Fire Station Artists’ Studios
Fire Station Artists’ Studios, located in Dublin’s northeast inner city, is a vital institution within the Irish art world. For many emerging and mid-career artists, an extended residency in one of their twelve studios provides support to embark on ambitious projects. Having opened its doors more than 25 years ago, it has gained due recognition for its opportunities presented to Irish and international artists. When Frank and Rosie established Cow House Studios in 2008, the model at Fire Station was one they studied closely.
As the name suggests, the old fire station was secured in 1991. With the help of The Arts Council, the beautiful building was converted into a space where artists live and create. Working alongside the NCCCP (The North City Centre Community Action Project), which provides training to the local youth, Fire Station Artists’ Studios was born. Having become legally Independent from the Arts Council since 1993, the core ethos and integrity of the studios have been passionately upheld.
The 12 subsidized residential studios, with terms of between one year and two years, nine months, are secure, self-contained spaces within the heart of Dublin city. Artists in residence also can avail of the extensive sculpture workshop facilities and the recently upgraded digital media center. For international artists with a connection to Ireland, short term residencies may be considered. Fire Station Artists’ Studios continued support for emerging artists and graduates is evident with their bursary award given each year. Recipients of the bursary have free access to all of the facilities as well as a stipend.
Over the years, we have visited Fire Station Artists’ Studios on numerous occasions with students from our educational programs. These visits have offered valuable insights into an artist’s studio practice. In recent years we have felt a kinship with Fire Station as Cow House Studios associate artists Ann Marie Healy and Laura Fitzgerald have both recently completed residences there. Their work with students from our summer program, Art on the Farm, and our gap year program, FieldWorks, has been invaluable. Moving forward, we are sure that our paths will continue to cross with artists from Fire Station through our own residency program and future studio visits.
Photographs courtesy of PhotoIreland Foundation