About us

Art Arcadia

Art Arcadia is an artist run organisation providing local and international artist residencies with associated exhibitions and public programmes. Its aim is to enable and assist the mobility of artists of all disciplines and at any stage of their career, as an integral part of their professional development. Art Arcadia has been active informally since 2013, when Paola Bernardelli set in motion a series of exchanges and residencies with the support of Kieran Ferris and in collaboration with local and international artists and arts organisations. Having slowly and organically developed additional projects and a broader network of collaborators, in January 2016 Art Arcadia was constituted as an organisation and registered as a social enterprise .

Our team

Paola Bernardelli – Programme manager

Paola Bernardelli is an Italian artist and cultural operator who has made Derry her home since 2002. A professional photographer and lens-based artist with over twenty-year experience in art exhibitions and contemporary art gallery settings, specialising in the areas of exhibition documentation, set up, curation,  archiving and invigilation. Co-founder of Art Arcadia, she designed, developed and expanded the organisation drawing on her firsthand experience of taking part in international artist residencies and exhibitions.  She established a dynamic and on-going programme of bespoke international artist residencies with associated exhibitions and public programmes that is firmly rooted in the local geographical and socio-cultural context.


Joseph Carlin – Social media associate

Joseph Carlin is from Derry and has a background in communications and events management. He is a keen practitioner in various disciplines within the arts. He cut his teeth at VOID Derry, starting as a volunteer and eventually moving into employment and studies there. He enjoys travel, he spent his Covid lockdown learning how to cook on the app Tiktok and attributes his involvement in the Visual Arts to some of the most bizarre moments of his life (Once singing Don McLean’s “Vincent” to Mark Wallinger in the smoking garden of a pub). Joseph feels it is an honour to play a part in the beautiful story of Art Arcadia.


John McDaid – Board Member

Former Director of Derry Print Workshop for two years, John McDaid is currently Creative Director and co-owner of children’s media company Dog Ears. Previously he ran his own design company, STILL, ( working in print, digital and film ) after working as designer at the Verbal Arts Centre for four years. His photography was selected for the “Horse” exhibition at Void gallery, curated by Mark Wallinger. John was also selected for an individual artist award in City of Culture year, creating a selection of films called “First Words” which focussed on the earliest stories we remember. His work in Dog Ears includes day-to-day management of the company and projects, including liaising with broadcasters, funders and partners. John is also producer on Puffin Rock, which now broadcasts in almost every country in the world, and creator and co-director of Saturday Club, an animated series all about empathy.


Claudia Rampelli  – Board Member

Claudia Rampelli is a London based freelance curator and translator. Since 2014 she has been assisting Italian artist Elisabetta Benassi with a variety of tasks and projects, nationally and internationally. A practiced proof-reader and editor with an innate attention to detail, she contributed to the translation and editing of art-related texts for several artists and art critics. Over the years she deepened her passion for art by attending a number of courses in the public programmes at Chelsea School of Art and Design, The Royal Drawing School and City Lit, in London.


Matthew McDevitt  – Board Member

Matthew Mc Devitt is a Derry based writer, primarily working for TV and Radio. In 2016 he created Let’s Get Quizzical, a live satirical game-show that took a jaundiced eye to the realities of Northern Irish life. The show was invited to perform as part of Bob Slayer’s Heroes of The Fringe Edinburgh 2016 as well as the Belfast Comedy Festival 2016 and 2017.
His first radio commission was the Greasy Apple, for Resonance FM, a mockumentary positing the theory that all forms of popular music had their origins in Derry. September 2018 saw the broadcast of Lock In, starring Conleth Hill, on Radio Ulster and Radio Scotland. He has written for both series of BBC NI comedy Soft Border Patrol. Matthew is currently ignoring the pain in his foot as the gatekeepers of TV and Radio land realise their initial mistake and close the door on him.


Colomba Damiani  – Board Member

Colomba is a project and relations manager based in Central Italy working in international development  cooperation. She is involved with high social impact programs, dealing with culture and new communities outreach, migration, global citizenship education, gender parity and equity. She has a diverse and multi-sectorial experience ranging from CRM to marketing and communication to AV production. Colomba has lived and worked in Ireland, Southern India, the Gulf Peninsula and West Africa.  She has attended a number of international seminars and workshops on audio-visual production, distribution and emerging technologies both in Europe and USA.  She has co-produced the multi award winning BBC feature length documentary Paradiso, directed by Alessandro Negrini with executive producer Margo Harkin.  More recently she has managed and coordinated the first edition of UmbriaMiCo, an itinerant cultural festival in 8 cities and 3 regions in Italy, funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS), under the Education for Global Citizenship award. 

Volunteer with Art Arcadia

Join our team and work in a creative and friendly environment with local and international artists, helping with exhibitions installation, invigilation and outreach events. Send your CV via email to paola@artarcadia.org


Join the board of Art Arcadia

Art Arcadia would welcome expressions of interest to join its Board of Directors, from individuals who are keen to develop their own professional experience, contributing to the continued development of Art Arcadia.

Art Arcadia is a social enterprise whose key role is to provide artists of all disciplines with time, space and resources to develop their practice through a programme of dedicated artist residencies. Having been active since 2013 Art Arcadia has slowly and organically developed, creating additional projects and broadening its network of artistic collaborators. Constituted as an organisation in January 2016 Art Arcadia has continued to grow at its own pace, and has now reached the point where it would like to recruit new members to its Board of Directors.

Art Arcadia are particularly interested in members who have experience in:

– Leadership experience within arts organisations.
– Fundraising within arts organisations.
– Arts and business experience.
– Financial, HMRC and administrative experience.
– Marketing and public relations.
– Experienced in social media.
– Recruitment of volunteers.
– Safeguarding policy and procedures with the arts.
– Interest and appreciation of the arts

Art Arcadia is a not-for-profit organisation and the role of director on the board is a voluntary one.

We would like to hear from individuals who would be keen to join Art Arcadia’s board. Please download and complete our ‘expression of interest’ application and send it via email to paola@artarcadia.org and we will be in touch shortly.

Expression of interest (Word Version)

Expression of interest (PDF Version)