The Arts Council hosted a welcome reception for the members of Aosdána, newly elected in 2007.
The Arts Council established Aosdána in 1981 to honour those artists whose work has made an outstanding contribution to the arts in Ireland, and to encourage and assist members in devoting their energies fully to their art. The new members of Aosdána were nominated and elected by their peers. Membership is considered to be a great honour amongst Irish artists.
Support of Aosdána is part of the Arts Councils continued commitment to the individual artist and confirms the place of artists at the heart of the Arts Councils vision for the arts.
The new members reception is an opportunity to acknowledge and reward the extraordinary contribution that has been made to Irish society by Irish artists through their work at home and internationally.
At the event, Olive Braiden, Chair of the Arts Council said: "Aosdána is a uniquely Irish idea and one that has been a wonderful success in the 26 years since it was founded as a far-seeing act of Government. Its existence, and its continued success, sends a strong message to the world that this is a country that takes its artists very seriously indeed and seeks to honour those among the arts community who have exceptional achievement to their credit. I know also that internationally Aosdána is widely admired, seen as a sign that Ireland values the humane arts and their profound contribution to the development of civil society. In this matter, it is not an exaggeration to say that Ireland leads the world."
The reception, which was held at the Arts Council’s Merrion Square premises was attended by Olive Braiden, Chair of the Arts Council, the Director of the Arts Council, Mary Cloake and the Registrar of Aosdána, Toby Dennett along with newly-elected members: David Bolger, Choreography; Eamon Colman, Visual Arts; Cindy Cummings, Choreography; Shane de Blacam, Architecture; Brian Henderson, Visual Arts; Bernadette Kiely, Visual Arts; Trevor Knight, Music; John McLachlan, Music; Ciaran O'Driscoll, Literature; Paul Mosse, Visual Arts; Vivienne Dick, Visual Arts; Kerry Hardie, Literature; Pat Harris, Visual Arts and Donal O'Kelly, Literature.