The third phase of South Dublin County Council's In Context, 2006 –2009, built on the underpinning principles and learnings gained from the previous two phases of commissioning and was further informed by the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism’s General National Guidelines for delivery of Per Cent for Art Schemes, published in 2004. This project was commissioned under In Context 3, of which the principle component was to create time for the artists to engage with the context.
A=AGHT // NOLA = TALLAGHT (Noh lae // Tahl lae) is:
• A Concept
• An Art Project
• A Website
• A Forum for Exchange
• A Developing Pedagogy
• A Traveling Exhibition
• A Metaphor
• A Catalyst for an Alternative Economy
• A Cultural Investment
A=AGHT was a project designed by Jackie Sumell, an artist in residence on South Dublin County’s In Context 3 Per Cent for Art Scheme.
A=AGHT is a semi-utopic virtual space/town whose rules, population and culture are generated by a facilitated exchange between youth from New Orleans and Tallaght. Adult artists and cultural workers from both cities developed projects that encourage youth participants to explore historic moments, social grievances, ethnic and racial disparities in order to invent a place of creative resolve.
A=AGHT is a concept based on creating the same sound from two entirely different spellings. This serves as the conceptual catalyst for the process of identifying and extracting commoness in seemingly different communities. NOLA (New Orleans, Louisiana) and Tallaght (South County Dublin).
A=AGHT was initiated in March 2008, and was developed through the following processes:
• Creative workshops for youth in both Tallaght and New Orleans, facilitated by artists.
• Online facilitated forum for youth, to explore issues, differences, commonness,
• Development of A=AGHT website
• Development of 3D models representing virtual world of A=AGHT
• Youth travel exchange, facilitated by additional fundraising and awards
• Two week joint workshop programme for 5 Tallaght and 5 New Orleans Youth, provided by Cow House Studios and Residency and Temple Bar Studio & Gallery
An exhibition of the 3D models of A=AGHT, plus images from Frank Abruzzese’s A=AGHT photography/identity project was exhibited at RUA RED South Dublin Arts Centre December 2008. A corresponding publication, a travel guide to A=AGHT, is scheduled for Spring 2009. Exhibitions of A=AGHT projects will also take place in New Orleans during 2009.
A=AGHT hopes to inspire other educators to develop programmes that are compelling, challenging and constructive. The complex poetics of inventing a place that exploits commonalities instead of people is inherent to the project's concept. The overall objective is to encourage young people to construct an imaginary place where the trajectories of these principles will influence the real life decisions of generations to come.
As a multidisciplinary artist Jackie Sumell is inspired most by the lives of everyday people. Her work, both as activist and artist, attempts to unmask the common denominator of human experience that often hides behind the proverbial billboards of personal biography.
Her work has been exhibited consistently in various non-profit venues throughout the US including Reed Gallery in Cincinnati and The Luggage Store Gallery in San Francisco. Internationally she was included in the Axis of Good Exhibition in Lisbon Portugal, the Havana Biennale, Proyecto Circo, Cuba 2003, Kunst Lebt, Stuttgart Kunstgebaude 2006 and The Tulca Arts Festival, Galway 2006. Prior to her residency with South Dublin County Council she was in residence at the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart Germany October 2005 to August 2006. Other major projects include The House that Herman Built www.hermanshouse.org.
Sumell graduated with Honours from the College of Charleston where she captained the women’s Division I Soccer Team. She received a Post Baccalaureate degree from the San Francisco Art institute in Fine Art (New Genres 2001), and a Master’s Degree in Fine Art from Stanford University (New Practices 2004).
Exhibition at RUA RED - 3D models of A=AGHT, plus images from Frank Abruzzese’s A=AGHT photography/identity project were exhibited at the Alight exhibition in RUA RED South Dublin Arts Centre December 2008.
An artist’s talk - part of the Insight at Alight programme of public tours, talks and events to provide access and insight to the In Context 3 programme.
Other educational aspects are inherent to project, see www.aequalsaght.org
Publication of A=AGHT Travel Guide in 2009
Interviewed for DCTV news broadcast in 2008
South Dublin County Council SDCC
In Context 3
PerCent for Art:
Dept. of Environment Heritage and Local Government
70,000 - 150,000
Project Start Date:
Project End Date:
Rua Red Arts Centre (25/11/2008 - 19/12/2008)
Rua Red Arts Centre: A=AGHT was exhibited as part of Alight in the Rua Red Arts Centre in November/December 2008.
Contemporary art audience
• Foroige Youth Service, Tallaght
• Leadership Discovery, New Orleans
Maria Hinds, Michelle Browne, Frank Abruzzese, Project Manager: Rachel McAree, Anne Keenan, Rosie O'Gorman, Jared Roche, Baakir Tyhemba, Tamika Junius, Sarah Searson