Visual Artists Ireland actively engages with the creation and support of networks that are focused on increasing opportunities for individual artists and/or working towards the betterment of working conditions in the visual arts. We also have a clear focus on the sharing of knowledge, experience, and advice. We achieve this through our shared research with our international partners, by hosting research visits to Ireland, and through our engagement with relevant internationally recognised specialists and advisers. We also operate an annual visiting curator and artistic director programme which introduces artists and curators.
VAI are active members of: Culture Action Europe, IFACCA, IAA, and the Creative Industries Federation.
Visual Artists Café
This Visual Artists Café event welcomes artists and arts professionals to come along, share their work and build their network of peers and contacts.
Cafés have a variety of formats which may comprise of: information on local support organisations, venues, national funders, and advocacy areas that directly affect visual artists. Other formats may consist of Show and Tell presentations from artists, a VAI help-desk for one-on-one information sessions and presentations from VAI. All off a chance for discussion, and a chance to meet fellow artists in a friendly and open environment.
Show and Tell
The purpose of Show and Tell is to allow artists to present work or concepts to each other in an informal atmosphere. The events are also intended to provide fellow artists with an inside view of a variety of artistic practices.
Get Together – Ireland’s National Day for Visual Artists
Get Together takes its inspiration from Visual Artists Ireland’s vision statement – We dare to dream of a time when visual artists will live in a world of opportunities. Each year, a theme is set that compliments the work of individual artists, and looks at widening knowledge of events and thinking that directly and indirectly impact each of our lives.
Attendees hear from artists at different levels of experience about their work, their inspirations, and gain an understanding of how they have overcome obstacles to chase this world of opportunities, with a number of keynote speakers spread throughout the day. Artists’ Clinics and Advice, Speed curating bring together artists with curators and recognised experts to discuss a wide range of issues on a one-to-one basis. All of this surrounding the Visual Artists Café, where arts organisation and artists support agencies gather to provide information about their services as well as a place to perch and catch up with friends old and new.
VAI’s International Curator Programme
Every year, VAI offers research trips to Ireland for curators across the range of visual arts disciplines. The programme is designed to assist internationally active curators and artistic directors engage with Ireland’s visual art scene, gain knowledge of the wide range of practices in Ireland, and encourage collaborations with Irish artists and institutions. The application process is open throughout the year and places are offered subject to funding available at the time. Interested curators must provide detailed submissions which include an outline of their previous and current projects, the types of opportunities that they can offer Irish visual artists, and a list of no less than 8 Irish visual artists, including artist groups, that they wish to meet. The source for their research in this last part is through VAI’s Arts Directory in the links above. VAI covers: Flights, Accommodation, and facilitates meetings between the curator and artist.