The O’Malley Art Award was initiated in1989, with funds which came through Helen Hooker O’Malley and her international Art Collection which she donated to the Institute. The award currently is given biannually.
The advisory committee for the award included Donal Maquire of the National Gallery of Ireland and Riann Coulter of the F.E. McWilliam Gallery and Studio in Banbridge, Co Down and is chaired by Catherine Marshall.
The award of $5,000 this year was presented to Deirdre O’Mahony. While she began her career as a painter, her practice-based PhD research led to her re-open a former Post-Office in Kilnaboy, Co. Clare, which has since been acclaimed around the work as ‘X-PO.’ It has been a model of participatory practice and engagement since 2007 and has led to invitations to O’Mahony to pursue similar projects in the USA, Denmark, Italy and Netherlands. She has been an artist in residence at IMMA and has had many solo exhibitions most recently at VISUAL Carlow, The Natural History Museum Leeuwarden Netherlands, the Museum of English Rural Life, Galway International Arts Festival as well as public art projects and group exhibitions. She has received numerous awards and bursaries from the Arts Council as well as an international Pollock-Krasner award.