Galway City Artists in Residence

  • Who are the Galway City Council Artists in Residence for 2014?

    Megs Morley - Curator in Residence (in partnership with GMIT, NUI Galway Huston School of Film and Digital Media and Galway Arts Centre, co-funded by the Arts Council).

    The approach of the Curator in Residence is to develop a body of independent curatorial research from which to generate new ideas and activate processes for co-operative and collaborative actions. In the absence of a contemporary art institution, there are differing and even contested notions of what this might represent. Rather than simply considering an art institution as a custodian of objects in a collection, the residency seeks to explore the idea of institution as the custodian of a shared set of common values, visions, hopes and aspirations. Leading on from this, the obvious questions to ask are; what values, hopes and aspirations are being cared for and protected? And, without occupying a permanent physical space, what values would constitute such a contemporary art institution in Galway? Within this context, the Cuban artist Tania Brugeria's concept of a "para-institution" is particularly apt. Brugeria's understanding here, is the idea of a parallel institution, that exists as a temporary frame of action, showing within its operations other working systems and where art acts as the self-reflective, self-critical tool, simultaneously being conceived and happening. Through a process of curatorial research, engagement, action and evaluation "Para-institutions: New approaches to building Institutions" is a residency that explores a set of questions surrounding ideas of institution building, in the context of international curatorial discourse. Proposing to guide, steward and offer a context from which to explore and unfold sets of shared or common aspirations directions, and actions.

    Little John Nee - Theatre Artist in Residence (in partnership with The Town Hall Theatre, co-funded by The Arts Council)

    This residency follows on from two very successful Theatre residencies in the Town Hall Theatre, featuring Christian O'Reilly. John's work involves working with emerging theatre professions in the creation of new approaches to theatre-making, drawing on his vast experience as a theatre professional over three decades of achievement. The approach includes performance, discussion, reflection and collaborative creation, rooted firmly in the various spaces and contexts of The Town Hall Theatre, Galway (

    Ríonach Ní Néill - Dancer in Residence (in partnership with NUI Galway and Galway County Council Arts Office, co-funded by The Arts Council and Galway County Council).

    The residency involves the curatorship of Galway Dance Days, the contemporary dance festival in Galway, held in association with NUI Galway. Additionally Rionach is working through Galway dance partners, accessed through Galway Dance Project ( and the City and County Arts Offices in research, choreography, training, performance, discussion, reflection and collaborative creation.


  • What are the general application guidelines for the Artists in Residence Initiative?

    Application Guidelines - General Principles

    • 1) A key element of all Galway City Arts Office's Arts Programme shall be the "Artist in Residence".
    • 2) The aim of the Artist in Residence initiative is an intervention that makes art work - and makes artworks - fully across the spectrum of both professional practice and the everyday life of citizens, including non-artists.
    • 3) The position shall be very fluid in concept and execution. As there is no single model for residencies the expectations and requirements shall vary greatly
    • 4) A residency shall run the gamut of the arts and feature the complete range of artists and artists and artforms.
    • 5) The resident artist or artists shall bring their own creativity to the practice of the resident host, including e.g. working with professional and emerging artists, working with communities, working in neighbourhoods, facilitating the production of great new art, keeping the resident host relevant in arts creation, and affirming the resident host as a place where the creative experience is available to everyone.
    • 6) The design of a residency shall not necessarily envisage a preliminary defined product.
    • 7) The artist in residence programmes shall exist to invite artists, academicians, curators, and all manner of creative people for an engagement in time and space away from their usual environment and obligations.
    • 8) The residency shall provide a time of reflection, research, presentation and / or production.
    • 9) The residency allows individual artists to explore their practice within a specified community or communities meeting new people, using new material, experiencing life in a new location.
    • 10) Art residencies shall emphasise the importance of meaningful and multi-layered cultural exchange and immersion into other cultures and lives.
    • 11) Residencies may be a part of inter alia museums, schools and universities, galleries, studio spaces, theatres, artist-run spaces, workspaces, sports clubs, factories, hospitals, government offices, festivals.
    • 12) The residency may be seasonal, continuing, or linked to a particular unique event.
    • 13) Residencies shall vary as much as the imaginations and circumstances of the host.
    • 14) The relationship between the resident and the host is always an important aspect of a residency programme.
    • 15) Sometimes resident artists become quite involved in a community, giving presentations, workshops, or collaborating with local residents.
    • 16) At other times, they are quite secluded, with ample time to focus and investigate the artist's own practice.
    • 17) The application processes also vary widely. Opportunities may arise in different forms including:
      • (i) an open call for applications.
      • (ii) by invitation only. In general larger, more expensive residencies are advertised Smaller, shorter, specialist or pilot residencies are by direct invitation, or selection from a panel.
      • (iii) by offer through special partnerships with other institutions, funding bodies, or organisations.
    • 18) Often a residency experience is only the beginning of a longer relationship. Residents often return to complete a project they started, to begin a new collaboration, or participate in an exhibition, panel or workshop.
    • 19) The specifics of residencies vary from programme to programme. A residency can last anywhere from a week to a year, or longer.
    • 20) The resident artist may be expected to teach, hold an exhibition, edit or write a book, make a film, compose a piece of music or a play in communion with a neighbourhood, hold workshops or simply work in an open studio so people are exposed to an artist, so they can watch the artist at work and talk to the incumbent
    • 21) The residency commission can be in any artform, the variations of subject and delivery are as wide and all ranging as the commissioner / host's imagination.
    • 22) Residencies in Ireland are increasingly provided under the Per Cent for Art Schemes: "Commissioners of public art can consider many different types of outcomes - from permanent artworks to more open and process-based responses in any medium or form that might be developed through a period of research, exchange or through a residency" (
    • 23) The objects and desired outcomes of the residency may be decided in advance, at the design stage,
    • 24) Alternatively the artists applying for the position may be requested to propose their own objects and desired outcomes at application and interview stages.
    • 25) Residency programmes may be entirely created, commissioned, awarded and administered by one organisation or they may be held in partnership with one or more partners, offering opportunities for strategic development and funding balance. Residency programmes envisage a huge array of potential partners, including partners drawn from the community, education, business, health, social inclusion organisations, the media and other arts organisations. The possibilities are as manifold and endless as society itself.
    • 26) A key concept is trust. The resident host must trust the artist, and in turn be trusted by the artist. Often it takes some time for an artist to develop an understanding of and a rapport with a community.
    • 27) Such relationships do take time to build that is why it is common for residencies to extend over longer periods than originally agreed, as an artist and a community develop a rapport, with potential to develop.
    • 28) A key skill in residency building is knowing when to continue on, and when to conclude.
    • 29) Longer residencies, such as art form residencies co-funded by the Arts Council (e.g. writer in residence) have an implicit understanding that 50% of the artist's time on the residence is devoted to the artist's own work. Artists habitually and properly acknowledge the support of the residency in creating the artworks.
    • 30) The support of an artist or a group of artists through residencies is a responsibility of a Local Authority Arts Office.
    • 31) The artist in residence provides the skills, knowledge, support and advice that enables emerging artists to look again at their work.

    In the creation of art anyone can aspire to the condition of art-maker. A good artist in residence can encourage and facilitate such aspiration, drawing on the personal and social experience of art.


  • Who may apply for an artist residency?

    Residency is open to local, regional, national and internationally suitably qualified professional artists. A track record in innovative residency work or similar commissions is an advantage but not an absolute requirement.

    Resident artists who will be working with children and young people must have appropriate Garda clearance.


  • How do I apply to become an artist in residence?

    • Residency opportunities will be advertised in the national press, and in relevant specialist art form media and will also be featured on the Galway City Council website.
    • Residencies may be advertised at any time of the year as appropriate.
    • Please note that some residencies are held under individual Arts Council schemes, such as Theatre Artist in Residence, Curator in Residence, Artist in the Community schemes. Application for these schemes must be made exclusively through The Arts Council application process. Please visit the Arts Council website, for further information.


  • What are the assessment criteria for an artist in residence application?

    Assessment criteria vary according to the aims of the individual residency. In general however the following criteria apply:

    • 1) Assessment will be based on the applicant's suitability for a residency as described in the supporting documentation for the particular position and will be based on the applicant's standard of practice.
    • 2) Assessment may take account of the applicant's experience in residency projects and allied commissions.
    • 3) Assessment may include an invitation to the applicants to propose a rationale and /or programme for the particular residency.
    • 4) Assessment will be made by an appropriate panel to include experienced arts professionals.
    • 5) Assessment will be based on the application submitted and if necessary an interview process.


  • How can I participate in an Artist in Residence project?

    If you wish to participate, not as an artist in residence, but with an artist in residence, please write to The Arts Officer, Galway City Council, City Hall, College Road, Galway, stating your interest in the residency and explaining why you would like to participate.