Category: VAI News

Sherry Erskine Wins VAI Student Membership Prize for The Burren Collage of Art

The Dean and faculty committee of The Burren Collage of Art, Co. Clare have chosen recent MFA graduate, Sherry Erskine, as the recipient of this years Visual Artists Ireland Student Membership Prize.

This is the first of the VAI Student Membership Prizes to be awarded for 2017. VAI invited several Art Colleges in Ireland to select one graduating student from their college to receive a Membership Prize.

The Prize will give the graduating student one years free membership of VAI which will be of great benefit to the student in their first year establishing an independent practice. Adjusting to working without the support of college and peer guidance can be challenging for a recent graduate. The resources available to through VAI can make this transition smoother for graduates and the Membership Prize entitles them to full professional membership benefits, which include:

  • VAI Help-Desk: advice service for visual artists that covers the wide range of professional concerns being experienced by artists today.
    Professional Development Workshops: a wide range of professional development training throughout the year including workshops, peer discussion groups, seminars and talks.
  • VAN: receive the Visual Artists’ News Sheet by post (6 issues per year). The VAN is the primary all-Ireland information resource for visual artists presenting case study articles on all aspects of the lives of professional artists, alongside features offering critical reflection and analysis of relevant aspects of the art world in Ireland and internationally.
  • Equipment Hire: affordable access to projectors, video editing, cameras, computers and other equipment.
  • Get Together: Irelands national day for visual artists with speed curating, clinics and talks.
  • Members Directory: your  personal profile, image and contact details in the Members Directory on the VAI website
  • The Manual: a comprehensive on-line information resource covering all aspects of professional development.
  • Membership Card: entitles you to discounts at a wide range of art material suppliers and service providers
  • Studio Exchange Programme: VAI members can register with Artelier for studio exchange with peers anywhere in the world.

For more information on membership benefits and to join for the annual rate of €50/€25 (concession/unwaged) visit:

Important News about Artists Resale Right

It has come to our attention that a collecting society from outside of Ireland has been attempting to claim secondary sales money on behalf of Irish visual artists and their estates. If you are in the Republic of Ireland then IVARO (Irish Visual Artists Rights Organisation) is the local collective licensing body established by and for Irish visual artists that you should be registered with. IVARO collects Artists Resale money from the third party sellers such as auction houses and distributes it to artists or to their heirs.

There is no other collective licensing organisation in Ireland currently registered to do so for visual artists. IVARO also collects on behalf of foreign artists who are registered with their country’s collecting society.

For example, in the UK IVARO has a reciprocal agreement with DACS. This means that if a DACS member has work sold in Ireland, the money is collected by IVARO and sent to DACS for distribution.

In the same way, if an Irish artist is sold abroad, the sister agency collects the money, sends it to IVARO who then distributes it. So, again using our sister agency DACS as an example, they have a list of Irish artists registered with IVARO, collect the money, and send it to IVARO to be distributed to Irish artists or their heirs and estates.

We have claims of all sorts of promises being made to artists and artists’ heirs & estates who are being requested to register with organisations who are not registered to collect in Ireland. If you have been approached and even if you are given to understand that the organisation is reputable, we suggest that you contact the IVARO helpline either on or (01) 672 9488 where you can get advice on what you are being told. They have a free impartial service so there will be no pressure to sign up. You will be given the full facts so that you can make your own decision.

Sue Rainsford Announced as Recipient of Critical Writing Award 2016/17

Visual Artists Ireland, in partnership with Dublin City Council’s The LAB Gallery and AICA Ireland, are pleased to announce Sue Rainsford as the winner of the 2016 Critical Writing Award. Rainsford is the fourth recipient of the award, following James Merrigan, Rebecca O’Dwyer and Joanne Laws. The panel of judges this year comprised J.J. Charlesworth (AICA UK, Associate Editor, Art Review), Sheena Barrett (Assistant Arts Officer, Dublin City Council and Curator, The LAB) and Noel Kelly (President, AICA Ireland, Director, Visual Artists Ireland).

Rainsford’s winning piece of writing – a review of Vanessa Donoso López’s exhibition ‘to swallow a ball’ – will be published in the May/June issue of the Visual Artists’ News Sheet. She will also receive a fee of €500 and join the Visual Artists’ News Sheet panel of art critics. In addition, Rainsford will be invited to contribute to The LAB Gallery’s 2017 programme, with a €300 writing commission.

Sue Rainsford is a writer and researcher based in Dublin. A graduate of Trinity College and IADT, she recently completed her MFA in Writing and Literature at Bennington College, Vermont. Her practice is concerned with hybrid texts and radical experience, as well as the intersection between visual and literary arts practices.

Visual Artists News Sheet Online:

Setting Your Own Agenda with Patricia Clyne-Kelly at VAI Belfast Office

Wednesday 3 May, 9am to 5pm

Tickets £10 / £5
(Includes lunch and refreshments)

Setting Your Own Agenda – shift your mindset, find your focus and sharpen your creative mind.

An exploration of best practices for making ideas happen. Pragmatic action-oriented insights and skills are shared to empower you to make good the ideas you have in waiting…when it comes to creative work, every decision, everyday matters.

Guest Speakers:

Joanna Kidney was born in Dublin, Ireland and currently lives in Co. Wicklow, Ireland. Her work utilizes the medium of drawing, the potential of diverse materials and a sense of experience to reflect on the human experience and our relationship with the vast universe. It is influenced by an interest in interconnectivity between living matter and metaphysics.

Profile Your Public Art in the Visual Artists’ News Sheet May/June Issue

Deadline: 3 April

If you have recently been involved in a public commission, percent for art project, socially engaged project or any other form of ‘art outside the gallery’ we would like you to email us the information for publication in the the next issue of the Visual Artists News Sheet.
Send images (3-4MB in size) and a short text (no more than around 300 words) in the following format:

* Artist’s name
* Title of work
* Commissioning body
* Date advertised
* Date sited / carried out
* Budget
* Commission type
* Project Partners
* Brief description of the work

Work must have been undertaken in the last 6 months.

Send your info to Production Editor Lily Power at:

Out Now | March – April 2017 Issue of the Visual Artists’ News Sheet

The Visual Artists’ News Sheet is the primary all-Ireland information resource for visual artists presenting case study articles on all aspects of the lives of professional artists, alongside features offering critical reflection and analysis of relevant aspects of the art world in Ireland and internationally.

In January 2017, we learned of the sad passing of the influential British writer and cultural theorist Mark Fisher, who was a columnist for VAN for many years. Declan Long’s poignant tribute features alongside a reprint of Mark’s column ‘The Game Has Changed’, which was first published in the January/February 2011 issue.

In other columns for this issue, Arno Kramer outlines the growing momentum of contemporary drawing in Paris and the Netherlands, while VAI Northern Ireland Manager Rob Hilton discusses prominent painting exhibitions across Northern Ireland. An Organisation Profile of MART, Dublin, by Bernard O’Rourke, offers insights into the evolution of the artist-led space 10 years after it was established. Declan Sheehan discusses Future Artist-Makers, a project showcasing the work of Derry’s FabLab, housed at the Nerve Centre.

This issue features reports from seminars that recently took place around the country: Lisa Fingleton covers ‘Sites of Tension – Sites of Collaboration’ in Portlaoise; Linda Shevlin reports on the Arts Council’s ‘Place Matters’ conference at Dublin Castle in January; while Joanne Laws outlines the ‘Radical Actions’ seminar that took place in December 2016 in county Roscommon. A number of artist residencies are profiled in this issue: Tinka Bechert looks back at her participation in Leitrim County Council’s SPARK residency; internationally, Sam Keogh reflects on his ongoing residency at Rijksakademie in Amsterdam; while Jim Ricks discusses his residency and exhibition at Casa Maauad, Mexico City.

In the Career Development section, Roger Hudson reflects on his artistic career and discusses his artist book Taking the Scissors to Society. Aideen Doran outlines the trajectories of her ongoing practice to coincide with the premiere of her new film at the Flatpack Film Festival in Birmingham this spring. Trish Brennan interviews Ailbhe Ní Bhriain about recurring themes in her recent work, while Sami Giarratani discusses the Truth Booth’s tour of America in the run up to the presidential election.

The Regional Profile for this issue comes from Antrim and Newtownabbey, outlining recent activities of the Arts Office’s Flax and Oriel galleries, as well as Jordanstown Art Club. Artists Andrea Spencer and Alan Milligan discuss the pros and cons of maintaining an arts practice in the region. Reviewed in the Critique section are: ‘Gut Instinct’ at Lewis Glucksman Gallery, Cork; Locky Morris at Naughton Gallery, Belfast; ‘Guest 2’ at Arts and Disability Forum, Belfast; Mark Garry at Luan Gallery, Athlone; and Phillip
Allen at Kerlin Gallery, Dublin.

As ever, we have details of upcoming VAI Professional Development Programme, exhibition and public art roundups, news from the sector and current opportunities.

Members of VAI receive a copy of the VAN delivered straight to their door. The News Sheet is also available to pick up free of charge in galleries and arts centres. The Visual Artists’ News Sheet Online offers our readers a platform to discuss a number of the articles and the topics contained in the print edition.

Website Survey:

As VAI has grown over the years we have seen many changes to our website as we seek to find ways to provide information that can be trusted.  Due to the complexity and wide ranging nature of our work, it has been difficult for us to come upon a 100% accepted design for the site. This year we are looking to engage a user interface architect to look at the site to see if we can create an even better user experience. The first step in this is a small user survey which we hope that you will take the time to complete.  Please note that this is only for at the moment.  We will be looking at and at a later stage.


Noel Kelly among four new members appointed to the Board of Culture Action Europe

Culture Action Europe are delighted to welcome new members of the Culture Action Europe Executive Committee. Corinne Szteinsznaider, Noel Kelly (CEO, Visual Artists Ireland), Lars Ebert and Yamam Al Zubaidi were elected at the CAE Annual General Meeting on 25 January in Budapest. ExComm mandates last for three years, renewable for a second term.

Culture Action Europe (CAE) is an advocacy and lobby organisation promoting arts and culture as a building block of the European project. The aim is to influence European policies for more and better access to culture across the continent and beyond. CAE provides customized information and analysis on the European Union, offers cultural actors a space to exchange and elaborates common positions, and develops advocacy actions towards European policymakers.
CAE is a Europe-wide network of membership organisations, with a Secretariat based in Brussels. An Executive Committee is elected from among the membership organisations who meet four times a year. The membership organisations meet during the annual General Assembly.

CAE has currently over 90 members, representing more than 10,000 organisations in more than 14 artistic disciplines. The members are from all domains – orchestras to writers associations, research institutions to cultural contact points, national theatres to international cultural networks, independent cultural operators to conservatoires, visual arts organisations to voluntary arts organisations. CAE brings them together in the belief that cultural cooperation matters in Europe.

Visual Artists Cafe: Artists’ Media Toolkit, Derry

Thursday 2 March
12pm to 4.30pm

VAI/DAS Members – Free
Non-Members – £5

In this practical workshop, Sharon Adams will be looking at what information you have available online about you and your work, that can be used by curators and galleries for research or exhibitions. We will help you be in control of the message that you are making public, and give you practical advice to help your relationship with galleries and curators as smooth as possible.

In our second session, photographer and videographer, Simon Mills, will be looking specifically at promo videos. They are one of the best ways to help get your work out there, they are easily shared, and can make a big impression when done right. We will offer tips for making high quality videos on a tight budget and look at some of the uses these videos have.

For more information and to book visit:

Void, Patrick Street, Derry, BT48 7EL Northern Ireland
T: +44(0)28 7130 8080

Profile Your Public Art in the Visual Artists’ News Sheet March/April Issue

If you have recently been involved in a public commission, percent for art project, socially engaged project or any other form of ‘art outside the gallery’ we would like you to email us the information for publication in the the next issue of the Visual Artists News Sheet.
Send images (3-4MB in size) and a short text (no more than around 300 words) in the following format:

* Artist’s name
* Title of work
* Commissioning body
* Date advertised
* Date sited / carried out
* Budget
* Commission type
* Project Partners
* Brief description of the work

Work must have been undertaken in the last 6 months. Deadline: 9 February.

Send your info to Production Editor Lily Power at:

Out Now | January – February 2017 Issue of the Visual Artists’ News Sheet

Writer and researcher Joanne Laws is the guest editor of the Jan/Feb issue of the VAN, out now.

Several interviews are included in this issue: Joanne Laws spoke to Alistair Hudson about the Arte Útil movement; Conor McFeely interviewed Andres Serrano during his recent exhibition ‘Torture’ at Void, Derry; while Rayne Booth spoke to Benjamin De Búrca and Bárbara Wagner at the 32nd São Paulo Biennial.

In the Irish context, Gianna Tasha Tomasso reviews TULCA Festival of Visual Art and Kevin Gaffney outlines the making of his new film work, supported by Sky Arts Academy, which is currently showing at Millennium Court Arts Centre, Portadown. Internationally, Pádraic E. Moore discusses his event ‘Ectoplasm’ at 1646, The Hague, and Áine Phillips reviews the Guerrilla Girls exhibition at Whitechapel,
London, which surveys levels of inequality across European art institutions.

On the subject of art writing , publishing and readerships, Marysia Wiezkiewicz-Carroll reports on the ‘Art and Writing’ programme organised by Paper Visual Art and Gorse journals. In a similar vein, Nathan O’Donnell offers insights into the panel discussion ‘Art, Writing, Narrative and its Territories’, which coincided with Katrina Palmer’s solo exhibition ‘The Three Stories are Flattened’ at Void, Derry.

A number of Irish residencies also feature: Suzanne Walsh reports on the ‘Resort Revelations’ residency programme in Portrane, Colin Martin provides an overview of the ongoing Tony O’Malley Residency for painters and Jessica Foley reflects on her participation in ‘The Centre for Dying on Stage #3’, an intensive six-week residency at Cow House Studios, County Wexford.

VAI Northern Ireland Manager Rob Hilken discusses the Belfast Open Studios event, while VAI Director Noel Kelly describes how the uncertainties of Brexit are already impacting on VAI and other cultural organisations across Ireland. The Regional Roundup for this issue comes from County Leitrim, outlining recent activities of The Dock, Leitrim Sculpture Centre, Creative Frame, Leitrim Arts Office, StArt Studios and artist Daniel Chester. Reviewed in the Critique section are: Mary Patterson at Ballina Arts Centre; Benedict Drew and Miguel Martin at CCA Derry-Londonderry; Fiona Lowe Brunell at ArtisAnn Gallery, Belfast; Rayleen Clancy at Signal Arts Centre, Bray; and the Hennessy Portrait Prize 2016 at the National Gallery of Ireland.

As ever, we have details of upcoming VAI Professional Development Programme, exhibition and public art roundups, news from the sector and current opportunities.

Sign the Petition | Reduce the threshold for Artists Resale Right in Ireland

Many people profit when an artwork is resold. The full value of an artwork often isn’t seen on the first sale. It is common for visual art to increase in value over time, as the reputation of the artist grows. For this reason the EU introduced a directive that countries must introduce a system whereby Artists and their Heirs & Estates can benefit from third part sales by a professional party or intermediary, such as salesrooms, art galleries and, in general, any dealers in works of art.

In Ireland the threshold before the Resale Right becomes relevant is 3000 Euro.

By comparison, the UK is 1000 Euro (in line with EU so implemented in Euro). By reducing the threshold in Ireland to 1000 Euro, a greater number of artists will benefit from this scheme with a clear direct effect of reducing the number of artists dependent on social welfare.

In addition, Irish artists are experiencing serious and ongoing difficulties in collecting the royalties to which they are entitled. The Directive which introduced the right across the European Union in 2006 was transposed into Irish law via a statutory instrument rather than legislation. The weak regulations have resulted in a low level of compliance from the art market profession, in particular from galleries and art dealers, many of whom have largely ignored or avoided the right. The regulations do not provide an effective mechanism for the collection of royalties due to artists and their heirs. This has led to a continuing and unacceptable loss of income to artists. To remedy the government must introduce compulsory collective management as a means of collecting, administering and distributing the artists’ resale right.

This petition asks that as a matter of urgency:

  • The Artists Resale Right threshold is reduced to 1000 Euro;


  • The introduction of compulsory collective management as a means of collecting, administering and distributing the artists’ resale right.

Visual Artists Ireland and IVARO work on a consistent basis for the implementation of these changes.

Please sign now and ask your friends and colleagues to join us in this important work: sign here 

Recent events show recent achievements

advocacyThe launch on Thursday 8th December by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD with the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys TD, and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD, of the Creative Ireland Programme / Clár Éire Ildánach has been greeted with largely positive support by the arts.  As always, a sector that has seen many initiatives over the years which appear to drift into forms different from first conceived, or indeed forgotten, remains to be convinced by the detail of the delivery of the document.

The release of this document has given us, in VAI, time to review the impact of our various submissions to government and a chance for us to look at what we have achieved. As we can see there are several areas that we have actively campaigned for and have provided written submissions to government about.

The Arts in Education

The importance of ensuring that culture is placed central in all levels of education, ie. Moving from STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) and how this move can enhance not only the education experience of student, but also look to a long term goal of our education system delivering more rounded civic responsibility as part of our citizenship. Although this full firm commitment is some time away, we can see two recent initiatives that are clearly moving in the right direction.

Recent developments from the Arts in Education Charter show that it has moved away from the odd idea of a creative dividend for artists who deliver within this system. Instead what is currently being delivered is a sound education programme bringing artists and teachers together in the form of mentoring workshops so that arts teachers and artists become more versed in how collaborations can happen in the school room.

Creative Ireland has also undertaken to prioritise children’s access to art, music, drama and coding; enhance the provision of culture and creativity in every community; further develop Ireland as a global hub for film and TV production; empower and support our artists; drive investment in our cultural institutions; and further enhance our global reputation abroad.” There is an outline of what will mean and how it will be delivered. There is a similarity with various initiatives that already exist and it is our hope that this builds on their successes rather than tries to displace them.

Social Welfare

Specific to our response to Culture 2025 on behalf of Visual Artists Ireland, dated Tuesday, 29 September 2015, in which we asked that “Ireland must adopt a specific social insurance regime by which the precarious nature of artists’ lives is recognised and artists are given the opportunity to benefit from social coverage under the same conditions as salaried or self-employed workers with the addition of a sector funded top up for those who currently fail to qualify for automatic assistance due to gaps in payments as a result of their precarious incomes”, there has been a significant response.  Since the submission we have had a number of chats with the Department to discuss the practical way that this could be rolled out and also provided them with details on the current situation in dole offices.  Therefore, we are delighted to see that the discussions have been fruitful.

During our conversations, We have been told that artists who are registered as self-employed can approach social welfare; look for assistance; declare themselves as professional artists; say that they wish to continue their work as professional artists and don’t need retraining (as per this scheme) just cover to bring them up to a level of income for an extended period. Artists may have to provide evidence to prove that they are professional artists, in a similar way that artists must fulfil certain criteria to be a full professional member of VAI. To be clear, this is a top up payment to bring a person up to what they would receive on social welfare. It is based on an existing system for self-employed workers which allow it to be an egalitarian opportunity, despite being lauded as specific to artists. As an aside, we have always found change and progress is made easier when we look for other areas where precedence is set and we can show how visual artists can benefit from being included. This will take time to filter down to each office… but that is now with that department to make it happen. We will update ourselves on the roll out of this and make all aware of the process and how to gain direct access to it.

Promotion of Irish Culture Abroad

Also in our submissions we have requested since “Culture Ireland also supports the commercial sector promoting itself abroad, we suggest that this role continues in the form of Culture Ireland being reformed to work with organisations such as Tourism Ireland and Enterprise Ireland. This will allow a pressure on all trade missions or initiatives to include a cultural aspect in their delivery. This has proven successful when reading about the benefits that were reaped by the awareness of Riverdance when opening the Chinese market. It has also been to the benefit of other countries that have this policy in place. The arts have access into a wide range of decision makers internationally who often attend openings and sit at the same dinner tables as artists. These are influencers that trade seek access to. Simply put, culture in all of its forms can ease passage in the development of foreign business.”

This is now clearly delivered in the new Creative Ireland programme.  Of course the detail has yet to be defined. Organisations who are already active in this area have been appointed to oversee it, and it is our hope that the broad spectrum of Irish Contemporary Culture will be given the opportunities of engaging internationally in the same way that our more traditional culture has been used in the past.  We laud the success of Riverdance and hope that different areas of practice and experience are also given the opportunities offered by international exposure.  We suggest that a national panel is set up with oversight that opportunities are offered in an equal manner both geographically and to cover different levels of experience and types of practice.

Payments for Visual Artists

What is clearly missing from the document is a commitment to respect artists who deliver this programme by guaranteeing that they are paid.  Already The Arts Council and almost all Local Authorities have these policies and practices in place. But, there is now a need to put pressure on the government to adopt this policy and to clearly show where the programme will rely on artists and clearly state where it is assumed it will rely on volunteerism.

We have included in our submissions “we request that a clear directive is sent to each government department, semi-state body, and other funded or government supported bodies, that it is the clear expectation that artists are equitably remunerated for any work that they undertake. The onus must be placed on the commissioning body, or “employer” that they budget in the correct manner and do not reply on untoward pressure that is placed on artists to deliver for free or for some hugely discounted rate ‘if they wish to work’ with such bodies.” We will continue to push this through as it will be key to the impact of this programme on the lives of individual artists.

Partially achieved

Infrastructural provision

In recent months we have also seen the provision from the Department of funding for the support of arts organisations in terms of their infrastructure and capital investment.  We have offered a submission that stated “There is little doubt that the provision of capital investment from the department in recent years has been sporadic. This has left the sector with buildings that have become difficult to maintain and resources that should be directed to cultural programming have been needed to ensure compliance with regulations as well as their maintenance.

Capital funding should be returned to the Arts Council as it had been in previous years, with only major construction projects and the support of the National Cultural Institutions remaining with the department, managed in partnership with the Arts Council.

There is also clear evidence that not all organisations wish to own their buildings nor do some local authorities have the wherewithal to maintain them. There is a need for a four tiered approach:

  1. Full state or local authority ownership and provision of key institutions with contractual undertakings (SLAs) for their on-going sustainable support;
  2. Zero Interest Micro loans to allow organisations develop self-sustaining affordable spaces. The provision of these micro loans to be measured on the proven ability of such organisations to support and run their organisations as sustainable businesses at a low cost to themselves or to the members of the group/organisation/programme.
  3. The support of the provision of legislation that will allow those not for profit organisations who wish to have full autonomy to obtain low interest mortgages to buy their own buildings and to become fully independence.
  4. A maintenance and development fund for existing buildings that is accessed as part of annual funding applications.”

We will continue with our work researching this specific area both locally and nationally and in particular focus on the provision of visual artists workspaces.  There are many groups working in this area that we are currently working with in looking at different models that can be adopted.  In particular the support of the Arts Council with the increase of the Workspace Scheme from 30,000 Euro to 40,000 Euro limit is to be acknowledged and welcomed.  We can also see nascent co-operative live work spaces as a key alternative to existing models.  Also, our work in the area of creating self-sustaining studios has gained some interest. We have also been in discussion with property developers in very open and frank conversations about how they can be brought into the area of low cost provision. we will continue to look at ways that this can be implemented in the future and present these to government as they become solid proposals.

Still to come

There are several areas that we continue to push for.

The Legal Status of the Artist

At present Ireland has no full legal definition on the status of the artist. The only true recognition lies in tax legislation. It is therefore important that Ireland formally adopts primary legislation recognising the legal status of artists and uses this to recognise artists’ rights as professionals and creators.

An overview of this vision (boldly referencing the Canadian Status of the Artist Act S.C. 1992, c. 33 Assented to 1992-06-23) recognises:

  • the importance of the contribution of artists to the cultural, social, economic and political enrichment of Ireland;
  • the importance to Irish society of conferring on artists a status that reflects their primary role in developing and enhancing Ireland’s artistic and cultural life, and in sustaining Ireland’s quality of life;
  • the role of the artist, in particular to express the diverse nature of the Irish way of life and the individual and collective aspirations of Irish citizens;
  • that artistic creativity is the engine for the growth and prosperity of dynamic cultural industries in Ireland; and
  • the importance to artists that they be compensated for the use of their works, including the public lending of them.

The above to be based on:

  • the right of artists and producers to freedom of expression;
  • the right of artists and producers to specific statutory supports;
  • the right of artists to produce in an environment that is respectful and cognitive of the artist as a professional with all of the associated rights.

Income Averaging

The precarious nature of artists’ income remains a difficult issue. In terms of Revenue Payments, and in keeping with systems already in place for Farmers, Fishermen, and Fisherwomen, we ask that income averaging is introduced. This will allow artists to take into consideration the lean years as well as the years where they may have a higher income. Under the Tax Exemption scheme (and we will discuss this separately), it is only income generated through their creative practice that is eligible. For this reason it is simple to constrain the income averaging in the same way and apply it only to income generated as part of artists’ art practices and the supporting services – ie workshops, outreach programmes etc.

Other forms of Artist Incomes

In Ireland we are still in a precarious position regarding the Resale Right. Auction houses comply, other institutions with secondary sales make life very difficult unless artists are aware that their works have been sold, and there is an on-going lobby to do away with this fundamental right!

It has never been more important for us to ensure that government puts forward primary legislation that clearly defines the role of a compulsory collecting society such as IVARO and the obligation for proper timely reporting and payments.

The current statutory instrument ensures the minimum compliance with EU directives leading it to be as flawed as it is unenforceable … This specific need for action remains a top priority for VAI and IVARO.

BREXIT: Our immediate threat to North/South Co-Operation

Brexit is already effecting some of us. Rather than going into detail about that here, we will have our thoughts on this very pressing issue in the next edition of The Visual Artists News Sheet which VAI members will receive through their letterbox in early January, and which will be available from distribution points around the country.

So, there is a lot that has been achieved in recent times. It is now for us to ensure that the broadest spectrum of individual visual artists and arts organisations can benefit from them. There is still much work to be done, and we will continue these areas of our advocacy work as usual…  sometimes quietly in the background, but always to the benefit of visual artists and arts organisations across the country. We hope to have an interview with the programme director of Creative Ireland, John Concannon, in a future edition of The Visual Artists News Sheet so that we can learn more about the programme and how it will be delivered.

VAI Open Day, Friday 16th December 2016

f07ed24d-40ca-43f0-b4b7-4ed5fe3dcda2Join us on Friday 16th December 2016 for our first Visual Artists Ireland Open Day. This will mark our move to new offices and the development of facilities now available for rent by artists and cultural organisations.

We will be open from 10am until 4pm. During that time our staff will be available to talk about our work and also to show you around our new professional development / seminar / rehearsal space. This is also a good chance to catch up on the latest developments in our work and services in Advocacy, Membership Services, Advice, Professional Development, Equipment & Room Hire, and News Provision. The format is informal, so come join us during the day and help us mark our move to Dublin 8.

It is easy to find us… Windmill View House is directly beside the car entrance to Thomas Street Car Park, which is on Oliver Bond Street. Parking (paid) is available either in the car park or on street. The bus route is 123, 13, or 40 – Bus Stop Bridgeford Street. On Oliver Bond Street we are the IMMA end just up from NCAD back gates.

Applications are invited for the 2016 Visual Artists Ireland Suki Tea Art Prize

sukitea2016transApplications are invited for the 2016 Visual Artists Ireland Suki Tea Art Prize.

The prize is open to all professional artists resident in Northern Ireland and all Visual Artists Ireland members in the Republic of Ireland working in all visual art forms at all career stages.

In its second year the Prize is directed at visual artists at all career stages. This year will provide a two month research based residency in The Irish Cultural Centre in Paris. The prize covers accommodation, one return flight, and a stipend of €700 per month. The prize offers great opportunities for visual artists to tap into the resources of the CCI and the City of Light, as well as being an important means of showcasing Ireland’s dynamic contemporary culture on an international stage.

How to apply

Please submit an on-line application form via the CCI website until Wednesday 11 January 2017, 5pm GMT. Applications by post or e-mail cannot be accepted. Application form

A clear indication of the focus of the residency will be required together with a record of professional achievement: details of publications, exhibitions, performances, compositions, prizes, awards and related aspects of practice, as well as experience of other residencies. Visual artists must have had at least one solo exhibition and writers one published work.

Please clearly state VISUAL ARTISTS IRELAND SUKI TEA ART PRIZE in your statement so that it can be considered. Republic of Ireland applicants must also include their up to date VAI membership number. Failure to do so will mean that you will not be considered for the prize.

Assessment Panel

The Assessment Panel will comprise of representatives from The Irish Cultural Centre, Visual Artists Ireland, and an independent visual arts representative.

Terms and Conditions

  1. You must be a professional artist either resident in Northern Ireland or a member of Visual Artists Ireland in the Republic of Ireland to enter.
  2. The residency is open to practitioners in all visual art forms, within the limits of the facilities available in the Centre.
  3. The bursary covers travel and accommodation in the Centre Culturel Irlandais. The artist is expected to spend the period agreed in the Centre.
  4. Each resident artist will receive a stipend of €700 per month.
  5. The artist in residence will be asked to participate in the cultural programme of the Centre Culturel Irlandais.

Our Sponsor:

Northern Ireland based Suki Tea specialise in artisan loose leaf teas. First set up in 2005 by business partners Annie and Oscar who were inspired by their travels in Asia where they had the opportunity to taste many different types of really (really) good ethically-sourced teas, which they wanted to share with everyone. They have since made ethical sourcing their priority whilst delivering the finest loose leaf teas, herbal infusions and fruit blends to their customers. Winners of over 37 Great Taste Awards and multiple industry awards Suki Tea truly is ‘Tea as it should be’.

Our Project Partners: Centre Culturel Irlandais and Arts & Business Northern Ireland

Art Scam Alert | Offer by email to buy 10 artworks believed to be fraudulent

vainewsIt has come to the attention of VAI that some of our members have received emails from a Leopold Jones requesting to buy their work. We believe this to be an Art Scam and strongly recommend that no correspondence or transactions are pursued with the individual using the email address:

The scammer in this instance makes contact with the artist saying that they have seen your work online. After exchanging several emails they make an offer to buy 10 pieces of art and ship it to Australia. The work will be paid for with cheque – which will bounce. With scams like this cash is the goal. The scammer will send what appears to be an overpayment – a cheque for a larger than agreed amount and the artist is asked to refund the surplus amount, meaning the artist is not only scammed out of their artwork but cash also.

If you have received one of these emails from Leopold Jones or another suspicious contact please report it to VAI at or on 01 672 9488.

It should be noted that scammers often use a variety of names and addresses and if an offer seems too good to be true it most likely is and it is worth investigating before exchanging money or art.

Here are a few important clues that can indicate that an email you’ve received is an art scam.

  • The person emailing you will often be in a hurry. This is partly to fluster you and give you less time to think, but mainly because if they know the check they’re sending you is going to bounce, or the credit card is stolen, they need the transaction completed before the bank catches on and you find out..
  • There will often be some complex story involving the individual or their family moving country right at the time they want to purchase the artwork, necessitating the sum you’re going to be sending to cover the shipping. Yes, this does happen sometimes to honest people in real life, but it’s not that common.
  • They may want to arrange the shipping themselves, rather than let you sort it out for them. Most genuine clients are only too grateful to have you take the burden of shipping from them, if shipping is necessary. If they do want to take care of it themselves, real collectors will most likely use a major company they’ve had positive experiences with in the past – a company whose name you will know.

What can you do to avoid art scams?

  • Be firm about following your usual method of payment; explain politely that you’re not willing to take payment through cashier’s checks or postal money orders, which are more open to this sort of art scam. Often the nature of the art scam will center on the method of payment suggested by the scammer – if you stick to your normal method, something you know to be safe, they may be forced to give up.
  • Never accept overpayments. This is not a common way of doing business, and you probably haven’t come across it before in genuine transactions. You’re selling, they’re buying – no money should be leaving your account. Make it your policy not to work this way.
  • If you’re suspicious for any reason, try googling the email address of the contact you’re corresponding with. Because scammers send so many art scam emails, their address gets to be known as one associated with the art scam they’re running. It might well be that the person contacting you is already on a ‘blacklist’ which you can find online.
  • Don’t ship your artwork unless you’re sure the payment has cleared.
  • Contact VAI. If you are in doubt contact us at VAI, we may have had calls from other concerned artists and we can then get the word out and contact authorities. / 01 672 9488

Dublin Art Book Fair 2016 | Temple Bar Gallery + Studios

poster_jpeg10 to 13 November

Launch: Thursday 10 November: 7pm to 8pm
Tribute Reading featuring the writings of Jason Oakley.
Readings by Declan Long, Aisling Prior, Sarah Pierce, Sheena Barrett, with an introduction by Cora Cummins

Temple Bar Gallery + Studios presents the sixth edition of the annual Dublin Art Book Fair from the 10th to 13th November.
Opening Hours:
Thursday 10 November | 6-9pm
Friday 11 + Saturday 12 November | 11am-8pm
Sunday 13 November | 12-6pm

The Dublin Art Book Fair is a venue for artists, writers and publishers to feature new releases and present their publications. The fair engages established and emerging publishers in a large-scale event delivered over four days dedicated to the appreciation of printed work.

This year’s fair welcomes over 50 exhibitors, artists and publishers, national and international, who have devoted themselves to the medium of “the book as art”. With a focus on the production of text, this year the Dublin Art Book Fair celebrates ‘Artists as Writers’, and features an afternoon event of readings by Irish artists Sonia Shiel, Ruth Clinton and Niamh Moriarty.

With a vibrant programme of informal conversations, workshops, readings, performances and artist-led programmes, Dublin Art Book Fair is a must-visit for bookworms and art lovers alike. Pop along to the array of events, with highlights including One for the Record Books; an athletic reading event for all ages and Guts magazine’s presentation of their sixth issue Shame along with live illustration, a discussion, and music to celebrate Dublin’s love of indie and art book publishing. For a hands on experience, take part in Read That Image’s one-day collaborative artist book making workshop and create your very own hand-crafted book.

While away the time browsing through the curated selection of artist books over a delicious coffee from pop-up café, The Market Kitchen, who will be on hand to satisfy your sweet tooth with healthy bites. Treat yourself to a one-off artist book or pick out a Chistmas gift for someone special. Onsite artworks by artists Isabel Nolan and Stephanie Deady installed in the gallery and atrium space of the building provide the perfect opportunity to soak up the atmosphere within this artists’ community in the heart of Temple Bar.

International Publishers:
Afterall | ArtReview | Black Dog Publishing | Bomb | Bookworks | Broken Dimanche Press | Culture Colony Quarterly | Domobaal Gallery | Eastside Projects | Edition Patrick Frey | Frieze | Fukt Magazine | Gagarin | Hayward Publishing | It’s Nice That | Lubok Verlag | MonoKultur | NEUSCHLOSS | Onomatopee | Paper Monument | Parkett | Pedestrian Publishing | RVB Books | Space Poetry | Ugly Duckling Press | Uniformbooks | White Fungus

Irish Publishers:
1815 Magazine | Antic-Ham | Artisan House | Blow Photo | Catalyst Arts | Crawford Art Gallery | Critical Bastards | Douglas Hyde Gallery | Eva | Gallery Of photography | Golden Thread Gallery | Gormleys | Gorse | Green On Red | Guts Magazine | Hillsborofine Art | Hugh Lane | Into the Void | Kerlin | Kevin Kavanagh | NIVAL | Paper Visual | Project Arts Center | Read that Image | RHA | Roads | Visual Carlow | 21st Century Renaissance | Roadbooks | GalleryX

For full schedule of events see:

November/December Issue of Visual Artists’ News Sheet Out Now

van-nov-dec16The November/December Visual Artists’ News Sheet (VAN) is hot off the press! It will be sent by post to all VAI members and arts organisations in the coming days. Guest editor Joanne Laws looks back at a series of prominent projects and themes from 2016.

The topic of commemoration is explored in Helen Carey’s column ‘To Commemorate or Not to Commemorate’ and in the ‘Public Art’ profile of ‘Stormy Petrel’ by Brian Hand, Orla Ryan and Alanna O’Kelly. In his ‘How is it Made? article, Andrew Duggan outlines the multi-venue exhibition ‘Proclamation’, looking at the 1916 centenery in a range of ways.

This theme ties directly into another, which reoccurs throughout the issue: that of feminism and gender equality in contemporary Ireland. Columns by Joanne Laws and Aislinn O’Donnell look at recent visual arts projects that investigate these ideas, while Sarah Browne and Jesse Jones discuss their ongoing commission ‘In the Shadow of the State’. In her profile of the Dublin Live Art Festival 2016, EL Putnam also delves into some of these issues.

Moving further afield, James L. Hayes writes about his recent exhibition ‘A Near Visible Past…’, held in New Orleans, and Kathleen Bitetti profiles public art works by Caoimhghin Ó Fraithile and Michael Dowling in Boston. Other features include Michaële Cutaya’s interview with 2016 Tulca curator Daniel Jewesbury, a report on this year’s Get Together and a look at The Enquiry @IMMA, a research group examining exhibition-making strategies.

‘Organisation’ profiles for November/December focus on Askeaton Contemporary Arts in County Limerick and the MONTO Arts Group, a collective of arts organsations and galleries located in north inner city Dublin.

Reviewed in the ‘Critique’ section are: Paul Murnaghan at Limerick City Gallery of Art; Robert Kelly at Draiocht, Blanchardstown; Sarah Browne and Jesse Jones’s performance event at the Rotunda, Dublin; the group show ‘Glow’ at Catherine Hammond Gallery, Cork; and Gary and John Coyle at The Dock, Leitrim.

As ever, we have details of upcoming VAI Professional Development Programme, exhibition and public art roundups, news from the sector and current opportunities.

Selected articles will be available on the new VAN blog from Friday at:

Open Call | Critical Writing Award 2016

cropped-VAINI2-e1431793573262.pngApplications deadline: Friday, 25 November, 5:30pm

Visual Artists Ireland, in Partnership with Dublin City Council and AICA Ireland, is inviting submissions for the 2016 Critical Writing Award, judged by J.J. Charlesworth (AICA UK, Associate Editor, Art Review), Sheena Barrett (Assistant Arts Officer, Dublin City Council) and Noel Kelly (President, AICA Ireland, Director, Visual Artists Ireland).

The winning writer will have their piece published in The Visual Artists’ News Sheet, receive a fee of €500, and join The Visual Artists’ News Sheet panel of art writers. They will also be invited to be part of the LAB Gallery’s 2017 programme, with a €300 writing commission.

Previous winners have included James Merrigan, Rebecca O’Dwyer and Joanne Laws.

Award submissions should be a 1200-word critique of an exhibition, event, festival, public artwork or similar that has taken place in Ireland during 2016. Applications should also include full contact details. Submissions should be sent to with CRITICAL WRITING 2016 in the subject line. Late applications will not be considered.

Call Out for Participants for Show and Tell at Outpost Studios, Bray, Co. Wicklow

screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-16-10-04Deadline: Tuesday 4 October 2016, 5pm

Visual Artists Ireland in partnership with Outpost Studios.
Show & Tell event takes place at 11am on Saturday 15th of October 2016.

The purpose of Show & Tell is to allow artists to present work or concepts to each other in an informal atmosphere. The events are also designed to allow curators and artistic directors to keep up to date on what is current in artists’ studios without the need to do a large number of studio visits, as well as providing the wider general audience with an inside view of artistic practice.

Click here to register to present at the Show & Tell:

Click here to register to attend the Show & Tell: