Project Arts Centre is delighted to announce our newly appointed Chair, Matthew Smyth (Theatre Producer & Festival Director), and recently appointed Board members Donal Maguire (Curator of NGI’s ESB Centre for the Study of Irish Art) and Rob Farhat (Serious London, EFG London Jazz Festival). We also look forward to welcoming new Board members Alice Casey (TAKA Architects) and Sarah Browne (Visual Artist) in the New Year
We would like to say a huge thankyou to Fiona Slevin for all of her work as a Board Member and Chair over the last 7 years.
Matthew Smyth is an Obie-award winning theatre producer and festival director from Ireland. Over the years he has worked with Ireland’s leading theatre companies, such as ANU Productions, Collapsing Horse Theatre and Dead Centre, producing work in some of the biggest international festivals and theatres on the planet including Manchester International Festival, Brisbane Arts Festival, The Young Vic and the Schaubuhne in Berlin. He also curates and produces Ireland’s oldest and largest comedy festival The Kilkenny Cat Laughs. Matt is also on the board of directors for Macnas in Galway – Ireland’s leading street spectacle and theatre company. Matt is also a qualified career coach working with arts practitioners around Ireland and the UK.
Donal Maguire began his career as an artist having studied painting and art history at the National College of Art and Design before completing his MPhil in art history at Trinity College and moving towards curation. He is currently Curator of the National Gallery of Ireland’s ESB Centre for the Study of Irish Art, one of the world’s leading centres for the preservation of, and access to, Irish art research collections. His own research interests are in modern and contemporary Irish art; art and ecology; the Irish diaspora; and collection management. He has published and lectured widely at a national and European level and is a contributor to the RIA Art and Architecture of Ireland. He has curated numerous exhibitions including ‘Jack B. Yeats, The Sketchbooks’ (2013); ‘Aftermath, The War Landscapes of William Orpen’ (2017); ‘Markievicz: Portraits and Propaganda’ (2018); ‘Shaping Ireland: Landscapes in Irish Art’ (2020). He has a strong interest in the role of research in art practice and has commissioned new artworks by artists including Sarah Pierce, Garrett Phelan and Amanda Coogan.
Rob(ert) Farhat is a former classical musician turned music programmer, manager, and artist mentor. He previously co-founded and directed Ensemble Music in Ireland, working with artists such as Loah, Ensemble Ériu, Rusangano Family, and the late Conor Walsh. He is now primarily based in London and works for live music producers Serious as their Talent Development and Programme Manager — working with boundary-pushing jazz and experimental musicians like Gaika, Gazelle Twin, Abel Selaocoe, and Emma-Jean Thackray and programming the EFG London Jazz Festival. He was born and bred in Dublin and is a proud Irishman of Iranian/Armenian heritage.
Alice Casey is a Director of TAKA Architects, an internationally recognised architectural practice based in Dublin. In her day-to-day practice, Alice works with Boards of Directors in the design, procurement and construction of new projects for their organisations. She teaches Architecture in TU Dublin and holds a PhD by Practice from RMIT Melbourne.
Sarah Browne is a visual artist based in Ireland concerned with spoken and unspoken, bodily experiences of knowledge, labour and justice. Her practice involves sculpture, film, performance and public projects, as well as forms of writing and publishing in diverse contexts. In 2009 Sarah Browne co-represented Ireland at the 53rd Venice Biennale with Gareth Kennedy and Kennedy Browne, their shared collaborative practice. Recently in 2020, she curated TULCA Festival of Visual Arts in Galway, titled The Law is a White Dog. She is associate artist in residence with University College Dublin College of Social Sciences and Law.