Category: VAI News


Visual Artists Ireland Residency Award 2018 – Call for Applications – VAI Members Only   Recently updated !





in partnership with The Tyrone Guthrie Centre
Tyrone Guthrie Centre

The Visual Artists Ireland Residency Award is open to all members of Visual Artists Ireland. The award provides a one week fully paid residency/retreat at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre. The residency will be self-catering, and will provide accommodation and a studio facility. Further details about the Centre can be found on their website http://www.tyroneguthrie.ie

The award is only available to individual artists. It is not suitable for group applications.

Only online applications will be accepted. The deadline is 5:30pm, Friday 15th December 2017. No applications will be accepted after that date. To ensure that the system is fair for all, there can be no exceptions to this. For that reason we recommend that you do not leave it until the last minute to make your application.

The winner will be announced in the second half of January 2018.

The following content is accessible for members only, please sign in.


Belfast Open Studios | Saturday 21 October 2017

OVER 250 BELFAST ARTISTS OPEN THEIR DOORS TO THE PUBLIC, 21 OCTOBER 2017 11am to 5pm, Various Venues

Belfast Open Studios, now in its sixth year, is an opportunity for the public to come and see how artists work and to take a glimpse into their creative processes.

Belfast is home to over 250 professional artists; painting, drawing, performing, filming and creating. A public open day on Saturday 21 October will enable you to see behind closed doors, in nooks and crannies of the city, artists are at work developing the seeds of ideas that result in artworks often shown in galleries, museums, art centres, artist-led spaces and various venues.

Fifteen studios across the city are opening their doors from 14 October to 5 November for this unique, free event. We’re delighted to welcome four new studio groups to the Open Studios portfolio: Belfast Bankers in the East, Duncairn Arts Centre in the North, Studio Souk in the city centre and Embrace Studios in the West, who will be launching their brand new space and programme during Belfast Open Studios. Other participating studios include: Array Studios, Artists at the Mill, Cathedral Studios, Creative Exchange, Digital Arts Studios, Flax Art Studios, Lombard Studios, Orchid Studios, Platform Arts, Pollen Studios and QSS Bedford Street.

Accompanied by an extensive workshops and events programme, including a Visual Artists’ Caf’ which introduces the different spaces and initiatives to the public and peers, a series of talks, Speed Curating and Clinics events; this is the most packed programme to date. Belfast Open Studios is delighted to partner with Belfast International Festival for the sixth year in a row and to represent its primary visual art programming. All event tickets can be purchased through the Festival website.

Sponsored by local artisan tea makers Suki Tea, Belfast Open Studios events offer a warm welcome to all with a cup of Belfast Brew on arrival before they take a relaxed and informative stroll around the various studios, open from 11am to 5pm.

Belfast Open Studios is grateful for the support of Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Belfast City Council, Belfast International Festival, The British Council and Arts & Business NI.

Additional information is available at www.belfastopenstudios.com


Out Now | September – October 2017 Issue of the Visual Artists’ News Sheet

September – October 2017 is a themed issue that focuses on contemporary Irish painting, offering timely insights into recent exhibitions, seminars, residencies and current studio practices. With so many vibrant painters currently working in Ireland and a wealth of painting exhibitions taking place nationwide, this thematic inquiry cannot be comprehensive. The issue places emphasis on materiality and the making process, while touching on discourse specific to the medium of painting.

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.

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. Selected articles featured in the print edition are available at the Visual Artists’ News Sheet Online here: www.visualartistsireland.com.

In this Issue:

A series of extended essays has been commissioned to provide thematic surveys of contemporary Irish painting: Ramon Kassam examines representations of the landscape; Mark O’Kelly discusses recent developments in portraiture; and Alison Pilkington offers valuable insights into contemporary abstract painting.

In the columns for this issue, Colin Martin introduces ‘The Materiality of Painting’ – an upcoming lecture series at the RHA that seeks to explore material concerns specific to current painting practice. VAI NI Manager Rob Hilken discusses the trajectory of painting in Northern Ireland, while Marcus Cope outlines the evolution of the Marmite Prize for Painting. Also in this issue, Susan Connolly reports on her residency in Golden Paints, New York, while Marc Guinan discusses the seminar he organised at The LAB, Dublin, entitled ‘Painters Talking Paint’. In the organisation profiles, Ronan Lyons discusses the Molesworth Gallery, Dublin, while Valerie Ceregini interviews three painters – Colm MacAthlaoich, Natasha Conway and Dennis Kelly – who will present solo exhibitions at Pallas Projects and Studios in the autumn.

In the ‘How is it Made?’ section, James Merrigan discusses All or Nothing, his new documentary film about painting. Ailve McCormack interviews Mark Francis in his London studio, while Helen G. Blake talks about her painting practice. Interviews by Joanne Laws and Martin Herbert offer insights into the work of Elizabeth Magill and Ronnie Hughes, to coincide with their high-profile touring exhibitions. Joanne Laws also interviews three Irish painters at various stages of their careers – Jane Rainey, Ciarán Murphy and Robert Armstrong – about the realities of maintaining a painting practice in Ireland.

Reviewed in this issue’s extended Critique section are: ‘Painting NOW’ at Green on Red Gallery; ‘Memory Needs a Landscape’ at Taylor Galleries; ‘The Living and the Dead’ at Temple Bar Gallery and Studios; ‘International Ireland’ at the Ulster Museum; ‘Crooked Orbit’ at Kevin Kavanagh; ‘Faith After Saenredam and Other Paintings’ at Kerlin Gallery; ‘A Dream and an Argument’ at The MAC; and ‘What We Do in the Shadows’ at Almine Rech Gallery, Brussels.

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


Get Together 2017 takes place this Friday, 15 September

LAST CHANCE TO BOOK!

We’re very excited about Get Together this Friday, Ireland’s national day for visual artists. It promises to be a great day for generating discussion and opportunities. We’ll be making new connections and reconnecting with old friends and very much hope you can join us.

VAI Members are able to book extras such as Speed Curating and Clinics. These extras are very popular and are booking up fast so we’ve added a few extra time slots to accommodate those booking in the last week with some of the most in demand experts including:

Annette Moloney, Gabhann Dunne, Linda Shevlin, Maeve Mulrennan, Matt Packer, Rana Öztürk, Simon Fennessy Corcoran

Clinics offer focused one-on-one advice for 20 minutes with experts. These Clinics will be of particular interest to artists seeking feedback on their work, portfolio review or direction on opportunities. When you book your General Admission ticket you will be given a Promo Code to book these extras.

For more information, programme and tickets see: GET TOGETHER 2017/

Taking place on Friday the 15th September 2017 at IMMA.
We hope you can join us!


SAVE THE DATE: VAI Get Together 2017 | Friday 15 September

We are delighted to announce that this years Get Together – our national day of coming together with talks, clinics, presentations, information sharing and networking will take place on Friday, 15 September 2017 in The Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin.

Featuring all of your favourites – Speed Curating, Portfolio Reviews, One on One Clinics, Help Desks, Artists Speaking and the Visual Artists Café.

View highlights of last years event: visualartists.ie/get-together-2016/

Full details of the event to be announced soon.


Profile Your Public Art in the Visual Artists’ News Sheet September/October Issue

Deadline: 4 August

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 Chris Steenson at: chris@visualartists.ie


Out Now | July – August 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.

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. Selected articles featured in the print edition are available at the Visual Artists’ News Sheet Online here: www.visualartistsireland.com.

In this Issue:

With biennale season upon us, major international art events are taking place around the world. This issue includes two reports from the 57th Venice Biennale, which runs until late November 2017: an editorial column from Joanne Laws highlighting the work of female artists in Venice, and a report by Anne Mullee on the participation of Irish artists in various national and collateral events. In addition, Johnathan Carroll offers insights into Skulptur Projekte Münster and documenta 14, while Michelle Boyle reports from the 2016 Kochi-Muziris Biennale, which ran until March 2017 in Kerala, India. In his timely column, Martin Waldmeier highlights the rise of English as the ‘lingua franca’ of contemporary art.

In other columns, Alex Davis, Manager of IVARO, offers insights into artists’ estates. Áine Phillips outlines artists’ withdrawal from globalised systems, while Conor McGrady discusses a recent solo exhibition and ‘sleep concert’ by avant-garde musician and artist Steven Stapleton at Burren College of Art. Joanne Laws addresses the current issues faced by studio providers in Ireland, while VAI Northern Ireland Manager Rob Hilken outlines the studio situation in Northern Ireland.
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Mark McGreevy Wins Suki Tea Art Prize 2017

Visual Artists Ireland, Suki Tea and Business NI Investment Programme are delighted to announce Mark McGreevy as the winner of this years Suki Tea Art Prize.

As winner of the Suki Tea Art Prize Mark will have a two month, fully-funded, artist residency at the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris, including flights, accommodation, studio space, a monthly stipend, and superb networking opportunities. The prize is worth over £4,000 and aims to provide artists with an opportunity to respond to a new environment and develop new work.

Mark McGreevy studied at the University of Ulster, Belfast (BA Hons Fine and Applied Art 1994-1999 and Masters in Fine Art 2001-2003). www.markmcgreevy.com

To date he has exhibited in numerous exhibitions both in Ireland and Internationally notably ‘Between two Worlds’, F.E. McWilliams, 2013. ‘The Fold- A Painting Show’, VISUAL, Carlow, 2011. Solo exhibitions, The Third Space Gallery, Belfast 2010/06. ‘Resolutions’, Katzen Arts Centre, Washington DC in 2007, ‘There Not There’ in the Crawford Art Gallery, Cork, 2008 and ‘A Gap in the Bright’, the Millennium Court Arts Centre, Portadown in 2008. He has received Bursary Awards from The Arts Council of Ireland in 2012 and 2009, was short-listed for The AIB Award, 2004 and the BOC emerging artist award, UK, 2004. Residencies include Temple Bar Gallery+Studios, Dublin, 2007-2010, Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s New York research residency, 2008 and Artist Residency Programme in the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin in 2005.

Courtesy of Suki Tea, and facilitated by the Arts and Business NI Investment Programme, Visual Artists Ireland initiated the prize in 2015. 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.


Visual Artists Ireland Welcomes New Visual Artists and Writers Social Welfare Recognition

Visual Artists Ireland has welcomed the new pilot initiative which will acknowledge the professional status of visual artists and writers applying for Jobseeker’s Allowance. The pilot is being developed in partnership between the Department of Social Protection and the Department of Arts, Heritage Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, as part of a key commitment to artists under the Creative Ireland programme. Visual Artists Ireland and The Irish Writers Centre have assisted in providing expert knowledge for the scheme and have been invited to facilitate the one-year pilot scheme. Both organisations are approved to certify the professional status of visual artists and writers through their respective professional membership schemes. (Details on practicalities of the scheme outlined below).

Noel Kelly, CEO of Visual Artists Ireland stated “We have made many submissions concerning the status of visual artists in Ireland.  The most recent of which was a direct response to the 2025 consultation which has informed Creative Ireland. These submissions to the Department and to the Arts Council have included areas which have contributed to the introduction of equitable payment policies for visual artists working with Arts Council funded organisations and projects; the design of new interactions between artists and teachers in the provision of arts in education; input into the new recommendations for art in education curriculum; the provision of placing the arts in the outward promotion of Ireland in trade missions; the raising of visual arts coverage in media; and the importance of support of visual arts at a local level (on-going).

We welcome this announcement by The Minister for Social Protection, Leo Varadkar TD, the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys TD, and thank the staff of both departments for the opportunity to discuss in detail how this new recognition of visual artists as professionals can work to the benefit of the many.  For artists it is worth noting that our provision of documents outlining the life cycle of a visual artist will allow artists to take the following into consideration when approaching social welfare:

  1. An up to date VAI membership card (Professional Members) will be one way to clearly indicate their status of an artist;
  2. The existing support system is designed within the existing Social Welfare system which has a condition of actively looking for employment, artists who are applying for commissions, exhibitions, curatorial visits, outreach work etc will have this recognised as actively looking for work;
  3. The wide variety of income earning opportunities available to visual artists will be recognised under the scheme.”

He continued “We recognise that this is a one year pilot scheme and will monitor it during the first twelve months. During this time we will continue our conversations with both departments to ensure that the visual artist’s voice will continue to be central to the conversation. We will also continue to look at promoting change that allows for more income generating opportunities for visual artists both at a policy level and at a practical level such as our eBulletins, Websites, and Social Media. In particular the proposal to change the ceiling for the Per Cent for Art Scheme, the provision of space for visual artists to work, and the lowering of the Artists Resale Right threshold are three items that we are concerned with at the moment and sit alongside the day to day practical work that we undertake to support individual artists at all stages of their careers.”

Visual artists and writers who wish to be recognised as professional fulfil specific criteria including demonstrating proof of  exhibitions, events, and official recognition of their practice. Further details are on our website under the Membership Area here. VAI issues professional members with a Membership Card which shows their level of membership based on fulfilling specific criteria.  This card will facilitate their claim, and they can evidence their search for employment by producing evidence of applications for exhibitions, commissions, outreach programmes and a specific range of  applications for income generating opportunities undertaken as part of the visual artists professional life.  These will be recognised as legitimate forms of job-seeking. It is important to note that there are no changes to the eligibility rules nor the conditions for applications for Jobseeker’s Allowance.

Visual Artists Ireland provides practical support to visual artists in all art forms throughout their careers. It provides services, facilities and resources for artists, operates an artistic programme and acts as an advocate for the interests of artists. Further details about our work is available here.


The Practical Details of the Scheme

If you are unemployed or experiencing periods of very low income, you may be paid either Jobseeker’s Allowance (JA) or Jobseeker’s Benefit (JB). Both payments are paid by the Department of Social Protection (DSP). Benefit offers entitlements to those who have PAYE income and have credits that can be drawn upon.  Allowance is based on means testing.

Under this new scheme, the criteria for Jobseekers Allowance remains the same, but professional visual artists who are self-employed will be able to have as their primary profession – Visual Artist. This has not been recognised in the past and has been difficult to access for artists who are registered as self-employed. The new system now makes this easier and artists will no longer have to hide their primary profession so as to access supports.

You will need to be able to give evidence that you are a professional visual artist. An up to date VAI Professional Level Membership Card will be an accepted way to prove that a person is a professional artist. The card is not a mandatory condition. It facilitates, but, if you prefer to prove your professional status without VAI membership you can do so. The reason the VAI Professional Membership Card is accepted is because DSP have recognised that artists must give evidence of meeting professional status criteria when applying to VAI, and will accept membership of the representative body for visual artists in Ireland as proof, rather than the social welfare staff making that assessment. Front line officials for Social Welfare are not in a position to assess if an applicant is a professional artist or not and will err on the side of caution. This is the reason that they have decided to use the VAI card as valid proof.

More information on VAI Membership below.

Artists must be registered with Revenue as self-employed to avail of this scheme. If you are registered as self employed you are also eligible for Artist Tax Exemption. Many artists have benefited from this scheme. It is not always apparent that it can be of benefit to artists, so we recommend taking professional advice and to research thoroughly before making a decision that the exemption is not for you. More information on Artist Tax Exemption below.

Jobseeker’s Allowance is means-tested and your means must be below a certain level to qualify. Artists must gain 50% or more from their work as a professional visual artist. If, for example, you have a declared income of 6k, 3k should be from your practice as an artist. This includes income from all forms of work that an artist undertakes, for example: exhibitions – sales and artist fees, commissions, juried competitions, funding awards, workshop facilitation, arts & craft classes, guest lecturing, specialist panels, public speaking & artist talks, etc.

Like all Jobseekers, artists must be available for work and actively seeking work. You must also be genuinely seeking work to qualify for Jobseeker’s Allowance – and you must be able to show evidence of this to the Department of Social Protection. This new scheme now allows visual artists to include as evidence the following activities that form the everyday life of a visual artist: applications for exhibitions, funding, education and outreach opportunities and any other examples you have of actively pursing opportunities related to your practice that could potentially generate income. This being available for work now takes into allowance the range of work that visual artists undertake.

Arts Council policy states that all of their funded organisations must pay artists, this income qualifies as being paid for work. We have to also understand that some artists volunteer. It is clear that such voluntary work may become difficult if it is placed before Social Welfare as a block to being available for work. There is no easy answer here and it will depend on each individual’s interaction with Social Welfare to understand how and what volunteering can be done.

Activation will not be expected in the first 12 months. this means that visual artists will not be eligible to attend training courses in other occupations during that period. VAI is continuing our conversations so that we can have them consider changes to the activation period that begins after 12 months so that it is more relevant to visual artists. We would like that visual artists who are actively seeking work and also undertaking professional on-going learning to enhance their income opportunities can be taken into consideration if it comes to the activation process.

So, finally, what the scheme is:

  • This recognises visual artists as professionals.
  • This scheme is designed to support artists during times when their incomes are low and to provide support to develop income opportunities.
  • It is designed for visual artists who have no other means of approaching Social Welfare, ie Credits etc.

What this scheme is not:

  • This scheme is not a replacement for disability allowances, carer’s allowance, or other specialist social welfare supports.
  • This scheme is not a state pension
  • This scheme is not a replacement for gaining visual arts specific supports from funding bodies.

VAI Membership

VAI members who are registered as Professional Level can use their card as a form of proof of their status.

We deliver a lot of our services for free, but with membership you will find that there are additional supports that we offer.  As well as contributing to the development of our services for individual professional artists, you will also be contributing to the on-going work that we undertake on the behalf of artists.

Annual Professional and Associate Membership Fee:

  • €25 for Unwaged/ Student / OAP
  • €50 with secondary income to support their practice

All Professional and Associate members are entitled to:

  • Avail of all Visual Artists Ireland services, facilities and resources
  • Receive the Visual Artists’ News Sheet by post (6 issues per year)
  • Access the journal Printed Project online (2 issues per year)
  • Be included on the Visual Artists Ireland database and receive mail-shots of events and opportunities
  • Inclusion on our members’ contact area http://visualartists.ie/membership-2/ of the Visual Artists Ireland website
  • eligible for inclusion within the ArtQuest studio exchange programme
  • Rent equipment and utilise in-house resources at subsidised rates
  • Receive a membership card, which entitles you to discounts at a wide range of art material suppliers and service providers
  • A reduction on fees charged for workshops and events
  • Propose artists projects such as symposia, exhibitions, seminars or workshops to the Visual Artists Ireland Board

Professional members are also entitled to –

  • Vote at the AGM
  • Nominate professional members for election on to the Board of Directors
  • Stand for election to the Board of Directors
  • Propose items for the AGM agenda
  • Act as a VAI nominated artist on commission/selection panels

There are 4 types of membership:

  • Professional Membership – For any artist who fulfils three or more of the professional status criteria listed below
  • Student/Associate Membership – For any emerging artist who does not yet fulfil these criteria
  • Organisation – Galleries, arts centres, studios etc may sign up under our  ‘Organisation’  rate in order to receive a subscription to magazines and other services.
  • Friend – Individuals & non-artists may sign up as  ‘Friends’ of the organisation  in order to receive a subscription to magazines and other services.

In order to qualify for Professional Membership you need to meet 3 of the following 7 criteria.

  • Degree or Diploma from a recognised third level college in Fine Art or an Associated Discipline
  • One-person show (including time based events) in a recognised gallery or exhibition space.
  • Participation in an exhibition/visual art event which was selected by a jury in which professional artists or recognised curators participated.
  • Work has been purchased by Government, local authority, museum or corporate client.
  • Work has been commissioned by Government, local authority, museum or corporate client.
  • Have been awarded a bursary, residency, materials grant or otherwise grant aided by the Arts Council/Arts Council of Northern Ireland or other funding body.
  • Have been awarded tax-exempt status by the Revenue Commissioners, or are on schedule D as a self-employed artist in Northern Ireland.

For more information and to join/renew click here.


Artist Tax Exemption

In order to get Artist Tax Exempt status – to be exempt from paying Income Tax, you will need to be registered as self-employed. Once you become self-employed you fall within the provisions of self-assessment for tax purposes. This means that you are personally responsible for ensuring that your tax affairs are kept up to date. From a financial view point the primary advantage of being self-employed is that you are given greater flexibility in the expenses you can claim for tax purposes.

To apply for Artists Exemption, you should submit a claim form to the Revenue Commissioners, together with samples of your work and any supporting documentation that you consider appropriate. You will not be able to make a joint application for this exemption.

You will need the following samples and supporting documents for the following categories:

• Books or other writing – 1 published copy of the book
• Plays – a copy of the play, together with a production contract
• Musical compositions – CDs or cassettes
• Paintings or other similar pictures- 8/10 photographs or slides, invoices and your CV, if available
• Sculptures – 8/10 photographs or slides, invoices and your CV, if available.

Revenue Application Form can be downloaded online:
www.revenue.ie/artists-exemption

There is an annual cap on Artist Exemption of €40,000. Any artist exempt profits above this threshold are taxed as normal. If you are under this threshold of 40,000 but earning higher than usual it will affect your USC and PRSI.


Useful Links

More info on Jobseekers Allowance from Citizens Information here: www.citizensinformation.ie

Tax & Self Employment for Artists

VAI Membership

Department of Social Protection: www.welfare.ie

Creative Ireland: creative.ireland.ie

Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs: www.ahrrga.gov.ie/arts/

VAI Help-Desk: info@visualartists.ie , 01 6729488


Positive step for professional artists and writers as Ministers Humphreys and Varadkar launch pilot scheme to make it easier to access social welfare supports

The Minister for Social Protection, Leo Varadkar TD, and the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys TD, have today (Monday) announced the details of new arrangements to make it easier for artists and writers to access social welfare supports. The Ministers made the announcement at Poetry Ireland’s new headquarters on Parnell Square, Dublin 1.

The initiative, which is a key commitment under the Creative Ireland Programme, will assist self-employed artists who apply to the Department of Social Protection for Jobseekers Allowance. The pilot initiative, which will be reviewed after one year, will apply to visual artists and writers. Under the new mechanism, the Department of Social Protection will provide for the classification of self-employed professional artists.  Such artists would not be subject to the activation process for 12 months.

Speaking today Minister Humphreys said:
“Artists are at the very centre of the Creative Ireland programme, and I have been particularly keen for some time now to do more to recognise the income challenges faced by artists. This pilot scheme is not a panacea, but it is a clear sign that the Government recognises the vital role that artists play in Irish society and that we respect and value their contribution.

“I would like to thank Minister Varadkar for his consistent support for this initiative. We first met to discuss this idea early last year, and Leo has been very supportive ever since. I would also like to thank the Arts Council which has provided invaluable support and advice as to how the scheme should operate. I would also like to thank the Irish Writers Centre and Visual Artists Ireland for their input and guidance. Getting this far has been a team effort.

“This is a pilot initiative which will initially be available to writers and visual artists. The issue of income for artists is something that has been raised with me on a regular basis, so I hope this pilot initiative can be seen as a very positive step for the arts community. We will closely monitor the implementation of the pilot initiative, before considering whether extending the arrangements to professional artists in other disciplines.”

Speaking at the announcement Minister Varadkar said:
“Ireland is world-famous as a haven for art and artists who central to our culture. This reputation for artistic achievement is part of our global USP. Promoting Ireland as a home for art and artists is central to my plans to double our global footprint in the years ahead. I believe it is only right that we allow for some flexibility within the social welfare system to allow artists to access social welfare supports when they need them. Up to now, artists have found it difficult to access social welfare and of course many artists take on extra jobs to support their livelihoods.

“Following extensive work between both Departments, with input from the Arts Council, this new mechanism will allow professional self-employed artists to be classified as such for the purposes of accessing social welfare supports. I welcome the involvement of Visual Artists Ireland and the Irish Writers Centre in this process. The normal checks and balances will apply to ensure the initiative is not open to abuse, but it is my hope that this will make it much easier for professional artists to access social welfare supports when they need them.

“I am really excited and enthusiastic about the Creative Ireland programme, which has the potential to be transformative in terms of public policy. It’s something we can all get involved in. Creative Ireland sets out to help more people take part in art and cultural activities, and above all to enjoy them.”

_______________________________

Further details on the scheme:

This initiative will assist self-employed artists who apply to the Department of Social Protection (DSP) for Jobseekers Allowance. The pilot initiative will apply to visual artists and writers.

Such artists would not be subject to the activation process for 12 months.

Arrangements will be introduced on a pilot basis and will apply to visual artists and writers.  The option of extending the arrangements to professional artists in other disciplines will be considered later.

Once a person has been classified as a self-employed artist on the DSP system they would not be subject to activation process for at least a year. The other conditions associated with jobseeker’s allowance will continue to apply, as they do for all other claimants.

A professional self-employed artist applying to DSP would:

  • Provide a certificate/declaration from their professional body as to their status as a professional artist. The appropriate body for visual artists is Visual Artists Ireland and for writers the appropriate body is The Irish Writer’s Centre.
  • Be registered as self-employed with the Office of the Revenue Commissioners and at least 50% of the person’s income should have been derived from their art in the preceding year.

It is important to note that this scheme will operate in addition to the Artists’ Tax Exemption. Under Section 195 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997, the first €50,000 per annum of profits or gains earned by writers, composers, visual artists and sculptors from the sale of their work is exempt from income tax in Ireland in certain circumstances.

Creative Ireland:
Creative Ireland Programme is an all of Government five-year initiative, from 2017 to 2022, which places creativity at the centre of public policy. It is built around five pillars: Enabling the Creative Potential of Every Child; Enabling Creativity in Every Community; Investing in our Creative and Cultural Infrastructure; Ireland as a Centre of Excellence in Media Production; Unifying our Global Reputation. Further information on Creative Ireland is available at creative.ireland.ie


Visual Artists Ireland announces new online archive for The Visual Artists News Sheet.

Visual Artists Ireland today announced that a new online archive for past editions of The Visual Artists News Sheet is now available on issuu.com (https://issuu.com/visualartistsireland)

The Visual Artists News Sheet is an important record of the Visual Arts in Ireland. As well as news and events, the Visual Artists News Sheet offers comment and opinion from key experts in topical areas.  The new online edition is accessible to historians, students, artists, and anyone concerned with modern and contemporary art to review opinion and events since 2009.  Making this available to the general public for free has long been an ambition.  It represents part of VAI’s preparation for our 40th anniversary in 2020.

Further work is taking place around VAI’s physical archive which contains back numbers of the News Sheet as well as The Sculptors’ Society of Ireland Newsletter. The archive further augments http://www.visualartistsireland.com which contains extracts from current editions of The Visual Artists News Sheet and allows for commentary and interaction with fellow readers.

This new digital archive, which will continue to grow as materials become available and will be made further available as part of VAI’s project due for delivery in September of this year which will address VAI’s online presence and how we can disseminate our information and services even more effectively.


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

Deadline: 9 June

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: lily@visualartists.ie


VAI Members Day Out in Belfast – Meet Belfast Galleries and Join Us for a party to announce the 2017 Suki Tea Art Prize Winner

Join us for a day out in Belfast, meeting Belfast Galleries, and come to the party to announce the 2017 Suki Tea Art Prize Winner in Twin Spires, the centre of Suki Tea world!

We invite you to attend this one day event on Friday, 9th June 2017 to find out more about the visual arts exhibition spaces in Belfast. We will have a guided walking tour of the exhibition spaces in the city. This networking and information event will be an excellent opportunity to meet other artists and arts organisations in an informal setting.

A light lunch will be served in our offices during the day. After the tour you are invited to attend the party to announce this year’s winner of the Suki Tea Art Prize. In its second year, last year’s prize winner was Colin Darke which was announced in an event in Stormont. This year we are excited to be allowed into the Suki Tea Factory where we will be joined by Oscar and his team who have promised a memorable evening.

The winner will receive 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.

This is a VAI members only event.  To make a booking, log in to the members area with your registered email. If you haven’t used this section yet, then select the forgotten password option and you will be sent your specific login details.  If you don’t receive an email reply then contact the office and we can double check that we have the correct email on file.

Places are limited to 40 seats on the bus, so we recommend booking now so that you can guarantee a place for this fun and useful day out.

The bus will leave our offices in Dublin at 10am and will return approximately 10pm that evening.

Visual Artists Ireland, Windmill View House, 4 Oliver Bond Street, Dublin 8

Further details and how to book can be found at: http://visualartists.ie/membership-2/member-events/#!event/2017/6/9/vai-members-day-out-in-belfast-meet-belfast-galleries-and-join-us-for-a-party-to-announce-the-2017-suki-tea-art-prize-winner

If you wish to become a member of VAI, follow this link http://visualartists.ie/membership-2/become-a-member/#join


Out Now | May – June 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.

From late-February to mid-April, a series of public meetings were held across the country as part of the Creative Ireland programme, a five-year government initiative which seeks to place creativity at the centre of public policy. Joanne Laws’s VAI News column outlines what transpired at the Roscommon and Leitrim meetings. In other columns, Pádraic E. Moore describes a revived interest in 1970s industrial music, probing the crossovers with performance art. Our Northern Ireland column comes from artist and researcher Laura O’Connor, who discusses the WANDA Feminism and Moving Image event which took place in Belfast in February 2017. Martin Waldmeier’s column tackles ‘The Problem of Jargon’ within the art world and introduces Plain English Criticism, a concept explored by Art and Disability Ireland, who invited Michelle Browne to write a review for the Critique section using this pared-back approach to language.

Also in this issue, Joanne Laws interviews John Hutchinson about his 25-year directorship of the Douglas Hyde Gallery, while Manuela Pacella interviews Irish curator Kate Strain about her recent appointment as Artistic Director of the Grazer Kunstverein in Graz, Austria. Sue Rainsford, winner of VAI/DCC Arts Office Critical Writing Award, presents her review of Vanessa Donoso Lòpez’s exhibition ‘to swallow a ball’, which was presented at The LAB, Dublin from September to November 2016. Susan MacWilliam reflects on her survey exhibition ‘Modern Experiments’. This issue includes several organisation profiles: Daniel Bermingham outlines the evolution, methodologies and future trajectories of Basic Space, Dublin; Gavin Murphy reflects on last year’s 20-year anniversary programme of Pallas Projects/Studios; and Paul Tarpey offers insights into the working methods of Parallel Editions, an independent fine art printmakers based in Limerick.
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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: visualartists.ie/join/


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 info@ivaro.ie 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.

suerainsford.com

Visual Artists News Sheet Online: visualartistsireland.com


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.
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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.
www.visualartistsireland.com


Website Survey: visualartists.ie

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 http://www.visualartists.ie at the moment.  We will be looking at http://www.visualartists-ni.org and http://www.visualartistsireland.com at a later stage.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LHYX8M9