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STEPHANIE TAHENY, CHAIRPERSON 

Stephanie is a Town Planner by profession and worked in local authorities in her early career including a period as Planning Officer in Waterford City in the 1980s. She entered the private sector as a Planning Consultant in the 1990s and together with her husband built up a very successful property development and construction company, still operating in the city. She represented the CIF on the board of Waterford Institute of Technology for 10 years, was a board member of Waterford Theatre Royal, now Viking Arts Ltd for 14 years and is currently a board member of Waterford Hospice Movement Ltd. 

With a passion for Art she completed a diploma in the History of European painting in TCD in 2015 and has attended several courses in classical drawing and painting in Italy in The Florence Academy of Art. 

 

MARY RUTH WALSH 

Mary-Ruth Walsh has an accomplished visual arts practice, has curated ambitious exhibitions, publishes her writing on art, teaches visual art at third level and currently is a member of Wexford Arts Centre (WAC) Board and chair of Visual Arts Committee 

Walsh completed MA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths University of London, with a 1:1 in studio practices. She cites London as a turning point in her career. Her undergraduate degree in Fine Art and Art History at National College of Art and Design (NCAD) Dublin included a 1:1 for her thesis. 

Walsh’s awards include Arts Council of Ireland’s prestigious Visual Arts Bursary; Project and Travel Awards; Create Ireland research bursary; Educational and Mentoring Awards (Wexford County Council). Residency awards include the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA); Aabenraa Artweek, Denmark; Royal Hibernian Academy Studio Award and Basekamp in Philadelphia. 

Since completing college in Goldsmiths, 2004, Walsh has achieved 9 solo exhibitions and numerous group exhibitions. 

 

JAMES MERRIGAN 

James Merrigan is an artist and art critic. For the past decade, he has been trying to promote art discourse and criticism in Ireland as a writer, editor and teacher. In 2010, he developed billionjournal.com, where he found the freedom to experiment with a more playful and polemical art criticism. James was selected for EVA International Biennale of Visual Art (2014) as a fugitive art critic; he was Co-Editor of the printed quarterly on Irish art, Fugitive Papers; and was Guest-Editor of two issues of Visual Artists’ News Sheet in 2016. In 2011, he was awarded the inaugural Critical Writing Award by Visual Artists Ireland and Dublin City Council's The LAB. A book of his essays was published in 2013 entitled Agents Of Subjectivism. 

Recent projects including ‘Deep-Seated’ which took as its starting point the psychoanalytic promotion of the ‘talking cure’; and All or Nothing (Summer 2017), a film that looks at the current landscape of Irish painting told through his eyes as a lapsed painter. In April 2017 James launched Madder Lake, a limited-edition publication that propagandises privacy. He will curate PERIPHERIES 2017 at Gorey School of Art. 

 

HILLARY DOYLE 

Hilary Doyle F.C.A holds Bachelor of Commerce from NUI Galway and has over 25 years’ experience in both general practice and the funds industry. Hilary trained with BDO Simpson Xavier in Dublin and qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1994. She later spent 10 years working in Audit & Assurance in PwC Waterford as a Senior Manager and subsequently 8 years with State Street Fund Services (Ireland) Limited in Kilkenny as an Assistant Vice President in the Financial Reporting Department. She currently works with David M Breen & Co a firm of chartered accountants located in Waterford City. 

 

EAMON QUINLAN 

Eamon was elected to Waterford Council in 2014 Local elections at the age of 27. He was elected Mayor in 2015. He holds Degree from UL in Business, Majoring in Accounting and Finance with a minor in Law. Prior to entering politics his previous career centered on Anti Money Laundering and financial transfers for companies such as BNP Paribas and BNY Mello. He is a Former Governor of University College Cork and a Director for Waterford Youth Arts. Currently he is serving on the Local Authorities Audit Committee and Economic Strategic Planning Committee. 

 

CONOR NOLAN 

Conor has been the Arts Officer for Waterford City since the year 2000 and was a founding director of SOMA gallery. He is responsible for all arts Venues in the city, Arts grants, Festivals and strategic planning. He holds a BA in Drama and Theatre studies from TCD and an MA in Film Screenwriting from NUI Galway, John Huston School of film and Digital Media. He also has qualifications in arts administration and public administration and advertising. 

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