The Director of the Arts Council of Ireland has said she hopes other local authorities throughout the country will follow Clare County Council’s lead in delivering studio space for artists.
Ms. Orlaith McBride was speaking at the official opening of a new Ennis-based artists’ studio facility, initiated by the Arts Office of Clare County Council.
The development of the EASI (Ennis Access to Spaces Initiative) facility was one of the actions identified in the Clare Arts Development Plan and will support artists in the Ennis area by providing flexible and affordable studio facilities across a variety of artistic disciplines.
According to Ms. McBride, “The Arts Council’s current strategy identifies the two key policy areas of The Artist and Public Engagement. In respect of our commitment to artists we specify advancing the living and working conditions of artists and ensuring a supportive working environment for them throughout the creative cycle of their careers.”
Speaking at the official opening of the facility which is located in the Tracklands Business Park, Mayor of Clare, Councillor Tom McNamara, said, “Artists across Clare will greatly appreciate the provision of additional studio space in the county. Having artists in the adjoining studios offers an opportunity for them to discuss their work and to exchange ideas.”
Pat Dowling, Chief Executive of Clare County Council, commented, “This new artists’ studio facility will play a crucial role in keeping art and, more importantly, artists in the local community.”
Siobhán Mulcahy, Clare County Arts Officer, stated, “This particular facility offers artists the opportunity to work in individual and shared work spaces. It is envisaged that the studios will appeal to a range of artistic disciplines including, but not limited to, visual arts and digital based activity.”
It is hoped that such a diverse gathering will lead to lively and exciting co-productions and initiatives,” added Ms. Mulcahy. “The availability of a multi – purpose space for exhibitions, classes, workshops and gatherings adds a further dimension to the possibilities which may unfold.”
Three artists are currently using the studios. Cathal Butler is a painter whilst Anne McBride and Dyan Smyth are currently preparing to graduate in ceramics and fine art respectively.
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