The Ballinglen Arts Foundation is a registered Irish charity that provides a residency award - The Fellowship Programme - enabling Irish and international artists to spend time working in rural Ireland to benefit both the artist and the community. Since 1992, the Foundation has facilitated hundreds of artists from the United States, Europe, and Asia to come to the small coastal village of Ballycastle, County Mayo, Ireland to experience the same inspiration.
Ballinglen's Fellowship Programme is internationally unique in that it is not a retreat residency for the lone artist. Ballinglen Fellows are invited to bring family and/or companions with them. They are provided with cottages for living, and purpose-built studios for working, within a rural community. They are are free to meet or not as they see fit—the Foundation has no formal programme to entertain them. They are encouraged to experience the local community—its shops, pubs, its people, and local amenities—believing that this interaction will invigorate their spirit, and remind them what it is 'to be a human being' (as several artists have put it).
Ballycastle, a small village of 350 residents in northwest Ireland, is east of huge historic blanket bogs, Céide Fields, within sight of the dynamic North Atlantic coast with rugged cliffs and sandy beaches. It is on the Wild Atlantic Way nestled in rolling farmland, fed by the Ballinglen River, yet is a short distance from the larger communities of Killala and Ballina. It is a haven for many species of birds, and the area also offers visitors horseback riding, fishing, walking, and coastal boat trips. The landscape and weather are uniquely inspiring—the community equally so, as the artists continually tell us.
For each artist, the making of work is of the utmost importance.
Artists must apply to be awarded a Fellowship. Currently, due to Covid, we have a backlog of artists who have been invited as Fellows but have not been able to take up their residencies. Until we catch up with the backlog we have suspended applications for fellowships.
Our Workshops Programme has begun again, and we suggest that you consider coming to a workshop in the meantime. All workshops are taught by Ballinglen Fellows.