Every year Mayo County Council offers two bursary awards to artists born or living in Mayo, to enable them to spend two weeks at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig in Monaghan.
All submissions are assessed by an independent, expert panel who were extremely impressed with the quality and standard this year. This year’s successful applicants are harpist Laoise Kelly and playwright and actor Andrea Cleary.
Laoise Kelly from Westport, now living in Achill, is regarded as “the most significant harper of her generation”. She has two critically acclaimed solo albums Just Harp and Ceis, and The Wishing Well; a live duo album with the Clare fiddler, Michelle O’Brien. Laoise was a founding member of traditional group The Bumblebees, with whom she recorded two albums and toured extensively. Throughout her solo career she has recorded with many of Ireland’s foremost artists including The Chieftains, Christy Moore, Sharon Shannon, Dónal Lunny, Tommy Makem, Matt Molloy, John Hoban, Mary Black, Maighread and Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill, Eimear Quinn, as well as Kate Bush and American country/bluegrass icon Tim O’Brien.
Playwright and actor Andrea Cleary from Hollymount studied at Swansea Metropolitan University, Wales, graduating with a B.A (hons ) in performing arts and theatre studies. She has been working in theatre for more than seven years. She is the co-founder of Maylin Productions, a theatre company that has been producing new writing since 2010. She wrote and directed The Curious Case of the Stoneybatter Strangler, which premiered at 2013’s Dublin Fringe Festival. Other writing credits include Neighbours, The Book, and she wrote two short plays which were included in the show, 60 minutes in Dublin, performed last year in the 10 days in Dublin Festival, as well as being revived and produced by the New Theatre last December.
Each bursary covers the costs for a two week period, plus the use of a studio if relevant. There are a variety of artist work spaces available including studios, a music room for composers and musicians, a multi-media room, and a large rehearsal and performance space.
The Mayo County Council Tyrone Guthrie bursaries are advertised annually and are open to practitioners in all art forms born or domiciled within County Mayo. Applicants need to show significant achievement in their chosen field, for example visual artists should have had one-person shows in reputable galleries, and composers or musicians should have had their work commissioned, recorded, or performed or whatever might be appropriate to the particular art form. Otherwise the applicant must demonstrate a high degree of promise attested by references or other forms of support from established figures in the arts.