The Arts Council has sent its congratulations to the 7 artists
who were elected as members of Aosdána, the affiliation of creative artists in Ireland. Francis Harvey, Vona
Groarke, Conor McPherson, Gráinne Mulvey, Sheila O’Donnell, Kevin Volans and Yvonne Farrell were elected as members at the Aosdána General Assembly in the Armagh City Hotel.
The Arts Council established Aosdánain 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. Membership of the organisation, which is by peer nomination and election, is limited to 250 living artists, who have produced a distinguished body of work. Members must have been born in Ireland or have been resident here for five years. Aosdána members who reside in Ireland may be eligible, subject to an income threshold, to receive the ‘cnuas’ from the Arts Council – an annuity for a term of five years – to enable them to concentrate fulltime on their art. The newly elected nominees will bring the current Aosdána membership to 246.
I’d like to add my congratulations.
I’d also like to congratulate here and pay tribute to the man who conceived of Aosdána, Anthony Cronin. When Cronin was Charles Haughey’s artistic adviser he persuaded Mr Haughey that it would be an enlightened and unique idea. In an after dinner speech in the Armagh City Hotel, (under the auspices of the Armagh City and District Council and the North South Ministerial Council), Cronin outlined the thinking behind the foundation of Aosdána, its ethos, its inevitable flaws, and what it has done to transform the lives of writers and artists. I can attest to the latter.
Anthony Cronin image by Edward Maguire Source