RDS Visual Arts Awards

The RDS Visual Art Awards is the most important platform for visual art graduates in Ireland. It provides a curated exhibition opportunity and a significant prize fund of over €30,000, as well as vital exposure for emerging visual artists as they move into early professional practice.

This year, due to the ongoing uncertainty about how Covid-19 will impact on the end of year college degree shows, the RDS opened the applications to ALL final year graduating visual artists from BA and MA courses on the island of Ireland through an open competition. The annual RDS Visual Art Awards exhibition will be curated by artist Vera Klute ARHA and be shown in the RHA from November 25 to December 19 (subject to Covid-19 restrictions). The 2021 RDS Visual Art Awards applications were reviewed by our team of six professional curators: Sheena Barrett, Valerie Byrne, Mary Cremin, Seán Kissane, Paul McAree and Sharon Murphy. Between them, they longlisted 53 graduates to move forward to the second stage of the competition.

A judging panel of five visual art professionals reviewed these longlisted applications and shortlisted 25 candidates before selecting the final 10 artists for inclusion in the exhibition. Vera Klute, Rachael Gilbourne, Clíodhna Shaffrey and Una Sealy are the members of the expert judging panel, which is chaired by RHA Director, Patrick T. Murphy.

2021 RDS Visual Art Awards Exhibitors

IADT Dún Laoghaire

Karolina Adamczak

Lauren Conway

Limerick School of Art & Design

Fiona Gordon

Finn Nichol

Roibí O Rua

MTU Crawford College of Art & Design

Rachel Daly

National College of Art & Design

Vanessa Jones

Orla Kelly

Juliette Morrison

TU Dublin School of Creative Arts

Catherine McDonald


For more information, please see: www.rds.ie/rds-foundation/arts/vaa