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The Venue


RDS Visual Art Awards

The RDS Visual Art Awards are the most important awards for visual art graduates in Ireland. The exhibition is the only place to see the best graduates from all over Ireland curated in one space. Following a rigorous competitive process, selected graduates' work is exhibited with the opportunity to win a share of the €30,000 prize fund in the RDS Concert Hall every October for one week. Entry is free and there are a number of curator's tours throughthout the week which are free to attend but must be booked online.

2019 Winners RDS Visual Art Awards

2018 Winners RDS Visual Art Awards


The Awards provides a platform for graduating artists as they transition from student into early professional career. The RDS Visual Art Awards judging panel selects the winners of the €10,000 RDS Taylor Art Award, the €5,000 R.C. Lewis-Crosby Award and the new RDS Whyte's Award of €5,000.

The RDS Centre Culturel Irlandais (CCI) Residency Award which is supported by Mason Hayes & Curran provides a three-month residency in Paris (summer) to the value of €5,000. The Director of CCI will select the winner from the exhibitors who applied for the residency on their online application form. Mason Hayes & Curran have a long history of supporting Irish artists.

The RHA Graduate Studio Award provides the winner with access to a studio for one year in the RHA, Ely Place, Dublin 2. They will also have access to all classes and masterclasses in the RHA School for the duration of the prize. This award is valued at €5,000 and comes with a cash stipend of €2,500 (sponsored by Whyte's). The winner of this award is selected by the RHA School Principal in consultation with the RHA Director and Senior Curator.

Each exhibiting artist receives a payment of €500 to assist with any exhibition related expenses.

Selection Process
A team of independent professional curators view the end-of-year BA & MA degree shows in selected colleges around the country. During their visits they longlist graduating artists, who are then invited to apply for the RDS Visual Art Awards. A panel of five judges, nominated by the RDS, RHA, IMMA and National Gallery of Ireland, select artists from these applications for inclusion in a curated exhibition in the RDS Concert Hall.

Irish final year BA and MA students enrolled in overseas art colleges are also eligible to apply as are those graduating from visual art degrees in colleges not on the list below. Students whose end of year show falls outside of the traditional summer period can also apply and more details are available in the rules of entry

For further information please contact:

Dara O'Leary
RDS Arts Programme Manager
Dublin 4
Tel: +353 (0) 1 240 7255
Email: arts@rds.ie

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