With funding secured for the immediate future, a new post graduate programme in visual arts s under way on Sherkin Island
With funding secured for the immediate future, a new post graduate programme in visual arts (BAVA) is under way on a West Cork island.
It follows the latest graduation ceremony on Sherkin Island which, since 2007, has uniquely hosted a BA (hons) in Visual Art four-year programme based on Sherkin Island.
The latest graduates were Jill Dinsdale, Mary Sullivan, Colin O Sullivan, Áine Tierney, Fiona Coughlan, Julia Penney, Mary Scroope, Catherine Keeley and Sarah Buckley.
More than 80 people have graduated from the fouryear course to date which is fully accredited, managed and delivered by the Dublin School of Creative Arts at Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT).
The programme is operated in partnership with Sherkin Island Development Society (SIDS) and Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre, and is partfunded by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Cork County Council.
Professor Michael Murphy, director of academic affairs and registrar, DIT, conferred degrees on the new graduates.
Extending his congratulations to the BAVA graduates, the newly-appointed Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh said: “I was delighted to be able to support the BA in Visual Art again this year, and to have put funding in place to ensure that this programme will continue for the next two years.”
Formerly a minister of state at the Department of the Taoiseach until his appointment as education minister, this month, Mr McHugh said: “I wish the graduates continued success in their future, and would like to take the opportunity to strongly encourage budding artists from around the country to follow in their footsteps and take part in this unique programme.”
The funding support of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht along with Cork County Council has been hugely significant in the continuation of the third level arts education course and was instrumental in the programme being able to progress.
The assurance of funding being in place enabled a further group of students to begin their four-year degree on Sherkin Island, in Septemany ber. The graduation event was also attended by various local community and government representatives.
They included Cork South West TD Michael Collins, vicechair of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Culture Heritage and the Gaeltacht along with and Seán Canney, the newly-appointed Minister of State at the Departments of Rural & Community Development.
The programme is specifically tailored to allow access to third level education to geographically disadvantaged, mature students who would otherwise have to leave their local community.
It also brings social, economic and cultural benefits to Sherkin Island.
Since its inception, the course has also helped to sustain and nurture a rural community and pave the way for genuine access and participation to lifelong education.
It contributes to sustaining livelihoods and to building living and vibrant communities in the immediate locality and beyond, and has been vital to the quality of life of the island residents and to the island economy during the traditionally quiet winter months.
BAVA Programme chair, Dr Glenn Loughran said “this year’s cohort of graduates are unique”.
“Over a thousand visitors from all over the West Cork region came to admire their degree exhibition A Dialogue
with the World which expanded across the whole island and which was then recreated at the West Cork Arts Centre.”
For further information on the programme, contact Aisling Moran, Sherkin, Long & Heir Island Development Worker at 087 7669657 or email@example.com
Students and academics from Dublin Institute of Technology at the graduation ceremony of the BA in Visual Arts Programme on Sherkin Island.