Craft Scotland appoints a new Director

Photography by Susan Castillo

Photography by Susan Castillo

Craft Scotland is delighted to announce the appointment of Irene Kernan as its new Director, succeeding Fiona Logue after her five-year leadership.

Irene Kernan has recently completed 15 highly successful years as the Director of Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop (ESW), now established as one of Scotland’s leading visual arts organisations. Irene led the strategy for the organisation, including developing the artistic programme, fundraising and audience development. She worked closely with the ESW members, team, local community, and initiated key academic and international partnerships. Irene was responsible for the significant expansion of the organisation, including increasing visitors almost tenfold and delivering a new £6.6 million building in Newhaven, Edinburgh.

Speaking of her appointment, Irene Kernan said:

“I have followed the strong resurgence in craft for a number of years, both in my professional practice and personally." 

"I am interested in how new networks, business models or collaborations could support the sustainability of the sector, and how new technologies could further develop opportunities for makers. Seeing how positively audiences respond to work which has its origins in craft opens up interesting possibilities for engagement and education and for identifying evolving markets."

"I relish the opportunity to build on Craft Scotland’s evident success to date. I am looking forward to working with an established national agency which can influence thinking and strategy at the highest level, and which can deliver outcomes to benefit communities and the arts, education and creative industries sectors.”

In 2015, Irene initiated the National Network of Production Facilities in Scotland. This group of eleven organisations - who’s remit spans print-making, sculpture, photography and glass - provides affordable open-access spaces for production and encourage collaboration and learning to build awareness. In addition, Irene has provided consultancy advice to charities and national organisations to support and monitor public projects. Irene started her career working in marketing and fundraising roles for charities in Belfast and Dublin, followed by festivals management and theatre production in Dublin.

Catherine Holden, Chair of the Craft Scotland Board, said:

“We are delighted to welcome Irene Kernan to the Craft Scotland team. She brings a wealth of skills, knowledge, contacts and experience to the role which will be of huge benefit to makers at all stages of their careers and help us expand audiences and the market for craft. We very much look forward to Irene joining us.”

Irene succeeds the current Director, Fiona Logue, who is leaving Craft Scotland after five-plus successful years at the helm. Through strategic development and expansion, Fiona has led a talented team to build the organisation’s role and profile nationally and internationally. Together they have delivered a strong programme of support for makers at all stages of their career and continue to champion diverse and high-quality contemporary craft.

Irene will build on this exciting period of growth and success for Craft Scotland, as the national development agency for craft expands its reach and commitment to quality and excellence.

We're looking forward to welcoming Irene to her new post at Craft Scotland on Monday 17 September 2018.

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