Supporting Lives and Careers of Artists: Fire Station Artists’ Studios to open 2 New Living and Working Spaces

Offical launch on Thursday 26 June at 2.30pm

Dublin’s Fire Station Artists’ Studios are set to open two new residential studios in June in a major expansion to the organisation which will see the number of combined living and working studios it offers to artists increase from eight to ten. 

On Thursday 26 June at 2.30pm, President Michael D Higgins will officially open the two new studios, which will each offer an artist nearly three years of subsidised and secure living and working accommodation. 

Since its conception in 1993, Fire Station Artists’ Studios has been home to more than 80 artists including Sean Hillen, Corban Walker, Alice Maher, Jesse Jones and Patrick Graham and has supported over 100 artists annually.

Fire Station continues its commitment to supporting the lives and careers of artists by expanding their premises to the building next door at number 12 Buckingham Street, a three-storey derelict house. Dublin-based SSA Architects have been commissioned to develop the two new residential studios and a flexible work space on the ground floor.

Increasing the number of residential studios for artists has been a long-term goal of Fire Station. Speaking about the expansion, Fire Station director Clodagh Kenny said: “We are delighted to be opening two additional residential studios in the building next door to Fire Station. Supporting the lives and careers of artists is what we do, so increasing this capacity is of great value for Irish visual artists and it marks a major achievement for Fire Station. For the past 21 years the demand for residential studios has increased year on year. At a time when cut-backs within the arts are, unfortunately, widespread, we are proud of this significant development and the opportunity to increase our capacity to support visual artists in Ireland.”

"The inspired use of this City Council building has added greatly to the resources of the local area and the artistic community. The opening of these new artists’ studios is another milestone in  Fire Station's continued success," said Lord Mayor Christy Burke.

Studio residencies are open to all practicing visual artists, who go though a highly competitive selection process to be awarded a residency, and if successful may stay up to 2 years and 9 months.

Irish artists recently selected for long-term studio residencies are David O’Kane, Gareth Kennedy and Seamus Nolan. 

About Fire Station Artists’ Studios 

Fire Station is a unique facility which by June 2014 will offer 10 subsidised combined living and working studios for Irish and international artists, large scale sculpture workshop facilities and training opportunities for artists.  

The Studios are located on Lower Buckingham Street in a former fire station, one of 4 Dublin fire stations built in the early 1900s.  It was de-commissioned in the 1980s and forms part of the local community of the north-east inner city. Buckingham Street was once part of Georgian Dublin’s most-fashionable district. The passing of that era, the proximity of the docks and development northwards saw workers and their families put down the roots of a community that still exists today. 

For the past thirty years, drugs and their devastating effects have been a fact of life for people living there. Leo Higgins' sculpture 'Home', project-managed by and partly made in Fire Station is a monument to the memory of all those who died as a direct or indirect result of heroin, and a permanent testament to a community surviving and fighting back. The monument is also a reminder of the ongoing relationships the Studios have within their locality. 

Fire Station has always been a key advocate and supporter of socially engaged arts practice, with activities such as the Community Studio Award and Public Art Programme, and has commissioned a significant number of groundbreaking collaborative public art projects. 

Fire Station Artists’ Studios is funded by the Arts Council and supported by Dublin City Council.

For further information:

Fire Station Artists' Studios 
9-11 Lower Buckingham Street, Dublin 1, Ireland Tel: 01 855 6735

For further media information:

Sarah Dee at Kate Bowe PR

+353 (0)1 652 0143 /