Regional Retreats


Ballinglen Arts Foundation
Ballinglen is set in the village of Ballycastle in County Mayo and has been running since 1994. This residency seeks to support artists in an inspiring setting. Artists are encouraged to interact with the local community during their stay by carrying out talks, workshops, exhibitions and school visits. Successful applicants are offered a cottage to live in free of charge as well as a studio. No formal outcomes are specified. Residents are expected to have professional standing in their field, or be an emerging artist of recognised ability. Mayo residents are not eligible. The residency runs for between four and eight weeks, with facilities including printmaking, purpose-built studios and an art library. There is no bursary offered. Applications can be made throughout the year with details on their website.

Cill Rialaig
Situated in the remote Gaeltacht village of Dungeagan in Ballinskelligs, County Kerry, Cill Rialaig residency is open to artists of ‘national and international repute’. It was built in 1995 and resources include seven studios, a meeting house and library. Residents stay free of charge in a self-catering cottage, paying a minimal utility fee. The residency aims to provide artists with a peaceful retreat to focus on their work in a quiet environment without specified outcomes. Interested artists can apply for an application pack. Note: there is a charge for applying for this residency.

Cowhouse studios
Located in the farmlands of County Wexford near Rathnure, Cowhouse Studios are a “progressive artist-run school and residency” running since 2008. Residencies are offered either as one to four week blocks all year round (costing €360 per week) or themed residencies which sometimes offer a stipend. Themed residencies take place once a year, usually in autumn. Accommodation is in a private or shared room, with 24-hour access to facilities which include an open-plan studio, woodworking equipment, darkroom and computer lab. Cowhouse studios also form partnerships which offer opportunities for exhibition and publications, public talks, workshops and facilitated discussions. As the residencies are ever-evolving, it’s best to keep an eye on their website for callouts.

Digital Artists Studios
This residency in the centre of Belfast concentrates on programmes for digital artists. DAS offers 12 studio residencies to local artists and three to international artists. Residents pay £60 per month for facilities, which include a personal iMac workstation with software (such as Final Cut Pro and Adobe C86). No accommodation is included. Artists have 24-hour access to a shared studio space and digital equipment (DSLRs and recording equipment), as well as technical support and advice. After a four-month residency working on a specific project, artists can apply for the ‘Annual Review’ exhibition and other opportunities.

Fire Station Artist Studios
Fire Station Artist Studios offers large residential studios with workshops on Buckingham street in Dublin City Centre. Run by Dublin City council, FSAS has been active since 1993. Facilities include a sculpture workshop, digital media resource centre, project space, a visiting curator programme, as well as skill training programmes. The combined living/working studios are subsidised and let between a period of one year and two years nine months. Residencies are open to professional artists who are non-students only, with call-outs approximately every ten months. Residencies are self-directed, but give access to facilities and support, with applicants proposing a project to work on for the duration of their stay. Non-accommodation residencies include graduate awards, for both sculpture and digital media. These run for three months and offer a stipend as well as mentoring from curators. A similar residential award for more established artists working in sculpture and digital media runs from two to four months and also offers a stipend. Both awards offer access to digital equipment and are mainly opportunities for artists to develop their practice. The application deadline this year is 14 October at 5pm – check the FSAS website for details.

Guesthouse Project
Situated in the Shandon area of Cork City, this artist-led initiative provides a social hub for eating, meeting, performing and creative production. The Guesthouse Project began offering ‘time and space’ residencies in 2007 free of charge. Accommodation is available for two-month residencies, with artists selected through invitation and regular call-outs. Resident artists are expected to host a lunch and give a presentation, workshop or exhibition during their stay. In return, they have access to a workspace, digital equipment, facilities and opportunities to meet other artists. Project-based residencies (without accommodation) are allocated on an ongoing basis. The next open-call is in late September. Interested applicants are encouraged to sign up to the mailing list.

Heinrich Böll Residency
This cottage on Achill Island, County Mayo, once belonged to the German writer, Heinrich Böll, and was left as a residence to The Heinrich Böll Foundation. Open to artists and writers, submissions are taken before September each year. The residency has been running since 2003 and offers time and space to those who need quietness and escape. Artists are encouraged to visit schools or community organisations or to give a public talk during their stay. No bursary is provided. During two-week residencies, artists stay in the cottage which comprises two writing rooms and a studio, with a phoneline but no internet. Application details available on the website.

This residency is set in Recess, County Galway and explores the intersections between science and art. Artists of all disciplines are encouraged to apply in spring or autumn of each year. The residencies are between two and six weeks. Facilities include a private studio, as well as access to a larger studio space, which includes lighting, heat and basic tools. The programme proposes to introduce artists to local community through artist talks. The residency also offers accommodation in a self-contained apartment, but no stipend. Residents are advised to bring their own transport. More information on the Interface website.

Irish Museum of Modern Art
This residency takes place in the grounds of the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Kilmainham, Dublin, which has extensive gardens as well as galleries, educational programmes and events. The residency has been running since 1994, with various options offered to both national and international artists. Bursaries are offered for IMMA’s themed residencies, the amount offered depending on the duration of stay. Artists are expected to engage with the museum programme through talks and open studios. The length of stay for themed residencies are usually maximum 6 months, with accommodation and studio provided. Residents stay either in one of three self-catering coach houses (which also include studios) or else in the larger Flanker house. Each studio comes with phone-line, internet and basic tool-kits. There are regular open-calls, so it is recommended to sign up to residency mailing list.

Leitrim Sculpture Centre
Leitrim sculpture centre is situated in Manorhamilton, a small town in north County Leitrim. LSC was established in 1997 and currently hosts an extensive residency programme. The centre’s facilities include a 1300-metre industrial premises and a four-storey Georgian building, with equipment for working with stone, glass, metal, ceramics and digital media, amongst others. LSC offers two types of residencies: Exhibition Residencies include accommodation, studio space (with broadband), access to all facilities and an artist’s stipend of €2400. These residencies last eight weeks and conclude with a one-person exhibition in the gallery. LSC also offers Professional Development Residencies that provide time and space for researching new work. These residencies come with a stipend of €1000, a private studio and accommodation for a minimum of four weeks. Call-outs for residencies are usually made in December of each year and interested artists are encouraged to sign up to the LSC mailing list for further information.

Resort Residency
Run by Fingal County Council, ‘Resort Residency’ takes place annually in Portrane, North County Dublin. Invited artists and writers spend a week in a mobile home in Lynders Caravan park gathering, processing and engaging with the local area. A year later, they return to present work as part of ‘Resort Revelations’, which coincides with the Bleeding Pig Festival. Assistance and a stipend are offered and introductions to local groups are also provided. This residency seems to fluctuate between open-calls and invitation only, so it’s worth keeping an eye on website for opportunities.

The Model
The Model was built in Sligo in 1862 as a Model school and was renovated in 2000 and 2010, with additions including the current day studios and one apartment/studio at the very top of the building. The Model also houses expansive gallery spaces, restaurant, bookshop and performance space with a busy programme of events. The day studios residencies have a rental fee of €225 per month and are currently available on a one to two-year basis, supporting both established and emerging local artists who can also avail of open days, events, talks and screenings. The residential studio is currently available by invitation only to Irish artists, for two to four weeks without a stipend. Call-outs are periodically announced on the website.

Tyrone Guthrie Centre
The Tyrone Guthrie Centre is situated in the house and grounds of an estate in County Monaghan, left to the Irish State as an artist’s retreat by theatre director Sir William Tyrone Guthrie. The residency is dedicated to providing peace and quiet for work in the daytime, with conversational dinners taking place every evening. Facilities in Tyrone Guthrie Centre include eight studio spaces along with a performance/dance space and a print studio. Applications are welcome all year-round from practitioners of any artform with a proven record of success. Artists stay a maximum of one month in the big house (€350 per week for full -board), or two months in one of the self-catering cottages (€200 per week) with no formal outcomes expected. Bursaries are awarded annually to individual artists by local authorities. Interested artists should contact their local arts office for further information.

UCD Parity Studios
This studio-only residency takes place in University College Dublin. The university offers year-long residencies to professional artists looking to develop collaborative projects in a university environment. The programme began in 2012 as an Art and Science initiative and has now expanded to include Arts and Humanities, Business, Engineering and Architecture, Social Sciences and Law. The programme offers a stipend and 24-hour access to the artist studios but does not offer accommodation. Resident artists work in close proximity to UCD academics, researchers and students, and can access talks, lectures, symposia and the university’s libraries. Artists are expected to use studio space regularly and to take part in a public engagement programme of talks, exhibition and performances. Applications are made online to individual departments in spring of each year following a call-out on the website.

Image Credits:
Laura Fitzgerald, Brian Rock, video research still from video Portrait of a Stone, 2018; image courtesy of the artist. Fitzgerald is currently in residence at Fire Station Artists’ Studios.
Siobhan Ferguson, Water Border, 2018; photograph courtesy the artist. Ferguson is currently artist-in-residence at Digital Arts Studios, Belfast.
Laura McMorrow, Sugidama, 2018; image courtesy of the artist. McMorrow is due to undertake a residency at Cill Rialaig in 2019.
Jasmin Märker, My Immortals, silk wall hanging. Märker has recently been awarded a Professional Development Residency 2018 at Leitrim Sculpture Centre.
Lar O’Toole, The Unfurled Ruled Non-Surface, 2018, acrylic paint and monofilament nylon, 244 x 120 x 60 cm; image courtesy of the artist. O’Toole was recipient of the Student Residency Award at IMMA.


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