Visual Artists Ireland offers a range of services that are focused on supporting individual professional visual artists, as well as people and organisations who either work in the arts, or interact with the visual arts as part of their business.

“I am so grateful for Visual Artists Ireland. It has been and is a critical resource for artists. I thank you for your efforts”

As a membership organisation we provide various types of help, as well as being a central point where artist members can make contact with experienced professionals to discuss particular issues that they might be having . We also offer a range of locally based supports through our Professional Development program, our local clinics, and partner organisations.  These are outlined under the various sections of this website.

“Your service is an invaluable one to us who work in isolation for its information, weight and lobbying efforts…”

Our membership services include:

Professional Recognition

Your continued registration on the Visual Artists Ireland database.  Professional members are entitled to vote at the AGM. Nominate professional members for election on to the Board of Directors.  Stand for election to the Board of Directors.  Propose items for the AGM agenda.  Act as a VAI nominated artist on commission/selection panels.  Your membership card will also allow  you to access our discount scheme as well as reduced rates on our services and those of our partner organisations.


Visual Artists Ireland provides members with a high-quality, free, independent, impartial and confidential advice and information service.  Our team of experienced professionals offer advice on a wide range of topics such as: contracts, commissions, copyright, licensing, materials sourcing, social welfare, and other areas of concern to visual artists. The advice is offered in a concise, considered, and timely manner.

With a range of professional partners, if we don’t have the instant answer, then we know professionals such as lawyers, accountants, and mediators who will be able to help.  The service is available by phone, by letter, by email, or face to face.  The advice service is one of the many reasons people join Visual Artists Ireland, assisting when you need advice the most.

Help desk

Visual Artists Ireland currently deals with over 100 requests for information and advice per week. These enquires are received mostly by phone and email. The help-desk is branded as one of the central services of the organisation.

Issues dealt with include – public art commissioning, sourcing artists, artists’ rights, costing proposals, insurance etc. Those requesting information include members, professional artists, local authorities, the public, commissioners and arts co-ordinators.

As part of this website we provide an FAQ on the top questions that people ask us for information or advice on, as well as detailed information sheets on a variety of subjects in our info~pool section.


Our clinics take place on a regular basis across Northern Ireland. Each clinic is guided by a representative of Visual Artists Ireland. The purpose of the clinics is to provide a space for artists to come and meet each other, chat about various experiences or find help on potential issues that they are experiencing.

The clinics also offer the ability to find out more about VAI services, and also to provide feedback on potential future supports. Its a good chance to meet with fellow artists, and feedback shows that being able to meet in such an informal way has become important for artists.

Check out professional development section to find out when the next clinic is on. It may not be in your precise area, but why not use that as an opportunity to come and meet fellow artists, you’ll be surprised how much you have in common, no matter what your experience or circumstances.

Professional Development

Visual Artists Irelands’s Professional Development Workshops are a result of many years of experience in the field of training and knowledge sharing through conferences, workshops and discussion groups.  Aimed at professional visual artists of all levels of experience, the workshops focus on an interactive, face-to-face, and hands-on approach that enables participants to gain valuable skills.  The workshops take place in easily accessible locations.

The Professional Development program aims to equip professional visual artists with a set of essential and useful tools which can be put into immediate practical use and are directed to ensure participants gain realistic improvements in their professional lives.  Further details about past and present topics are in our professional development section. Paid members of Visual Artists Ireland are entitled to a 50% discount on all of our Visual Artists Ireland workshops.  Discounts with partner workshops may vary.


Visual Artists Ireland operates a programme of advocacy, lobbying and representation.

The organisation takes on the key issues that concern professional artists generally in relation to their status, rights and income. It monitors policies and undertakes research into issues that affect artist. It also represents the interests of individual artists on a case-by-case basis in relation to specific, one-off issues.

It operates a programme of regional and international representation through appointed artist representatives and has a policy of building strategic partnerships with other organisations so as to better represent the interests of individual visual artists.

VAI works closely with:

  • The Arts Council of Ireland;
  • The Arts Council Northern Ireland;

and is an active member of:

  • The European Forum for Arts and Heritage (EFAH);
  • The European Cultural Foundation (ECF);
  • The International Association of Art (IAA);
  • The International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA).

with links to:

  • IKT, The International Association of Curators of Contemporary Art
  • AICA, The International Association of Art Critics

Student Pack

This pack has been put together for the benefit of visual and applied arts students and recent graduates making the transition into professional practice in Ireland.  With more visual and applied arts courses available than ever before, the number of aspiring artists continues to grow. The visual arts attract many talented and creative people so the sector can be very competitive.

This pack is intended to give students and recent graduates an idea of the practical areas they will need to consider and the options open to them following graduation.

Your qualification is just your first step to becoming a professional artist.

You may avail of a copy of the pack for free by joining Visual Artists Ireland (membership link) or for the nominal fee of 5 Euros. To purchase an individual copy of the pack contact Visual Artists Ireland T: 00 353 1 6729482 Free to Student Members

Members Contact Area

membership entitles you to inclusion on the Members Contact Area – publish you contact details and description of your practice on our website.

Discount Scheme

Our discount scheme for members is constantly expanding.  With a wide range of services and supports being provided by organisations across Ireland, the discount scheme offers our members preferential rates and services. There is a listing of service providers available on our main website, simply enter the service and the area and see if we have deals going in your area. We are constantly expanding in this area, and welcome feedback from all members on companies that they would like to see as a part of it. This service is for paid members.

Equipment & Facility Hire

We have been very fortunate in formulating an agreement for our members with regards equipment hire in Northern Ireland.  There are times when artists require pieces of equipment such as projectors, cameras, etc. to complete their work, but the costs of buying or commercially hiring are prohibitive.  VAI’s rates are aimed directly as being affordable and of good value.  This service is for paid members.

If you are looking for a place to meet when in Dublin, your membership provides you with free access to our small meeting room (seats 2/3 people) and favourable rates on the hire of equipment and boardroom (seats 20 people). We also have a NEW FACILITY – a Designated Editing Suite complete with Apple iMAC, Final Cut Pro, DIVX and Roxio Toast software.  Available to members only.


Visual Artists Ireland recommends insurance brokers O’Driscoll O’Neil to artists. O’Driscoll O’Neil can provide insurance cover to protect your art practice. Insurance covered includes, public liability, goods in transit, employers liability, equipment, property damage and more. For paid members we have negotiated a range of services that are designed to support all levels of artists’ needs.  When analysed against similar offerings, the insurance packages offered provide higher levels of cover at rates that are not only comparable, but are extremely competitive.

O’Driscoll O’Neil
17/18 Herbert Place, Dublin 2
T: (01) 6395800

As with all insurance cover Visual Artists Ireland recommends that artists contact various companies in order to get the best possible cover and quote for their particular project(s).

ODON Artists Insurance Policies

Studio Exchange

VAI has negotiated an agreement with ArtQuest for VAI members to be eligible to register with their international studio and apartment exchange for visual artists.  This service allows visual artists, anywhere in the world, to safely and securely negotiate studio and apartment exchanges online. This service is for paid members.


The eBulletin is the primary email news service for the visual arts in all of Ireland.  The service is free to members and non-members, and contains information on jobs, opportunities, events, and exhibitions both locally and internationally. Please click here to subscribe.

Visual Artists News Sheet

The Visual Artists’ News Sheet is the industry standard newspaper.  It contains articles and commentary on events and areas of interest for professional visual artists.  It also contains information and listings for events, exhibitions, and opportunities for artists, as well as operating a rotating regional focus on organisations and groups around the country.  The VAN also contains a critique section that looks at exhibitions and events that are taking place in Ireland.  Paid members receive the VAN direct to their door, non-members can pick it up in locations across Northern Ireland.

VAI Online Services

The VAI websites, Visual Artists Ireland and for Visual Artists in Northern Ireland provide significant details about our services and ranges of supports for visual artists. Both sites also contain information about exhibition, events and opportunities available to visual artists.  The sites also contain articles and guides on issues that are of current and timely interest to artists working today. This is a first point of reference with over eight hundred thousand unique hits per annum.


info~pool is Visual Artists Irelands on-line information resource. It contains practical listings and developmental texts written by established artists and other professionals. It covers topics identified as relevant and useful to artists including – Working with Galleries, Undertaking Commissions, Understanding Copyright, Handling disputes, Costing and Pricing your Work and many more.  for Visual Artists in Northern Ireland contains further information that is specific to artists working in Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom, provided by our partner organisation Artquest.

Our APP for Smart Phones

Launching this year is our new Smart Phone App that provides information on events, exhibitions, and services located around the country.  Designed to allow you to find what is going on in any particular area around Ireland.  Also contained within the App are simple guides to questions that we receive on a daily basis.  Member artists and organisations who have their details listed on our website will be included within the Smartphone App.  We are grateful to Mayo Arts Office and Aideen Barry for their support in the development of this App. Access to this service on your phone is free to all artists.

The Common Room Social Network for the Visual Arts

The Common Room Social Network for the Visual Arts… – A social networking site is an excellent method to make connections with people with similar interests and goals within the visual arts.  With forums, galleries, and profiles opportunities, the Common Room is the perfect place to keep in touch and gain support from peers around the country. This service is free to all artists.

VAN online archive

As the primary publication for the visual arts in Ireland, we have now made the VAN archive available online.  The archive contains back issues (more than one year) of the Visual Artists News Sheet, and has already proven itself to be an invaluable research tool for those interested in events and opportunites, as well as articles and commentary that have taken place within the visual arts. This service is free to all artists and researchers.

Printed Project online archive

Printed Project is the journal published by Visual Artists Ireland. Printed Project is an ongoing collaboration amongst artists, critics and curators, writers and readers devoted to making sense of contemporary art and culture. Printed Project is published twice a year and is edited on a rotating basis by invited curatorial editors. It gathers and presents thought and opinion on issues and arguments that enliven dialogue and debate on art and the wider culture of our present day. Current and past issues are now available to read online. This service is free to all artists and researchers.

The Visual Artists Ireland Daily

Having a quiet moment with a cup of coffee and want to catch up with events around the world? The Visual Artists Ireland Daily; the perfect way to catch up on world events when taking a moment out from the work day. Combining news from the Visual Artists Ireland website with art world and other business news, The Visual Artists Ireland Daily is the ideal read. This service is free to all artists.

Social Media

It has never been easier to keep up to date with what is happening in Visual Artists Ireland, and in the broad range of events, news and opportunities in the visual arts in Ireland.  As well as our website, VAI also circulates information through our:


The visual Artist Ireland Twitter account is used to regularly update followers with relevant updates on national and international art news. Listings will include events, exhibitions and opportunities. This service is free to all artists.


The Visual Artist Ireland Facebook page is used as a space for both gaining information and connecting with other artists. There are regular relevant updates and listings of news, exhibitions and opportunities. This service is free to all artists.