Ursula Halpin is an Irish born emerging artist and curator based in Adelaide, South Australia. Halpin’s work spans glass, textiles, sculpture & installation.
In 2015 as the state representative for Auglass, Ursula was involved in planning the bi-annual conference and was the co-recipient of the Best Art and Design Award at the Adelaide Fringe Festival for co-curating Translucent Shadows as part of the 2015 conference States of Illumination, an exhibition which explored the materiality and agency of glass in light and shadow.
Graduating in 2016 with First Class Honours in Bachelor of Visual Arts, Halpin was awarded the Chancellors letter of Commendation for the top 5% of Graduates in the Division of Arts, Education and Social Sciences at the University of South Australia and received an Academic Excellence Award for contributions to Teaching and Learning Awarded by the Division of Education, Arts and Social Sciences, UniSA. The same year, Ursula saw the culmination of a two-year project which she interned on as the assistant curator for Border Crossings (Ireland/Australia) presented by the SASA Gallery & Hawke European Union Centre. Together curators and contemporary artists from Ireland and Australia investigated cross-cultural issues surrounding ethnic conflict, the legacy of colonialism and the challenges of reconciliation that are relevant to both countries. Partnered with Hawke European Union Centre, Trinity Long Room Hub, Dublin, Culture Ireland, Helpmann Academy, British Council, Arts SA, Warlukurlangu Artists & Galway Arts Centre, the exhibition was shortlisted for Best Art and Design Award at the Adelaide Fringe Festival and was awarded federal funding to take part in the Galway International Arts Festival, Ireland in July 2016.
Halpin was awarded a Graduate in Residence by Canberra Glassworks in 2017 and in 2018 was selected as a finalist for the National Emerging Art Glass Prize, Bullseye Emerge in the U.S.A. and the Australian and New Zealand Biennial Fuse Glass winning the emerging category of the latter in May 2018, receiving a professional development residency at the JamFactory. In July 2018 Halpin received a Pilchuck scholarship, funding from Arts South Australia and Guildhouse to attend the international center for glass, Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, Washington, glass and art centres in Portland, New York and Ireland.
Halpin has worked at the School of Art, Architecture and Design from 2012 managing graduate exhibitions and SASA Gallery in various roles. As of February 2018, Halpin soley manages SASA Gallery as part of a newly created role as External Engagement Officer in the School. She regularly works in tangent with Samstag Museum, Art Gallery of South Australia and many key arts industry stakeholders integrating events into the new Bachelor of Contemporary Art Degree and SASA Gallery Programming. In addition she is developing short courses, workshops and events while maintaining industry partnerships for multiple undergraduate & postgraduate degree programs across the school. Halpin is on the board of Friends of the South Australian School of Art and the World Crafts Council – Australia a national entity of the World Crafts Council – Asia Pacific