Arts Council of Northern Ireland

The Funding and Development Agency
for The Arts in Northern Ireland

028 9262 3555

Art Lending Scheme

Curators, Museums, Galleries, Schools: Your Opportunity to exhibit works from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland Contemporary Art Collection

Growing Reflection by Cara Murphy Image: Growing Reflection by Cara Murphy

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland runs a free Art Lending Scheme for organisations, galleries and schools interested in putting works from our Contemporary Art Collection on public display.

The Collection holds 500 works by established and emerging visual artists working in Northern Ireland.

Many of the artists represented in the Collection have major national and international reputations, such as two-times Turner Prize nominee, Willie Doherty; Cara Murphy, whose work is included in the Downing Street Silver Collection; and Colin Davidson, who painted the Queen’s portrait in 2016. Others are of significant local and national interest.

The Collection is constantly refreshed with new acquisitions. Buying works is one of the ways the Arts Council supports artists in their careers, as an endorsement which can open the door to new opportunities with other art collectors and galleries. Offering the Collection for public display enables us to showcase the work of our artists and to introduce the public to Northern Ireland’s wealth of creative talent.

  • Organisations and galleries: this free public loan scheme is available to organisations and galleries, locally, nationally and internationally. The scheme covers loans of single art works up to full exhibitions, for short or longer terms.
  • Curators: you can curate your own show or we can help you to compile and/or theme an exhibition that will be suitable for your space and audience. We provide works in all media: painting, sculpture, crafts, print, photography, video and digital art.
  • Expert advice: we can offer expert guidance on all aspects of your exhibition, from transport and insurance to promotion, and will even come to you, where possible, to assess your space. We would normally require a minimum of two months advance notice.
  • Schools: we are offering your school the opportunity to curate, or have us curate for you, a tailor-made exhibition of your own choice to share and enjoy with your school community. A work of art can be a wonderful stimulus in the classroom and is a natural starting point where young people can observe closely, think critically and translate their thoughts and reactions into words. We would normally require a minimum of two months advance notice.

For further information, please email or phone (028) 9262 3547