Prestige award for Leixlip artist

 A 22 year Leixlip student has won a prestigious art prize, writes Henry Bauress.

 A 22 year Leixlip student has won a prestigious art prize, writes Henry Bauress.

Leixlip student, Ian Nolan has won the Royal Dublin Society inaugural Model Residency Award.

On Wednesday, 8 August, Ian, a former Colaiste Chiarain student, got the award for his entry entitled Interrupted, which will be on display at the RDS National Crafts competition in August and, possibly, at the Riverbank Arts Centre in Newbridge next month.

RDS spokes person, Sandra Blakeney, said the award is the newest addition to the RDS Student Art Awards and is administered in collaboration with the Model in Sligo Town.

A month-long Residency is intended to assist the Award Winner in their creative practice and includes €500.

Ian qualified from the National College of Art and Design last June, have had a long time interest in art which brought him an A2 in his Leaving Cert. “I was always good at it,” he said.

“Completely shocked,” is how he described his award.

He is not sure yet when he will take up his residency but hopefully it will help his ambition to become a full time artist.

He is not wasting time. Already he has set up a studio in Smithfield Square in Dublin and he and some friends are holding their first exhibition this week at St. Mary’s Abbey Meeting House near Capel Street.

A former pupil of Scoil Mhuire, he lives his Ryevale Lawns with his parents, Ann and Pat, both keen amateur drawers and painters, his brother, Andrew (16) and a red setter, Coleen.

Ian likes music as well, but says that Andrew, whom he describes as “a lovely little fellow,” is “fantastic” at music.

The Model is one of Ireland’s leading contemporary arts centres and is home to the impressive Niland Collection of art, one of the most notable collections in Ireland featuring works by John and Jack B. Yeats, Estella Solomons, Paul Henry and Louis le Brocquy among others.

The Model’s art programme is known for experimental, urgent programming, including projects that have critically tackled issues of war and contemporary religion as well as projects that question the role of art and artists today.

Ian Nolan is in good company. Many of Ireland’s most eminent artists have received prizes from the RDS Student Art Awards, from Walter Osborne and Sir William Orpen to contemporary artists such as James Hanley, RHA and Eamonn O’Kane.

The prize-winning and selected entries will be displayed alongside the RDS National Crafts Competition prize-winning and highly commended entries which is open to the public on Friday, 10 August from 10.00am-5.00pm at the RDS Concert Hall. Following this, the RDS National Crafts Competition and Student Awards Exhibition will be open during the Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show at the RDS Concert Hall, from August 15-19 (entry fee required – times vary).

After the Horse Show, a selection of works from the awards wards travel to the Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge, County Kildare from 3-29 September.

Ian said he was not sure if his would be in the travelling group yet.