Founded in 2006, Askeaton Contemporary Arts aims to promote and provide contemporary visual art to the locale of Askeaton, County Limerick. By developing community involvement and understanding of how art might be produced and experienced in this locality, ACA aims to open up new possibilities of how contemporary art might operate as a socially-engaged and critically-led entity in the region, while concurrently supporting the production of new artists’ projects. Askeaton Contemporary Arts has introduced the work of artists from Argentina, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Holland, Mexico, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, Northern Ireland and Ireland to Askeaton. Over forty Irish and international artists have worked in the town in the last seven years.
Residencies, commissions and exhibition projects are frequently organised, often taking the everyday life of Askeaton as a subject. Local interaction with the artists and artworks are not only as audience, often they are actively implicated into the development of the artwork itself through their assistance or participation. Furthermore, with no ‘white-cube’ spaces in Askeaton, artists work in various venues throughout the town, and are incorporated into the everyday life of the locale. As a signifier of the quality of this initiative, subsequent projects have been exhibited throughout Ireland and Europe, including the 2011 Istanbul Biennial. For a full archive of projects produced please consult www.askeatonarts.com
Askeaton Contemporary Arts' ethos and programming presents something not overtly represented in the Irish network: a developed understanding of regional programming, community-based social dialogue through interaction with international contemporary art. We aim to facilitate intercultural understanding with people living outside the mainstream urban center through this form of dialogue.This is built on the belief that art can offer alternative viewpoints and genuine social change to its locale, and ACA has endeavoured to work with these goals. This form of engagement with contemporary art focuses on working within the existing dynamics of a small town, intending to bring forward the diverse layers of daily life and create a rich framework for subjective encounters. The investigations led by artists here ultimately leads to a de-mystication of the artistic process, and allows for a frank exchange of values between the regional and international, and between local and universal values. We believe these are aspects that can enrich the Irish Network.
Askeaton Contemporary Arts are interested in how art might be produced and experienced in this locality, how art might operate outside a city environment. Artists from throughout the world have worked here, with a variety of projects facilitated and produced in direct relationship to the community of the town. We treat this as a platform for developing the role of contemporary art as a socially-engaged and critically-led medium. We believe that joining the ALF network will allow our organisation to develop further and crucial understanding of contemporary and progressive idioms of cultural diversity.