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The Venue

2017 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 Nick Miller which will be shown in the RDS Concert Hall across five days in late October 2017. The selected exhibitors will also have an opportunity to win a share of the €25,000 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.


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'.


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.


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.


Riann Coulter - Curator/Manager, F.E. McWilliam Gallery

Dr Riann Coulter is a curator and art historian specialising in modern and contemporary Irish and British art. She studied at Trinity College Dublin and the Courtauld Institute of Art, London and has over 16 years’ experience as a curator and arts manager. Riann has curated and co-curated exhibitions for IMMA, the Ulster Museum, the RHA, Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda, West Cork Arts Centre, Crawford Art Gallery and the F.E. McWilliam Gallery & Studio, Banbridge, where she has been curator/manager since 2009.


Mary McCarthy - Director, National Sculpture Factory

Mary McCarthy is the Director of the National Sculpture Factory Cork. Previously she was Executive Arts and Culture manager for Dublin Docklands Development Authority. While in that role she was responsible for the integration of the arts across the Docklands and for the roll out, implementation and development of the Authority’s initial arts and culture strategy. Previous to that she was Director of Programmes and Deputy Director for Cork 2005, the company established to manage Cork’s designation as European Capital of Culture. Mary is chairperson of the Executive Advisory committee of Culture Ireland. She is also a board member of the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA).


Aoife Ruane - Director, Highlanes Gallery


Darragh Hogan - Director, Kerlin Gallery





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