The Model Studio Residency Programme

The Model’s residency aims to be a catalyst for creative production of contemporary art. It provides opportunities for artists, curators, educators, writers, musicians and filmmakers to research and develop their practices. We support both emerging and established professionals working in any medium. The residency process is by application or invitation and is open to Irish and international applicants.

We support a community of 10 working artists in our subsidised studio spaces with over 30 artists circulating through our studios annually. Studio artists benefit from excellent facilitates and supports and participate in The Model’s regular open days, events, talks, screenings and tours.

The Model Studios are unique in that they combine an open and supportive environment for art production in Sligo which boasts a dramatic and sublime rural context in Northwest Ireland.

The Studios are housed onsite at The Model, facilitating artistic connections for contemporary creativity, collaboration and dialogue. Dynamic starting points for participants to expand and explore their studio practice and potentially develop new avenues of research include The Niland Collection, temporary contemporary exhibitions, education and community programmes, artists’ talks and lectures series, the architecture and grounds of the 1862 building as well as its contemporary extensions.

Each year a panel of artists, curators, educators and activists select the Studio awardees following an annual call for submissions.

To learn more about The Model Studios and how you can apply, please contact:


Current Artists in Residence

Anna Spearman
Michael Wann
Steve Wickham
Ruth Le Gear
Sean Larkin
Kiera O'Toole


Anna Spearman

Anna Spearman

Anna Spearman moved to Sligo in 1998 to develop and manage an arts-based community development programme for Sligo LEADER Partnership Company.  Returning to college she graduated with a BA in Fine Art from IT Sligo in 2007 and an MA in Fine Art: Contemporary Practice from University College Falmouth in 2011.

Anna has taken part in a number of residencies including TRADE (Letrim and Roscommon Local Authorities) 2009, CAZ - Autonomous Zones, Cornwall in 2012 and Back Lane West, Cornwall, 2012 and 2013.

Awards include Thomas Dammann Travel Award, 1991, The Governing Body Medal, (IT Sligo) 2007, Sandra Blow Award, (University College Falmouth), 2011.


Michael Wann

Michael Wann

Michael Wann lives in Sligo. Originally from Dublin, he graduated from Sligo Institute of Technology in 1992 with a Diploma in Fine Art, and in 2003 with a Bachelor in Fine Art. In 2001 he won an Iontas Small Works Drawing Award from Sligo Art Gallery.

Michael has held many solo exhibitions of his work, including Sligo Art Gallery (1999, 2001, 2005, and 2009), the Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar (2005), the Ashford Gallery at the Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin (2009) (where his work has been selected for their Annual Exhibition since 2004), Draiocht (2011), The Model (2012, 2013, 2014), the Cross Gallery, Dublin (2011, 2013), and Solstice Arts Centre, Navan (2014). In 2006 he won the AXA Insurance Drawing Prize at the 176th RHA Annual, and was an invited artist there in 2009.

In 2010 Michael's work was selected by Hughie O'Donoghue for the Tom Caldwell Drawing Prize at the Royal Ulster Academy's 129th Annual Exhibition. He was also honoured in winning the inaugural Rowel Friers Perpetual Trophy, also at the RUA's Annual Show.


Steve Wickham

Steve Wickam

Steve Wickham is a violinist with the Waterboys since 1985 and founder member of Sligo group NoCrows

An Irish musician, Steve has recorded with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame legends U2, Elvis Costello, Sinead O Connor and Bob Dylan among many others. Steve's musical practice has brought him to many fruitful musical fields. As composer he has written and performed for the National Theatre productions of the work of Tom McIntyre and Michael Harding.

Wickham's music has been heard in several Hollywood films, notably Good Will Hunting (1997), Waking Ned (1998) and more recently The Raven (2012). Recent projects include a commission for Sligo's Cairde festival. 'Common Ground' (2013) for the Sligo Baroque Orchestra and Musica Tropicana (a Congolese band working out of Sligo) was performed in The Model during the festival and it is hoped to tour it next year (2015). This work married African rhythm with Baroque sensibility.

'Poetry of Place' (2012) was a work for a quartet for the Hawkswell and Bealtaine Festival; this was performed in the Hawkswell Theatre, Sligo and toured to other venues. This work was a response to visits and poetry and music workshops with the active age communities around County Sligo.

Recent recordings include NoCrows 'Waiting For The Tide' (2014) and The Waterboys "Modern Blues' (2015).

Wickham is also developing as a visual artist with 3 exhibitions @ room, The Model Arts Centre, Sligo, Ireland.
(sub)TEXT, Curator/Artist, A collaborative time based installation incorporating sound, film, text and a publication. (2011)
Geronimo, An installation of sculpture, sound, drawings and lino prints (2012)
Roadworks, a collection of iPad drawings and prints (2013)


Ruth Le Gear

As a hybrid artist, Ruth Le Gear's (b.1985) practice mediates between nature, water remedy intervention, and environmental art. Her practice and research emerge from collaborations and fieldwork projects which examine the qualities of water and the memories held within. Le Gear works with various water bodies including Arctic Icebergs, the Baltic Sea and Irish lakes and waterfalls to listen to the mystical, mythical and metaphysical forces that act upon and interact with these water bodies. Her practice finds form in moving image, the still image, sound, and installation.

A graduate of GMIT CCAM, Le Gear has exhibited solo at Center of Contemporary Art, Gdansk (2015) Polar Forces: universe of an iceberg at Leitrim Sculpture Centre and Cork Film Centre (2013) and Water that Sleeps at Galway Arts Centre (2009).

Group shows include Et Si On S'etati Trompe at the Centre Cultural Irelandais (2015) Contemporary Art at Tell in the University of St.Gallen, Switzerland (2014) Eight Gallery, Dublin (2014), Crystalline at the Millennium Court Arts Centre, Portadown (2012) and Ev+a (2008).

Residencies include Land Arts of the American West and SFAI (2016)  CCA Laznia (2014), Leitrim Sculpture Centre (2013), Arctic Circle (2012), Fire Station Artists’ Studios (2011) Iceland (SIM, 2012/09) Cill Rialig, (2011) Tyrone Guthrie (2010) and Limerick City Gallery of Art (2008).


Sean Larkin

Sean Larkin was the Head of School of Creative Arts at the Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT) in Dun Laoghaire from 2005 to 2012 and worked at senior management level in the Institutes of Technology sector from 2002 until retirement in 2012. He represented the Institutes of Technology sector, Ireland (IOTI) as Chair of the Working Group on Practice based Research in the Arts, an advisory group established by the Higher Education and Training Awards Council (HETAC) with support from the Irish Universities Quality Board (IUQB). Sean was Head of Department of Art and Design at IADT from 1998 to 2004 and previous to this post was Head of the Department of Humanities at IT Sligo. During this period he was also HETAC nominee on the Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) on the Senior Cycle Curriculum in Schools Committee.

Educated at the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) Dublin, Sean’s work has been included in many selected Group exhibitions including Project Gallery, Dublin (1971), RHA Annual Exhibitions (1987 to 2005), Sligo Art Gallery, (1989 to1994), Model Arts, Sligo (1992, 1993)


Kiera O'Toole

Kiera O’Toole is a visual artist who studied Fine Art at Dublin Institute of Technology graduating in 2000 and completed a MPhil (Fine Art) in Newcastle University, Australia in 2013.

Exhibited in Ireland, Finland and Australia including National Museum of Australia in 2011, Kiera  obtained several artists in residencies in Australia and Ireland. Panellist for New Perspectives on Drawing for Bart Lodewijks’ exhibition in The Model, Co. Sligo, Ireland and presented at the 20th Australasian Conference for Irish Studies in University of NSW, Australia and in the Not Just Ned: The True History of the Irish in Australia at the National Museum of Australia. Kiera has had public collections in the OPW and Lissadell House Art Collection both in Ireland and in the Maitland Regional Gallery and Mercure Hotels in Australia and private collections are in Ireland, Australia, UK, USA and Germany.

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