MayoCounty Council (IE)

One of the first local authorities to appoint an arts officer, Mayo Arts Office is nationally recognised as providing an outstanding service. The county Arts service was set up in 1989 and Mayo County Council has been one of the leading and most proactive Local Authorities in drawing down and using the % for Art scheme. Since 1989 nearly 90 commissions have been undertaken. Many commissions actively engage with local communities leading to long-term engagement with an artist and artworks which are well-integrated into the fabric of a community.

With a developmental approach towards Public Art policy, the Council endeavours to represent national best practice. It is the council’s intention to develop a wide range of commissioning practices and to encourage a wide diversity of contemporary art forms. The Public Art Programme also reflects the guiding principles of the Strategic Arts Plan for Mayo County Council, of quality, inclusion, access and long-term value.

The recent Landmark programme was highly commended in the Allianz Business to Arts Awards in 2 categories, Best Commissioning Practice and Best Use of Creativity in the Community, and represents the quality and diversity of the ongoing public art programme. Groundbreaking permanent and temporary commissions featured in Landmark, alongside a long term residency project and commissions specifically for emerging artists. Local artists professional development is also important in the public art programme, with innovative activities instigated, such as interactive training sessions, talks, networking events and the launch of a smart phone app, artconnect.

Through partnership with local and national groups, agencies and organisations Mayo Arts Office has secured a very high reputation alongside its counterparts nationwide. These partnerships have been instrumental in the use of Mayo as a location for various projects that may otherwise have not been seen outside Dublin.

Other recent projects have included Remnant, a performance art symposium including Nigel Rolfe, Amanda Coogan and Dominic Thorpe. The FIND project involved a number of Mayo artists creating a series of installations and artworks in non traditional art settings , Public Art Manager Gaynor Seville, was recently invited to discuss developments in public art practice in Ireland for national public art online resource.