Irish artist Michael Canning working in studio at the Ballinglen Arts Foundation, Main Street, Ballycastle, Co Mayo. Photo: The Ballinglen Arts Foundation.
The strategic context for the Arts Council’s support of visual arts and all other artforms and areas of arts practice is set out in Making Great Art Work: Arts Council Strategy (2016 –2025) (PDF, 3.29 MB). It describes how we will lead the development of the arts in Ireland over the next decade. Our strategy has five priority areas: the artist; public engagement; investment strategy; spatial and demographic planning; and developing capacity.
Dedicated to supporting a vibrant community of visual artists
The Arts Council is dedicated to supporting a vibrant community of visual artists, visual arts groups and organisations so that the public can experience the highest standard of visual arts, in urban and in rural parts of Ireland. We consider visual arts to include a range of media such as painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, photography, live art/performance, film, video or other digital imaging media.
Our key priority in the area is to facilitate the visual arts community in reaching its full potential, thus ensuring its sustainability and vibrancy into the future. To achieve this we offer a number of complementary supports so that visual artists can develop their practice and create work. In addition, we are committed to visual arts reaching audiences throughout the country and to this end we support tours and lend our Collection to institutions all over Ireland for public display on an ongoing basis.
While the Arts Council is the key agency for developing the visual arts nationally, there are a number of other organisations and agencies supporting the community. The Arts Council primarily funds public spaces, while acknowledging the importance of privately owned galleries which are also critical to visual artists, providing them with opportunities to sell their work and exhibit it at international art fairs. Through our partnership with Culture Ireland we support representation of our finest visual artists at the International Art Exhibition at the Venice Biennale. The Irish Museum of Modern Art also plays a key role, particularly through its National Programme.