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Conferring ceremony for Visual Art BA take place on Sherkin Island

Posted: 16 October, 2018

Graduation season has begun in DIT with the first conferring ceremony taking place on Sherkin Island for the graduates of Visual Art programme which is based on the island.

Skerkin Island Visual Art graduates celebrate with the BAVA Programme Chair Dr Glenn Loughran

Family and friends of the graduating students made their way to the island for this special occasion and to celebrate with the students and the island community at Sherkin Island Community Hall, which also serves as the students’ campus on the island.

Sherkin Island Development Society, Dublin Institute of Technology and West Cork Arts Centre are pleased to announce that the final year students from the BA in Visual Art Programme were conferred with their degrees by Prof. Michael Murphy, Director of Academic Affairs and Registrar, DIT. The event was also attended by various local community and government representatives, including special guests from the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Culture Heritage and the Gaeltacht, vice-chair Michael Collins TD and Seán Canney TD, newly appointed Minister of State at the Departments of Rural & Community Development.

Extending his congratulations to the BAVA graduates, newly appointed Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh TD 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. I wish the graduates continued success in their future and would like to take the opportunity to strongly encourage any 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 and Cork County Council is hugely significant for this third level arts education course and is instrumental in the programme being able to progress. It has enabled a further group of students to begin their 4-year degree on Sherkin Island in September this year. This 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 brings social, economic and cultural benefits to Sherkin Island. It sustains and nurtures a rural community and paves 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. It is vital to the quality of life of the island residents and the island economy during the traditionally quiet winter months.

BAVA Programme Chair, Dr Glenn Loughran says: “this year’s cohort of graduates is 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 Center".

The graduates are Jill Dinsdale, Mary Sullivan, Colin O Sullivan, Áine Tierney, Fiona Coughlan, Julia Penney, Mary Scroope, Catherine Keeley and Sarah Buckley. Their graduate exhibition work can be viewed here

BA (Hons) in Visual Art is a community-based, four-year, honours degree, visual art programme based on Sherkin Island. It is fully accredited, managed and delivered by the Dublin School of Creative Arts, Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) in partnership with Sherkin Island Development Society (SIDS) and Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre, and is part-funded by the Department of Culture Heritage and the Gaeltacht and  Cork County Council.