Visual Artists Ireland (VAI) is the representative body and primary support service for visual artists in the Republic of Ireland and in Northern Ireland. VAI is unique in the broad range and quality of services that are designed and delivered with individual visual artists, artists’ collectives, and visual arts organisations in mind. VAI is a truly egalitarian organisation as we offer our services to both member and non-member alike across Ireland. Our internal policies dictate that we deliver not only in metropolitan centres, but also we bring our services to local areas for visual artists who are not in a position to travel. It is this openness to listening to the everyday needs and strategic needs of visual artists that informs every service that we deliver.
VAI Advocacy, Advice, and Membership Services offer a confidential advice/helpdesk service for visual artists that covers the wide range of professional concerns being experienced by artists today. This programme works in tandem with the VAI Professional Development Programme and VAI Information resources. It’s content and focus is informed by: current professional practice; the input of VAI staff; VAI members; our primary UK partner Artquest, on-going needs analysis and evaluation; an advisory panel involving visual art professionals with a range of expertise; and dialogue with our international partners such as CARFAC, NAVA, Culture Action Europe and the IAA. This area also offers access to a wide range of membership benefits and services that are designed to support artists in their day to day work.
The VAI Professional Development Training (PDT) Programme is aimed towards professional visual artists at all stages of their career. VAI PDT offers daylong workshops; talks; information sessions and seminars on a range of professional practice topics across three strands. These strands include: Practical skills & knowledge; Career pathways; and Peer centred critique. Training is offered year round in Dublin & Belfast as well as a variety of regional locations with events programmed February to June and September to November each year. While the detailed programme is planned a year in advance we maintain some capacity to respond to requests from groups and organisations for training when needs and issues arise. In 2013 we looked closely at our capacity and at the formats of workshops and clinics. We refined these and now operate a mentorship approach for our peer focussed training, and have increased our capacity through the formation of a wider range of partnerships.
As an information provider, VAI is the leading source of information, news, discussion, jobs, visual arts opportunities, and event & exhibition advertising. As well as being designed for visual artists at all stages of their career, The Art News Centre is designed to be attractive to a broader audience. The section breaks down into the following: The Visual Artists Ireland News Sheet; Visual Artists Ireland Critique; eBulletins; Visual Artists Ireland websites; and Visual Artists Ireland on Social Media.The-Sculptors-Society-of-Ireland-Constitution-2016