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The Venue

2018 RDS Visual Art Awards College Curators

The RDS Visual Art Awards college curators are an independent panel engaged by the RDS to view the end of year degree shows (BA & MA) in selected colleges around the country. They will longlist artists, who will then be invited to apply for the Awards online. A panel of five judges will then select artists from these applications for inclusion in a high profile, exhibition curated by Amanda Coogan which will be shown in the RDS Concert Hall across six days in late October 2018. The selected exhibitors will also have an opportunity to win a share of the €30,000 prize fund.

Ruth Carroll - Exhibitions Curator, Royal Hibernian Academy

At the RHA since 2002, Ruth holds a BA in Italian and English and a H. Dip in Arts Administration from NUI Galway and more recently in Management from the University of Ulster. She has worked with a wide range of both Irish and international artists including James Coleman, Dorothy Cross, Michael Borremans, Salla Tykka, Paul Murnaghan, Amanda Coogan, Nevan Lahart and the Futures Series, a major series of exhibitions featuring emerging Irish artists. Ruth also runs the Ashford Gallery at the RHA, which creates opportunities and markets for young artists and advises key private and public collections on acquisitions.


Mary Conlon - Co-Director, Ormston House

Mary Conlon is the Founder and Co-Director of Ormston House, a cultural resource centre located in a RAPID zone in the heart of Limerick city.  She is on the board of directors of EVA International, Ireland’s Biennial of Contemporary Art, and is a partner of Visual Artists Ireland, providing advocacy and advice to artists. She sits on the Migrant Workers’ Exploitation Steering Group for the human rights organization, Doras LuimnĂ­. In 2016, she worked as a Cultural Programmer for Limerick’s bid for European Capital of Culture.


Darragh Hogan - Director, Kerlin Gallery


Sarah Searson - Director, The Dock

Sarah Searson is a curator and cultural consultant and is director at The Dock. Prior to this she was inaugural Head of the Centre for Creative Arts and Media (CCAM) at GMIT, where she led academic programmes in Fine Art, Film and Textiles. She has led several significant arts and cultural initiatives; including PublicArt.ie, a communication tool to support public art commissioning and was an adviser to Arts and Health.ie. As Arts Officer with Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Coincil she delivered two major capital projects, Dance Theatre of Ireland and The Pavilion Theatre.


Cliodhna Shaffrey – Director, Temple Bar Gallery + Studios

Cliodhna is director of Temple Bar Gallery + Studios. Previous to this she worked as visual arts advisor with the Arts Council Ireland and as a freelance curator. She was a member of the RDS Student Art Awards judging panel in 2015 and was an RDS Visual Art Awards college curator in 2016.


Linda Shevlin - Independant Curator

Linda Shevlin is a visual artist and curator based in Co. Roscommon, Ireland. Her projects look at the complexities of modernity’s effects on land and the socio-cultural landscape of her environment. Her recent work has drawn attention to the role that certain historical/mythological tropes and characteristics have played in popular culture. Using exhibitions, film, and installations she creates situations that explore the borders of fact, fiction and reality.


Belinda Quirke – Director, Solstice Arts Centre

Belinda is inaugural Director of Solstice Arts Centre, Navan, Co. Meath, playing an active role in visual arts development in the northeast of the country. A graduate of both Crawford College of Art and University College Cork, she has initiated a diverse range of programming within the gallery and performance spaces. Recent curations include 'In Darkness let me dwell' with Patrick Jolley, Gary Coyle and Paul Nugent, and the touring retrospective 'The Work of Micheal Farrell'.


Aoife Ruane - Director, Highlanes Gallery








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