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 next issue of the Visual Artists News Sheet.

• Artist name(s)
• Title of work
• Commissioning body
• Date advertised
• Date sited/carried out
• Budget
• Commission type
• Project Partners
• Brief description of the work (300 words)
• A high-resolution, print-quality image (300 dpi; minimum 2000 pixels in width and height)

Artworks or projects must have been undertaken in the last six months, to be included in this section. We only have space for up to four public art items per issue, so not all proposals can be included. Where possible, proposals that do not make it into one issue will be included in the next.

Public Art Roundup proposals for the March/April Issue of the VAN should be sent to by Wednesday 14 February.

Profile Your Public Art in the Visual Artists’ News Sheet

The Visual Artists’ News Sheet (VAN ) is the primary all-Ireland information resource for visual artists. In the Columns for this issue, Áine Phillips offers a topical overview of gender issues in the arts, while Fiona Woods discusses best practice in artist-focused commissioning in her column ‘Has the Artist Been Consulted?’. In the NI column, Joey O’Gorman outlines his experiences as former co-director of Catalyst Arts, Belfast.

In the Artists’ Publishing section, Andy Parsons and Glenn Holman discuss their recent artists’ publication, The Rebel(s), while Ben Weir outlines his recent book, published in response to urban redevelopment in Belfast City Centre. In the Public Art section, Christopher Steenson interviews Robin Price about his recent environmental public art project, Automated Bird Rave Generator, while Laurie Kilmurry interviews Jenny Haughton about the evolution of the Grangegorman public art programme.

In the Organisation Profiles for this issue, Alan Phelan interviews Mary Cremin about her new role and upcoming programme at Void, Derry, while Nuala Clarke reports on the Ballinglen Arts Foundation and fellowship programme in County Mayo, which has just celebrated 25 years.

This issue features several Festival and Conference reports: Don O’Mahony reports on Sonic Vigil 10; Jane Morrow reports on Belfast Open Studios and Joanne Laws reports from IVARO’s Artist’s Estate Management conference, hosted by the RHA in late November.

In the How is it Made? section, Matt Packer interviews John Rainey about the evolution of his sculptural practice. In the Career Development section, Manuela Pacella interviews Andreas Kindler Von Knobloch about his recent residency at Catalyst Arts, Belfast. In addition, Chris Hayes’s extended essay assesses the contributions of James Merrigan’s Billion blog to Irish art criticism.

The Regional Profile for this issue comes from the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon region (ACBC Borough), outlining recent cultural activities of: The Market Place Theatre, Armagh; F.E. McWilliam Gallery, Banbridge; Craigavon Arts Office; and Millennium Court Arts Centre, Portadown. In addition, artist Joanne Proctor discusses the reality of maintaining an art practice in the region, while Paul King provides an update from the SHORE Collective.

Reviewed in the Critique section are: Yvonne McGuinness at Draíocht Arts Centre; Brígh Strawbridge-O’Hagan at Birr Theatre and Arts Centre; ‘The Otherworld Hall’ at Solstice Arts Centre; and Robert and Barbara Ellison at The Island Art Centre, Lisburn.

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

Out Now | January – February 2018 Issue of the ...

The Arts Council Northern Ireland has released data from its 2016/17 Annual Funding Survey. Top line results reveal another difficult year for the arts sector, which has been faced with a decline in income and a shift in employment patterns with more short-term/temporary contracts. Despite difficult financial conditions, arts organisations reported a rise in the number of people engaging in participatory arts activities and a rise in the number of relaxed performances offered to audiences.

Read key findings here:

Arts Council Annual Review 2016-17
The Arts Council’s review of the year in the arts in Northern Ireland, 2016-17, is now available to download. The Review highlights the accomplishments of artists and arts organisations throughout the year, supported by Arts Council and Lottery funding, reminding us all of the contribution that a rich creative environment makes to everyone’s lives in NI.

Download Annual Review here:

Arts Council Northern Ireland Publishes 2017 Annual Funding Survey and ...

20 artists from Northern Ireland have been announced as the latest recipients of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s ACES awards 2017/18, a National Lottery supported funding grant bestowed upon Northern Ireland’s most talented emerging artists to allow them to develop their professional, artistic careers and create new work.

Awards under the Artists Career Enhancement Scheme (ACES) are made annually to professional artists working in music, visual arts, drama, dance, literature and participatory arts and are among the most prestigious awards bestowed by the Arts Council. The artists include three drama awardees, six visual artists, five musicians, five literature awardees and one community artist.

In addition to receiving a bursary of up to £5,000 each, many of the 20 artists have been partnered with a professional organisation or leading artists, at home or abroad, to help each of them to deliver new creative work. Some of these include; Prime Cut Productions, Queen’s University, Ulster Orchestra, Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia, Moving On Music, An tSnáthaid Mhór, Tinderbox Theatre Company, Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen’s University, composer Garth McConaghie and leading soprano, Nathalie Paulin, University of Toronto.

The 20 artists awarded ACES funding include:
Visual Arts

  • Andrea Spencer
  • Clare Gormley
  • Emily McFarland
  • Liam Crichton
  • Samantha Moore
  • Mary Murphy

Community Arts

  • Jennifer Goddard

For a full list of recipients in other art forms visit:

20 Creatives Receive Arts Council Northern Ireland ACES Awards

European Commission says Brexit vote means a British city can’t be awarded the title of European Capital of Culture in 2023.

Belfast/Derry, Dundee, Nottingham, Leeds and Milton Keynes had expressed an interest in being the 2023 host.

In a letter the European Commission says the British application should be “discontinued” because of the Brexit vote. After Brexit, “the participation of the United Kingdom in the European Capital of Culture action will not be possible,” says the letter, written by Martine Reicherts, director-general in the Commission’s education and culture department.

Istanbul, Reykjavík and Stavanger in Norway have all been European Capitals of Culture despite not being part of the EU. Cities in both the U.K. and Hungary are due to be awarded the title in 2023.

But Reicherts said the scheme is only open to EU countries, candidates to join the bloc and members of the European Economic Area — and the U.K. will be none of those when it leaves the EU in 2019.

Tom Watson, deputy leader of the Labour Party in the UK, said “The news that the UK has been shunned from this European cultural competition is a great shame… Some cities have already spent up to £500,000 on their bid submissions.”

He added that the government “must now explain how they intend to ensure that Brexit does not leave us culturally isolated from Europe and how the economic and cultural benefits that accompany the European Capital of Culture will be maintained.”

Two British cities have been European Capital of Culture: Glasgow in 1990 and Liverpool in 2008.

UK Excluded from European Capital of Culture

Art Prize 2018

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.

In its third year the Prize is directed at visual artists at all career stages. This year will provide 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.

How to apply

Please submit an on-line application form via the CCI website until 10 January 2018, 5pm GMT for residencies between August 2018 and July 2019. Applications by post or e-mail cannot be accepted. Application form

A clear indication of the focus of the residency will be required together with a record of professional achievement: details of publications, exhibitions, performances, compositions, prizes, awards and related aspects of practice, as well as experience of other residencies. Visual artists must have had at least one solo exhibition and writers one published work.

Please ensure that you tick the box for the Suki Tea Art Prize in the application form so that it can be considered. Republic of Ireland applicants must also include their up to date VAI membership number. Failure to do so will mean that you will not be considered for the prize.

Assessment Panel

The Assessment Panel will comprise of representatives from The Irish Cultural Centre, Visual Artists Ireland, and a representative from Suki Tea.

Terms and Conditions

  1. You must be a professional artist either resident in Northern Ireland or a member of Visual Artists Ireland in the Republic of Ireland to enter.
  2. The residency is open to practitioners in all visual art forms, within the limits of the facilities available in the Centre.
  3. The bursary covers travel and accommodation in the Centre Culturel Irlandais. The artist is expected to spend the period agreed in the Centre.
  4. Each resident artist will receive a stipend of €700 per month.
  5. The artist in residence will be asked to participate in the cultural programme of the Centre Culturel Irlandais.

Our Sponsor:

Northern Ireland based Suki Tea specialise in artisan loose leaf teas. First set up in 2005 by business partners Annie and Oscar who were inspired by their travels in Asia where they had the opportunity to taste many different types of really (really) good ethically-sourced teas, which they wanted to share with everyone. They have since made ethical sourcing their priority whilst delivering the finest loose leaf teas, herbal infusions and fruit blends to their customers. Winners of over 37 Great Taste Awards and multiple industry awards Suki Tea truly is ‘Tea as it should be’.

Our Project Partners: Centre Culturel Irlandais and Arts & Business Northern Ireland

Applications are invited for the 2018 Visual Artists Ireland Suki ...

A composer, playwright, performance artist and a visual artist have each received the Arts Council Northern Ireland’s highest accolade, with £15,000 Major Individual Artist awards.

The recipients of the awards, given in recognition of the contribution each artist has made to creative life in Northern Ireland, are: composer Professor Piers Hellawell, playwright Shannon Sickels (Yee), performance artist Sinéad O’Donnell and visual artist/filmmaker Mairéad McClean. The awards, funded through the National Lottery, make it possible for these artists to take time out to dedicate to their creative work and to produce a substantial, ambitious project that will make a significant contribution to the development of their artistic careers.

Arts Council Northern Ireland Honours Four Major Artists

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council has commissioned Thrive (formally Audiences NI) to deliver and integrated Arts, Culture and Heritage Framework for the area.

In order to ensure that as many people as possible are consulted about the framework, there will be three workshop sessions held which are open to anyone involved or interested in the development of arts, culture and heritage across Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon.

Dates: 23rd November 2017
Times: 19:30 – 21:00
Fee: Free
F.E. McWilliam Gallery,
200 Newry Rd,
Booking: RSVP by Wednesday 15th November to Pamela Meekin

Arts, Culture and Heritage Framework | Consultation Sessions at F.E. ...