under Section 59 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 to release cash to departments on an interim basis and until such times as a budget is agreed by ministers and budget legislation is put in place.

Funded organisations will receive only a percentage of their proposed allocation for 2017/2018. Organisations have also been notified that this measure must not be taken to indicate that funding will continue after this date or that, if it does continue, it will do so at the same level for the remainder of this financial year.

This leaves arts organisations in the precarious position of not knowing their funding situation for their full programme year. The Annual Funding Programme is divided into two distinct elements: core and programming. Core costs are met from exchequer funds and programming costs are from National Lottery funds. Whilst lottery funds are not immediately directly affected by the current budget issue, each organisation’s funding situation will have to be re-assessed against the outcome of the final exchequer budget.

Seamus Nolan Announced As Recipient of CAPP Commission

Create and Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane are delighted to announce that Seamus Nolan has been successful in the Collaborative Arts Partnership Programme (CAPP) Open Call for a socially engaged commission.

This is a very significant commission in the collaborative arts sphere in Ireland. It has resulted from a successful collaboration between Create, the national development agency for collaborative arts and Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, located in Parnell Square and is supported by the Collaborative Arts Partnership Programme (CAPP) a transnational programme co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union. The applications, from across the CAPP network of partners, were of particularly high calibre with forty-one artists submitting diverse proposals in cross disciplinary artforms. The commission will run from 2017 to 2018 and sets out to encourage meaningful and in depth engagement with communities of place and of interest as well as the distinct architectural, socio-political and cultural landscape of the North Inner City of Dublin.

Seamus Nolan’s proposal to investigate the idea of archive, deconstruct ideas on ‘heritage’ and engage with both communities of place and of interest, involving Traveller activists and archivists, stood out in terms of concept and imaginative power.

Ailbhe Murphy, Director of Create
“We are delighted that Seamus Nolan, one of Ireland’s leading collaborative arts practitioners, has proposed this very timely and relevant socially engaged project. With a focus on archive, identity and history in relation to the Irish Traveller community, Nolan will work with a number of collaborators to re-shape and re-work ideas about what ‘heritage’ and memory can be. We are really looking forward to working in partnership with the Hugh Lane on this exciting commission.”

Seamus Nolan, artist
“I am really pleased to have the opportunity through this commission to examine basic notions of representation and community building in relation to Traveller past and heritage. The commission will support the coming together of cultural practitioners, activists and archivists in an exploration of contested histories.”

Access to free dental and eye tests for the Self-Employed in new legislation

Some 500,000 self-employed people will be able to access free dental benefits for the first time this week, as the Department of Social Protection introduces a measure signalled in last October’s budget. The self-employed can also look forward to a free eye test every 2 years and a contribution of €42 towards glasses.

The move means that the self-employed who were previously excluded from receiving a free annual check-up with their dentist or a free eye check, on the grounds that they paid a different category of PRSI, will now be entitled to it. Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar signed the enabling legislation last week, and the scheme is due to commence from this week, March 27th.

The Government also signalled in last October’s budget the re-introduction of an annual scale and polish treatment, which was discontinued in 2010, and protracted periodontal treatment, where this is clinically required. Speaking in the Dáil last week, Mr Varadkar said the re-introduction of the free annual scale and polish and protracted periodontal treatment will occur from October 2017.

People with the required PRSI contribution history paying Class S contribution will be qualified to receive the benefits under the scheme.

The change will be welcomed by professional artists in Ireland, many of whom are registered as self-employed. Artists registered as self-employed can avail of Artists Tax Exemption (See VAI article on Tax and Self Employment for Artists).

Georgina Jackson Appointed Director of The Douglas Hyde Gallery

The Douglas Hyde Gallery is delighted to announce the appointment of Georgina Jackson as Director. She will take up her new role in May, succeeding John Hutchinson, following his twenty-five year tenure.

Georgina comes to the Douglas Hyde Gallery from Mercer Union, Toronto, where she has been Director of Exhibitions and Programmes since 2013. During this time she led the organisation towards a renewed focus on the commissioning of work by emerging and established contemporary artists, while elevating its reputation within the local, national and international art world.

Georgina says, “I’m honoured to be joining the Douglas Hyde Gallery and am looking forward to shaping its future. Its location within the leading research university in Ireland – and at the threshold between the university and the city – marks an important and exciting space for contemporary art. I look forward to working with the team, Trinity College and the wider arts communities to build on John Hutchinson’s extraordinary legacy, and to shape the Douglas Hyde Gallery as an artist-centred space.”

Matt Packer Appointed Director of EVA International

EVA International are delighted to announce the appointment of Matt Packer as the new Director of Ireland’s Biennial. Matt comes to EVA from CCA Centre For Contemporary Art Derry ~ Londonderry, where he has been Director since 2014. He has extensive experience as a curator in a temporary exhibition context nationally and internationally; he co-curated the Lofoten International Art Festival – a biennial exhibition in Norwa

Matt will curate the 15th edition of Tulca Festival of Visual Arts in Galway and was part of the selection committee for the British representation at the Venice Biennale 2017. Matt previously held the role of Curator of Exhibitions and Projects at Lewis Glucksman Gallery, University College Cork from 2008 to 2013.

Of his appointment Matt says, “I am delighted to be announced as Director of EVA International, an organisation that I have seen transform since I first arrived in Ireland almost ten years ago. Now approaching its 40th anniversary, it’s remarkable how EVA has continued to set the horizon for changing ideas of artistic and curatorial practice, while also being respondent to broader cultural and political changes that have impacted Ireland and its relations to the wider world. Given its enormous legacy, I am very proud to be entrusted with the job of developing EVA over the coming years, strengthening its voice and deepening its impact at local, national and international levels.”

Aideen McGinley appointed Director and Chairperson of Galway 2020

Galway 2020 is delighted to announce the appointment of Ms Aideen McGinley as a Director and Chairperson designate of the Board. A national trustee for Northern Ireland on the BBC Trust, she has 37 years local and central government experience in Northern Ireland being the first woman CEO in NI local government and subsequently the first woman Permanent Secretary in central government when she took up post, on devolution, to create the first Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure and then moved to the Department of Employment and Learning where she was responsible for further and higher education, employment and skills.
Reflecting her interest in regeneration she took up a secondment in 2009 as CEO of ILEX, the urban Regeneration Company for Derry-Londonderry, where she was instrumental in developing the £400m, 10-year regeneration plan, building the symbolic peace bridge and successfully securing the inaugural UK City Of Culture title 2013 for the city.

Aideen has a particular experience of effective stakeholder engagement across a range of interests and sectors from urban and rural regeneration , social entrepreneurship and Creativity, to women and leadership development.

NCAD Appoints Head of School of Visual Culture

NCAD appoints Head of School of Visual Culture

The National College of Art and Design (NCAD) has, today (22.03.2017), announced that Professor David Crowley has been appointed as the Head of School of Visual Culture and will assume his position on 1st July 2017.

Speaking today, Acting Director of NCAD, Bernard Hanratty, said: “Professor Crowley not only brings a strong track record of academic achievement and pedagogical development, but also a wealth of international collaborative endeavour through curation.  He will be a great asset to the College.”


PLASTIK Festival of Artists’ Moving Image | 24 to 26 March 2017

24 to 26 March 2017

In association with the IFI, LUX and Temple Bar Gallery + Studios

Welcome to the second edition of PLASTIK Festival of Artists’ Moving Image – a festival devoted entirely to artists working with the moving image. With films by over 40 artists and filmmakers, and including both contemporary and historical work, PLASTIK will take place at a range of venues in Dublin, bringing international and Irish work together to form a distinct programme, much of which will be screening in Ireland for the first time.

PLASTIK aims to represent the breadth and scope of innovative and experimental work being produced in this ever expanding field of practice, developing a platform for the moving image, with a focus on the cinema as exhibition space. The privilege of a festival of this nature allows an intensity of work, creating uneasy combinations, and challenging perspectives through its ability to affect.

All festival screenings will take place at the IFI. In addition to this, a series of discussions, talks and live performances will take place at partner venue Temple Bar Gallery + Studios (TBG+S), with many internationally acclaimed artists and curators in attendance, including James Richards, Erika Balsom, Yuri Pattison, Ann Hirsch and Benjamin Cook (LUX).

PLASTIK emerges from collaborations between LUX, Temple Bar Gallery + Studios and the Irish Film Institute, and is made possible through the generous support of the Arts Council.

See for full details on all short films in the programme.
For full details of the programme see

Upcoming Deadlines for Northern Ireland Creative Employment Programme 2017

The Northern Ireland Creative Employment Programme grant was increased in January to £2,500 per internship and there are only two rounds left, deadlines:

· 7 April
· 16 June

This funding is to help employers create paid internship positions for young people aged 18-24 in the creative industries, unfortunately applications for apprenticeships can no longer be accepted.

An arts organisation or creative business can apply to create up to 3 internship opportunities.

The Northern Ireland Creative Employment Programme has already helped creative businesses to access £173,000 for funding to create 53 new jobs for young people.

What will an intern cost me as an employer?
The intern must be employed at the minimum wage, £7.05 per hour, for a minimum of 30 hours per week and for a period of 6 months/26 weeks. Taking the NI CEP grant of £2,500 into consideration – the employer’s contribution will be £2,999 over 6 months.

How to apply
All details about the programme can be found on the NI CEP Website:

If you would like to discuss the programme further or are considering an application, please contact us on or call 028 9032 5072.

We are very happy to discuss any aspect of the process with you from the application itself to the practicalities of taking on an apprentice or intern.

Peter Power Awarded Research Residency at The National Sculpture Factory, Cork

The National Sculpture Factory announces a new research residency with composer, director and sound designer Peter Power. Constructed as a form of mutual exploration this residency is designed to generate new relationships across disciplines within the NSF’s productive framework.

From Waterford and based in Cork, Power’s interests are in the collaborative creation of events using music as a non-linear narrative source. His passion for composition stems from a want to pursue what cultural theorist and Architectural critic Charles Jencks called ‘extreme emotional arousal’: to control the definition of time and to express a scale of idea beyond conversation through extraordinary contexts.

Peter’s most recent work includes The Same by Enda Walsh and Corcadorca (Composer/Sound Designer); fLux by Eat My Noise (Co-creator, Composer); Override by Stacey Gregg (Composer, Sound Designer); ProdiJIG: The Revolution by Cork Opera House (Music Supervisor, Composer, Sound Designer); Neon Western (Co-creator, Composer, Sound Designer); Thomas Kent by Lantern Productions (Composer, Sound Designer).

Peter’s research residency at the NSF will run into 2018.

Dublin Port Announces New Commissioned Artists and Public Works for 2017

Dublin Port Company has today announced the artists commissioned to create a series of site-specific public artworks in response to Dublin Port and its relationship with the City.

New works by Sheelagh Broderick, Silvia Loeffler and AEMI and Cliona Harmey will be unveiled at sites and on structures within Dublin Port over the coming months. This is the latest development from Port Perspectives, Dublin Port’s arts commissioning series for 2017, aimed at strengthening the bond between Dublin Port and the City and bringing Dublin Port to new audiences through the arts.

Announcement of funding for Fulbright – Creative Ireland Museum Fellowships

The Fulbright Commission in Ireland, in partnership with the U.S. Embassy and the Creative Ireland initiative, is pleased to announce the launch of the Fulbright-Creative Ireland Museum Fellowships.

A total amount of $120,000 will be made available to fund twelve fellowships. Each year for four years, beginning with the 2018-19 academic year, three Irish post-graduate students will be awarded a Fulbright-Creative Ireland Museum Fellowship to complete short-term research at one of three world-class museums in the United States: The Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, the Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin, and The Exploratorium in San Francisco, California.

Proposed research projects must demonstrate a commitment to innovation and creativity, and include substantive community engagement.The Fulbright Program is the U.S. Department of State’s flagship international educational exchange program. Creative Ireland is the Irish Government’s ambitious five-year initiative to place culture and creativity at the heart of public policy.

Creative Ireland | Local Authority Community Engagement Workshops

Open meetings are currently taking place across the country, inviting members of the general public, as well as representatives from all sectors of the local community, to join the discussion about how the Creative Ireland programme will enable creativity for all citizens.

From arts organisations to historical societies, youth organisations, education bodies and beyond, these forums will facilitate the sharing and developing of ideas for local programmes that are relevant, inclusive and meaningful.

This is an opportunity for you to put forward your ideas on how the visual arts can be better supported in your locality.

The National Campaign For the Arts are encouraging their constituency reps to attend the meetings and make their attendance known at the meetings. Email NCFA Constituency Coordinator Tom Creed at to represent the NCFA at a meeting.

Dates and venues for forthcoming meetings are listed below. Email local arts office to attend, email addresses listed:

Tue 14 March – Kerry | The Rose Hotel
7.00-9.00pm |

Wed 15 March – Dublin City | Dublin City Civic Offices
6.00-8.00pm |

Tue 21 March – Carlow | Carlow Old Town Hall
6.30-8.30pm |

Tue 21 March – Sligo
More details to follow |

Tue 28 March – Wicklow
More details to follow |

Wed 29 March – Cork County
More details to follow |

Thu 30 March – Clare | Templegate Hotel
7.00-9.00pm |

Fri 31 March – Mayo
More details to follow |

Mon 3 April – Laois
More details to follow |

Tue 4 April – Offaly
More details to follow |

Wed 5 April – Waterford
More details to follow |

Thu 6 April – Wexford
More details to follow | eileen.morrissey@wexfordcoco

Tue 11 April – Meath
More details to follow |

Mon 24 April – Fingal
More details to follow |

Tue 25 April – Tipperary
More details to follow |

Wed 26 April – Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown
More details to follow |

UNESCO celebration of International Women’s Day 2017 focuses on the arts

UNESCO celebrated International Women’s Day (8 March) at its Headquarters and field office with a roundtable debate on gender equality in the art world, an advocacy campaign for women to be better represented in the media, and an international art exhibition.

Organised in cooperation with the French National Committee of UN Women, the roundtable discussion “The courage to create: gender equality and the arts” focused on the challenges encountered by female artists, art as a forum for expression for women, and the part the arts can play in deconstructing gender-based stereotyping.

Bringing together experts and artists, the roundtable was introduced by Laurence Rossignol, France’s Minister for Families, Children and Women Rights, along with Fanny Benedetti, Executive Director of the French Committee for UN Women, and Eric Falt, UNESCO’s Assistant Director General for External Relations and Public Information.

Notable participants included: Deeyah Khan, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Artistic Freedom and Creativity, Ole Reitov, Executive Director of Freemuse, a nongovernmental organization advocating freedom of expression for musicians and composers, Jackie Buet, Director of the Créteil International Women’s Film Festival (France), Suzanne Combo, songwriter and composer, Jepchumba, artist and founder of African Digital Art, Pia MYrvoLD, artist, and film directors Maysaloun Hamoud and Shlomi Elkabetz.

Furthermore, on 8 March, UNESCO launched the 2017 Women Make the News awareness raising campaign on the need to improve the representation of women both in newsrooms and in the choice of subjects the media report on. The campaign is organised with the Global Alliance on Media and Gender and UN Women targeting editors in chief, journalists, bloggers, journalism schools, intergovernmental and nongovernmental organisations.

Online, UNESCO also marked the Day with the launch of a new edition of the eAtlas for Gender Inequality in Education to show where girls and women are making progress and where they are being left behind at every level of education. The eAtlas was created by the UNESCO Institute for Statistic (UIS).

An exhibition on the creativity of young women in shaping our future, will be held at UNESCO Headquarters from 8 to 17 March featuring works by artists from ten countries (Azerbaijan, Belgium, China, Cook Islands, Egypt, Greece, Honduras, Poland, Dominican Republic and Tunisia).

Northern Ireland and UK | Tax Increases Announced for the Self Employed

Artists and arts sector freelancers in Northern Ireland and the UK came under attack again today with the announcement in the Spring Budget that Class 4 National Insurance contributions for Self Employed will rise from 9 to 10% in April 2017.

This increase will then rise to 11% in April 2018 and 12% in 2019.

Class 4 National insurance contributions are currently payable on all income over £8,060.

Currently the self employed also pay Class 2 contributions of £145 per year (£2.80 per week), although these are due to be abolished in April 2018.

The BBC are reporting that because Class 2 contributions are being abolished in 2018, “only the self-employed with profits over £16,250 will have to pay more as a result of these changes”.

This, however, fails to mention that when George Osborne announced that Class 2 contributions were being abolished it he said it would “put ‘rocket boosters on the back of enterprise” and “allow millions of self-employed individuals to keep more of their money and invest it back into growing their business”.

Now it seems it was just a way to allow Class 4 contributions to be increased and none of the intended benefits will be felt. The BBC also fail to account for 2017, in which the self employed will still be paying Class 2 contributions as well as the increased Class 4 contributions.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, says that the increases are designed to bring parity to taxes paid by the employed and self employed. However, in 2017 at least, the self employed will continue pay National Insurance contributions at a lower income level (£5965) than the employed (£8060).

What the Chancellor also failed to mention, was that benefits such as holiday pay, sick pay, and maternity pay are not available to the self employed, job security is also more fragile and contracts are often temporary and short term.

As well as artists themselves, much of the arts sector is staffed by freelancers. Artists and arts sector freelancers are amongst the lowest paid workers in our society, and even small increases to taxes can have a huge impact to earnings and quality of life.

The long term impact on squeezing the lowest paid workers cannot be fully understood but it is unlikely that it will result in a rise in the number of skilled workers joining the arts sector.

Visual Artists Ireland will continue to campaign in Northern Ireland for tax exemption on creative works, and for raising the threshold above which Class 4 National Insurance contributions are paid, but at the moment, with no government at Stormont to listen and a government in Westminster that doesn’t want to listen, it seems like the poverty gap will continue to widen and the arts sector will continue to shrink.

– Rob Hilken
VAI Northern Ireland Manager
T: +44 (0)28 9587 0361