VAI / DCC Critical Art Writing Award

The DCC / VAI Critical Art Writing Award was launched in 2012 and is a developmental opportunity for writers. The award reflects the commitment of Dublin City Council Arts Office and Visual Artists Ireland to encouraging and supporting critical dialogue around contemporary visual arts practice.

Festivals, biennials, high profile cultural events / designations and creative industry gatherings are an important feature of any capital city’s cultural identity. For the 2014 DCC / VAI Critical Art Writing Award, art writers are invited to consider the significance of cities as contexts for festival-type visual arts programming. Writers are asked to propose an abstract that considers issues around ‘festivalisation’ – nationally and internationally – with an emphasis on Dublin as a context in terms of history, current events and / or future potential. 

The DCC / VAI Art Writing Award aims to:

  • Support and mentor art writing in Ireland
  • Encourage critical dialogue around contemporary visual arts practice
  • Provide a platform for art writers to engage with audiences
  • Inform thinking and practice in relation to visual arts programming and policy
  • Foster a culture of exhibition reviews
  • Create a legacy of research and ideas


Submission Criteria:

When open to submissions, applications should comprise a detailed but brief (500 words max) proposal / abstract accompanied by an up to date CV and three examples of previous visual art writing. All art writing practitioners based in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland are eligible.

The award comprises an honorarium from Dublin City Council Arts Office of €800, which includes: a €500 commission to a 2000 – 2500-word article on ‘a theme set; a €300 commission to write a shorter text in relation to an aspect of Dublin City Council, The LAB’s programme. VAI’s Visual Artists’ News Sheet editorial / production team will offer editorial support and mentoring.