Leitrim Arts Office awarded €161,000 for artists in residence

Leitrim County Council Arts Office has been awarded €161,000 under the EU’s Culture Programme for LOCIS, an artist-in-residence programme the Arts Office has been developing with partners in Sweden and Poland over the last 12 months.

Leitrim County Council Arts Office has been awarded €161,000 under the EU’s Culture Programme for LOCIS, an artist-in-residence programme the Arts Office has been developing with partners in Sweden and Poland over the last 12 months.

The programme is a follow on from the highly successful TRADE artist residency programme which has been operating in Leitrim since 2005 and is designed to provide knowledge, resources and opportunities for artists to engage internationally. The other partners in LOCIS are the Centre of Contemporary Art in Toruń, which is an arts centre in a large provincial town in Poland; and Residence Botkyrka, which is an artists’ residency programme in a suburb of Sweden’s capital city. As a rural Irish county, the project reinforces the belief that a vibrant arts practice should, and can, be maintained from anywhere, and that networking within Europe can occur from anywhere and with anyone.

The three partner organizations have devised a two-year, three-country, artist-in-residence programme where each country sends and receives a leading artist from their country to work with groups of artists from the three regions. In Leitrim, the project will be based at Leitrim Sculpture Centre in 2013 and The Dock in 2014.

The direction, themes and purpose of each residency are largely decided by the artists themselves and each residency follows the most appropriate direction for the group as artists, and for the type of interaction they develop with the community.

The benefits of the programme are numerous. For each artist, the opportunity to work with a leading artist from another country is a fantastic opportunity and provides a unique stimulus to an artist’s professional development with many international networking opportunities. Each group will undertake projects that involve the wider community, providing new and innovative mechanisms for integrating the arts into society.

Commenting on the programme, outgoing County Manager Jackie Maguire said that being awarded this grant is “further proof, if proof was needed, that Leitrim has a particularly rich and vibrant arts sector that is at the cutting edge of contemporary arts practice.”

The 2013 project will commence in May and finish in December. Artists who are interested in participating should go to www.Locis.eu and register on the website. Once registered, artists can discuss potential lead artists from Sweden or Poland they would like to invite to Leitrim, and look to see what artist they might like to apply to work with in one of the other two countries. Once the lead artists are agreed, registered artists can apply to become involved in a residency in either Sweden, Poland or here in Leitrim.

Full details about the programme are on the website or contact the arts office on 071 96 21694 or pdelamere@leitrimcoco.ie for further information.