THE students in the final year of the BA in Visual Art programme (BAVA) on Sherkin island were conferred with their degrees by Prof Michael Murphy, DIT director of academic affairs and registrar recently.
The event was also attended by various local community and government representatives, including special guests West Cork TD Michael Collins and newly appointed minister Seán Canney.
Minister for Education Joe McHugh extended his congratulations to the BAVA graduates. The funding support of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Cork County Council is hugely significant for this third level arts education course and is instrumental in the programme being able to progress.
It has enabled a further group of students to begin their four-year degree in September this year.
This programme is specifically tailored to allow access to third level education to geographically disadvantaged, mature students who would otherwise have to leave their local community. It brings social, economic and cultural benefits to Sherkin island.
The community believes the programme sustains and nurtures a rural community and paves the way for access and participation in lifelong education. ‘It contributes to building lively and vibrant communities in the immediate locality and beyond,’ said a spokesperson. ‘The programme is vital to the quality of life of each island resident and to the island’s economy during the traditionally quiet winter months.’
BAVA programme chair Dr Glenn Loughran said: ‘This year’s cohort of graduates are unique. Over a thousand visitors from all over the West Cork region came to admire their degree exhibition A Dialogue with the World, which expanded across the whole Island and then was recreated at the West Cork Arts Centre.’
The graduates are Jill Dinsdale, Mary Sullivan, Colin O’ Sullivan, Áine Tierney, Fiona Coughlan, Julia Penney, Mary Scroope, Catherine Keeley and Sarah Buckley.
BA (hons) in Visual Art is a community-based, four year, honours degree, visual art programme based on Sherkin. It is fully accredited, managed and delivered by the Dublin School of Creative Arts and Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) in partnership with Sherkin Island Development Society (SIDS) and Uillinn West Cork Arts Centre. The programme is part-funded by the Department of Culture Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Cork County Council.