about us

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

Programme Manager

Paola Bernardelli

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 contemporary art gallery settings, Paola co-founded of Art Arcadia in 2016 and designed, developed and expanded the organisation drawing on her firsthand experience of taking part in international artist residencies and exhibitions. She has since 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.

Programme assistant

Eibhlín Morrison

Eibhlín Morrison is an artist from Derry. She graduated from Camberwell College of Art in 2021 where she studied Painting. In 2022 she moved home to Derry to continue her painting practice closer to the environment that has often been the subject of her paintings. Eibhlín then began working as part of the Art Arcadia team as a freelancer.


Niall Mclaughlin

Niall Mclaughlin is an artist from Derry. He studied at Manchester School of Art where he found a love of paint and the traditional techniques of oil painting. After finishing his studies in 2020 he moved home where he continues his practice from his wee garden studio. In 2021 Niall began volunteering with Art Arcadia helping with openings and as a technical assistant before joining the Art Arcadia team of freelancers.

Chair of the board

John McDaid

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.

board of directors

Colomba Damiani

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.


board of directors

Philip O'Neill

Philip O’Neill is a retired vice principal of a special school and has been involved with various arts organisations and projects over a number of years. Since moving to Derry four years ago he has been a regular supporter of the arts, participating for two years in Friday afternoon sessions of Bbeyond street performance group. He has been recently been involved in the organisation of the Culmore Literary Festival. He is a regular theatre goer and and enjoys the arts in all its formats. He particularly like to support smaller organisations such as Art Arcadia, believing that they offer non mainstream works which very much add to the richness and diversity of the cultural life of Derry.


board of directors

Mary Scally

Mary Scally has significant experience in working with voluntary organisations and also in recruiting and working with volunteers. Mary has an active role in the overall governance of Art Arcadia as a limited liability organisation and contributes to ensuring policies and procedures are in place, applied and updated as are warranted.

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.

Please send your CV and cover letter via email to info@artarcadia

Join the board at 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.

Please send your CV and cover letter via email to info@artarcadia

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

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.

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

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