The Art of Choice is a Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council Arts Office project, funded by Creative Ireland. The project was initially proposed by the Grainstore, dlr's youth arts facility, and has been developed and co-ordinated in conjunction with Superprojects curator Cleo Fagan, who has been facilitating a group of young people (age 16-25 years) to research and select a contemporary artwork(s) to add to the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown municipal art collection.

The aim of the project is to provide a temporary context for the interests and ideas of young people to inform the acquisition process for the collection. In undertaking the role of acquiring work for the collection, the participating group have entered into a process of learning about the artistic practices of an exciting range of professional artists. On the first day of the project, the group gathered together to consider their personal ideas about art and their hopes for the project. Visits were made by independent curator Aisling Prior and collections curator with The Irish Museum of Modern Art Claire Walsh, who shared their experiences of working in the field, considered the purpose of public art collections and offered practical advice to the group on developing their interest in contemporary art.

Through a combination of studio visits; trips to exhibitions and specially arranged viewings of artists’ work by their representative galleries, the group have seen the work of Neil Carroll, Dragana Jurisic, Hannah Fitz, Christopher Mahon, Mark Joyce, Niamh McCann, Mary Fitzgerald, Atsushi Kaga, Brian Fay, Emma Roche, Samuel Laurence Cunnane, Laura Fitzgerald, Bassam Al Sabah, Marcel Vidal and Joanne Reid. Visits to galleries have included The Kerlin Gallery, The Hugh Lane Gallery, The Project Arts Centre, The Oonagh Young Gallery, The RHA Gallery, Motherstankstation and The Green on Red Gallery.

All artists’ whose work was considered have either lived, worked or studied art in the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown area.

Following the phase of research, the group are due to make their final selection in December. The selected artwork/artworks will be announced at a special event in early 2019.

Looking at work of artist Mary Fitzgerald at The Green on Red Gallery, with Jerome O'Driscoll, field research day #4 #peercloser #doublelayers

Looking at work of artist Mary Fitzgerald at The Green on Red Gallery, with Jerome O'Driscoll, field research day #4
#peercloser #doublelayers

Artist Brian Fay gives a tour of his work at his solo exhibition at The Oonagh Young Gallery, field research day #4

Artist Brian Fay gives a tour of his work at his solo exhibition at The Oonagh Young Gallery, field research day #4

Detail of Brian Fay drawing, at his solo show in The Oonagh Young Gallery, field research day #4  #adaptationinart #creationmyth

Detail of Brian Fay drawing, at his solo show in The Oonagh Young Gallery, field research day #4

#adaptationinart #creationmyth

Studio visit at TBG&S with artist Dragana Jurisic - the group got to see a series of brand new works by the artist that combine lines from the novel she is currently writing, and her photographic work; field research day #2 #textandimage #narrative #genderpolitics

Studio visit at TBG&S with artist Dragana Jurisic - the group got to see a series of brand new works by the artist that combine lines from the novel she is currently writing, and her photographic work; field research day #2
#textandimage #narrative #genderpolitics

Artist Neil Carroll talked about his work and process at visit to his studio in IMMA, field research day #1 #nonreferential

Artist Neil Carroll talked about his work and process at visit to his studio in IMMA, field research day #1
#nonreferential

At the Green on Red Gallery the group also looked at work of artists Mark Joyce and Emma Roche; field research day #4 #paintinglight #thelifeofanartist #physicalityofpaint

At the Green on Red Gallery the group also looked at work of artists Mark Joyce and Emma Roche; field research day #4
#paintinglight #thelifeofanartist #physicalityofpaint

Back from her home in Frankfurt for a visit, artist Hannah Fitz gave the group a presentation of her work in a space in TBG&S; day #3 field research #makingfictions #realnotreal

Back from her home in Frankfurt for a visit, artist Hannah Fitz gave the group a presentation of her work in a space in TBG&S; day #3 field research
#makingfictions #realnotreal

Gallerist Rosa Collins gave the group a special presentation of work by lens-based artist Samuel Laurence Cunnane, day #2 field research #analogue #makingphotographs

Gallerist Rosa Collins gave the group a special presentation of work by lens-based artist Samuel Laurence Cunnane, day #2 field research
#analogue #makingphotographs

In Motherstankstation the group looked at the ‘storyboard’ drawings that artist Atsushi Kaga created in the development of his characters, day #1 field research #artisticprocess

In Motherstankstation the group looked at the ‘storyboard’ drawings that artist Atsushi Kaga created in the development of his characters, day #1 field research
#artisticprocess

Niamh McCann solo exhibition at The Hugh Lane Gallery, day #4 field research #gestureandmeaning #theartofdisplay  ….   PARTICIPANT FEEDBACK   ‘I think this project made me think differently due to the group conversations and contrasting of opinions. I loved talking about art within a group.’  ‘I have a broader knowledge of the art world’  ‘I think the project has made art more personal and relevant. Seeing how it affects so many people and projects has made me appreciate the people that are involved in its production in various ways’  ‘I understand more about the administrative responsibilities and how to approach artists in a practical sense. I think I have more understanding about the importance and prominence of an artist’s background/inspirations that influence artworks they make and conceive of’  ‘I think differently because I now understand more about what abstract art is about’  ‘I learned a lot about the technical side of how art is bought and sold and the decision/intentions that inform this process’  ‘I learnt that context and background really matters in the artworks and can give them a lot of meaning’  ….

Niamh McCann solo exhibition at The Hugh Lane Gallery, day #4 field research
#gestureandmeaning #theartofdisplay

….

PARTICIPANT FEEDBACK

‘I think this project made me think differently due to the group conversations and contrasting of opinions. I loved talking about art within a group.’

‘I have a broader knowledge of the art world’

‘I think the project has made art more personal and relevant. Seeing how it affects so many people and projects has made me appreciate the people that are involved in its production in various ways’

‘I understand more about the administrative responsibilities and how to approach artists in a practical sense. I think I have more understanding about the importance and prominence of an artist’s background/inspirations that influence artworks they make and conceive of’

‘I think differently because I now understand more about what abstract art is about’

‘I learned a lot about the technical side of how art is bought and sold and the decision/intentions that inform this process’

‘I learnt that context and background really matters in the artworks and can give them a lot of meaning’

….