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Ulster Academics Reappointed to Arts Council Board

Two leading University of Ulster academics have been reappointed to serve a further four-year term on the Board of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

Culture Minister, Carál Ní Cuilin, today announced that Professor Ian Montgomery, Dean of the faculty of Art Design and the Built Environment and Professor of Photography, Paul Seawright, would remain on the Board until the end of November 2015.

Professor Seawright said the appointments recognise the important role the University plays in developing and supporting both the cultural life and creative economy of Northern Ireland.

“They acknowledge how our specialised knowledge, our research in art and design and my work as an artist have an impact on arts and cultural strategy,” he added.

“The Arts in Northern Ireland have historically been underfunded in comparison to Scotland, Wales, England and Ireland and this presents unique challenges to the board of the Arts Council.

“I believe it’s important for practicing artists like myself to be involved in making the difficult decisions that will continue to prioritise high quality artistic endeavour, delivering it to the widest range of people possible.”

Professor Montgomery explained that the University had invested heavily in expanding and updating its facilities and programmes on the Belfast campus, in particular, while also developing new arts and media programmes on the Coleraine and Magee campuses.

“Our students, graduates and indeed the wider communities in Northern Ireland, enjoy the benefits of significant ongoing investment in the arts and this is vitally important in sustaining and further developing the wealth of creative talent across the country,” he said.

“We both look forward to serving as Board members over the next four years.”

Professor Montgomery is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Architecture and Manufactures and a member of both the International Society of Typographic Designers and the Design Research Society.

Professor Seawright was formerly Dean of Arts and Media at the University of Wales, Newport. A practising photographer, he has exhibited extensively and represented Wales at the 2003 Venice Biennale of Art.

CAPTIONS: top, Professor Ian Montgomery: bottom: Professor Paul Seawright