Council launches international Artist in Residence programme

2nd August 2018

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council has launched a new Artsland Artist-in-Residence programme, which will bring distinguished international artists representing a range of art disciplines to the district.

Artists from Thailand, Canada, USA, Netherlands, Bulgaria, Ireland and Scotland have been selected to participate in the international residency programme which will be delivered from outreach centres located at Aughakillymaude Mummers Centre, Knockninney, Co. Fermanagh and An Creágan Arts & Cultural Centre, Omagh.

Each artist will spend time on community education and outreach to create opportunities and enhance programming of local arts festivals and events and to enhance and develop local knowledge, skills and art works.

Art forms represented in the Artist-in-Residence programme include installation, literature, film & photography, community cinema, folk music, storytelling, puppetry, folk embroidery, print, textiles and bookmaking.

The international Artist in Residency programme is part of the £250,000 Artsland project.

Artsland, which is jointly funded by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland through the Local Government Challenge Fund, is a new arts and culture initiative for the district which will develop skills within the sector, promote positive health and well-being and raise awareness of traditions from a bygone era through arts, crafts and performance.

Chairman of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Howard Thornton said “Fermanagh and Omagh District Council is excited to be delivering this international Artist in Residence initiative as part of the Artsland programme. I am confident that this programme will make the arts more accessible to everyone while responding to the needs of our local communities and raising the profile of the arts in the Fermanagh & Omagh District.”

Lorraine McDowell, Operations Director, Arts Council of Northern Ireland said “We are delighted to see £125,000 of Arts Council National Lottery Funding being used to support such a fantastic Challenge Fund programme. The Artsland Artists in Residence stream of activities is doing exactly what the Arts Council’s Challenge Fund was designed to do – to bring great art within everyone’s reach. We thank the Council for taking up the Challenge Fund which is helping to strengthen the arts infrastructure in the area through international and local artist residencies, capacity building programmes with existing cultural groups and providing new, exciting community arts programming for all”.

Artsland, has three themes; ‘Arts for All’ concentrating on health and well-being, active ageing and inclusion; ‘Multiple Identities’ focusing on musical cultural traditions and ‘Loughs, Bogs & Mountains’ addressing rural arts, traditional skills and the environment. Each Artist-in-Residency will link into at least one of the key themes.

A series of arts, crafts, performance and training workshops and activities for various groups in local communities will take place under each theme to create new artworks, develop new skills and expertise, exhibition and performance opportunities and increase capacity across the arts and cultural sector in Fermanagh and Omagh.

Artsland will run until October 2019 and is being delivered in partnership with a number of organisations including South West Age Partnership, Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association (NI) and Dún Uladh – one of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann’s seven regional centres, Sliabh Beagh Arts, An Creagán and a number of other venues, local organisations and individual artists.

The first artists will take up their residencies at Aughakillymaude Mummers Centre, Knockninney, Co. Fermanagh and An Creágan Arts & Cultural Centre, Omagh from September 2018.