Visiting Artists

Burren College of Art Time, Space & Inspiration

Featured Visiting Artist

The Irish painter and sculptor Alice Maher was born in County Tipperary. After taking a BA in European Studies at the University of Limerick, she studied drawing and painting at the Crawford College of Art in Cork.

Later she received an M.A. in fine arts from the University of Ulster, and then, in 1987, won a Fulbright scholarship to the San Francisco Art Institute. As well as drawing and painting in oils and other media, Maher often creates works with materials like hair and rope, exploring themes of memory and identity.

Alice Maher is a member of a new generation of Irish female artists whose interests include effecting changes in what they consider to be a male-dominated establishment (eg. the Royal Hibernian Academy has traditionally been slow to admit women despite the preponderance of female talent in artist organisations such as the Society of Dublin Painters and the Irish Exhibition of Living Art).

Maher's art may be somewhat "subversive" but it remains highly personal. It expresses her own doubts, dreams and memories of childhood, rather than dogmatic political views. In her own singular fashion, Maher continues the work of previous female painters like Mary Swanzy, Mainie Jellet and Evie Hone.


She has exhibited widely in Ireland, Europe and the United States, and represented Ireland at the 1994 Sao Paulo Bienale. In 2001, "The History of Tears" was shown at the Purdy Hicks Gallery, London; the Butler Gallery, Kilkenny Castle; and the Green on Red Gallery, Dublin, where she also held one-person exhibitions in 1997 and 1995. Other Maher solo shows have been held at the RHA Gallery Dublin (2007); Schmidt Contemporary Art, St. Louis, USA (2007); Green on Red Gallery, Dublin (2005); Purdy Hicks Gallery, London (2003); Nolan Eckman Gallery, New York (2000); Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery, Dublin (1999); Ecôle Vincent Van Gogh, Paris (1998); Poitiers, France (1997); Le Credac Centre d'Art, Ivry-sûr-Seine, Paris (1996); Old Museum Arts Centre, Belfast; and Belltable Arts Centre, Limerick (1991 and 1988).

Visiting Artists


Burren College of Art values its connectedness to the international, national and regional art worlds and maintains this through a vibrant programme of visiting artist and scholar presentations each semester. We welcome renowned artists, curators, gallerists, critics and scholars to participate in conferences, symposia and the weekly visiting artist programme, known as the ‘Wednesday Session’. After a group presentation of their work, artists are available to students for individual studio visits on a sign-up basis.  This programme is our way of connecting and making professional relationships with artists who have made serious contributions to their disciplines, and who inspire and energise our community.  We invite both established and emerging practitioners, working across diverse creative practices, from Ireland and abroad.