The Arts Council awarded the Jerome Hynes Fellowship to 34-year-old Fiona Kearney, who is in charge of Cork’s Lewis Glucksman Gallery.
The fellowship — worth €71,000 — was named in honour of the late Mr Hynes, who worked tirelessly for the arts in Ireland and was closely associated with Wexford Festival Opera.
Intended to develop future leaders in the arts, the award will see Ms Kearney seconded to projects where she can learn new skills.
She said: “I am very honoured to receive the fellowship and I am tremendously excited about the opportunities it presents both for me personally, and for the Glucksman Gallery over the next two years.
“The Arts Council’s support of the fellowship recognises the value of cultural leadership in the development of the arts, and I look forward to using my experiences on the programme to better serve the visual arts, and the cultural sector in Ireland.”
Ms Kearney is a graduate of French and Philosophy from University College Cork (UCC) and also graduated first in her class at Trinity College, Dublin, with a masters degree in text and image studies.
She helped set up history of art as an academic discipline at UCC, where she gives guest lectures on 19th century, modern and contemporary art.