The Citizen Artist Collective began their award in September 2017 and concluded in May 2018.  They stated ‘We are Citizen Artists. During our residency in studio 468 we will host a series of seminars and public events that explore the local history of socially engaged arts practice, some current manifestations and future directions’.

John, Marja and Chris hosted their First Citizen Artist Seminar in January 2018, where they explored the past and present of socially engaged arts activity in Rialto over a 20 year period. During the course of their award period the Collective’s practice priorities changed with John, Marja and Chris deciding to focusing on joint opportunities to research and explore future socially engaged arts practices. They described this piece of research as being ‘something that is of longer term relevance, both historically and into the foreseeable future cultural life of the Rialto community’. 

At the same time former members of the Collective, Mark Holburn and Pat Curran, decided to focus on the art of making artworks in the studio on a daily basis in response to the CITIZEN ARTIST theme.

Dr. John Bissett is a sociologist working in the south inner city with the Canal Communities Local Drugs Task Force. His research includes the role of class and gender in public housing. He published Regeneration: Public Good or Private Profit? in 2008. Since the economic collapse of 2008 he has been associated with the development of the Spectacle of Defiance and Hope, the street spectacle which both protests cutbacks in public spending and celebrates the survival and defiance of marginalized communities across the city and beyond.

Marja Almqvist studied textiles in NCAD. On graduation she set up her own weaving studio in Toronto. Returning to Ireland in the mid 80’s she completed an MA in Adult and Community Education and over the next 18 years worked in the field of local development, with much of that time devoted to projects based in Rialto and the south inner city. In 2008 she returned to study and her own art practice. She graduated with a MLitt in Global Women’s Studies in 2013 and established The Yarn School, a community-based textile studio in Inchicore.

Chris Maguire is a long-time community activist in the south inner city. He studied in the Painting Dept at NCAD and graduated in 1982 with a BFA. In 2004 he graduated with a MA in documentary photography from the University of Wales. Chris Maguire retired from NCAD, where he had been a lecturer in the Painting Department, HDip in Community Arts Education and MA in Socially Engaged Art.