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MA Social Practice and the Creative Environment (MA SPACE)

Limerick School of Art and Design, LIT.

2010 - Present

In 2010 MA SPACE, the Masters in Social Practice and the Creative Environment, was the first masters programme in socially engaged art practice in Ireland and the UK. This programme was developed organically from a social art project created in 2009 in Limerick city.

The project, SpiritStore Art Café, was located in Limerick's urban centre. When researching the project I began to gather the interest of LSAD graduates, students and other Limerick city players. I formed a collaboration with these constituents to co-produce the SpiritStore Art Café.

As a result of the attention the SpiritStore art project generated, and in recognition of the need to provide a focussed postgraduate level programme in this area of art practice, in late 2009 LSAD I was invited by the school management to write the first taught Masters programme in LSAD.

MA Social Practice and the Creative Environment, (MA SPACE) was written with fellow academics Sean Taylor and Paul Tarpey. The first cohort entered the college in September 2010. I co-direct the programme with Sean Taylor and we treat this as a longterm creative collaborative process.

While at its inception social art practice was a relatively marginal practice, ten years on, we have seen it embraced at a broad institutional level, nationally and internationally.

MA SPACE is an international benchmark programme shortlisted in 2019 and in 2020 by GradIreland Higher Education Awards, as (Irish) Postgraduate Course of the Year in the Arts Humanities & Social Sciences.