Artist Name(s) Jackie Sumell
Artwork title A=AGHT
Context/Background 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 is designed by Jackie Sumell, artist in residence on South Dublin County's In Context 3 Per Cent for Art Scheme 2006-09. It 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.


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.

The two week joint workshop programme for 5 Tallaght and 5 New Orleans Youth was provided by Cow House Studios and Residency and Temple Bar Studio & Gallery.

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 commonness in seemingly different communities, NOLA (New Orleans, Louisiana) and Tallaght (South County Dublin).

A=AGHT was initiated in March 2008, and was developed through a number of processes including: creative workshops for youth in both Tallaght and New Orleans, facilitated by artists; an online facilitated forum for youth to explore issues such as differences and commonness; the development of the A=AGHT website; the development of 3D models representing the virtual world of A=AGHT; and youth travel exchange, facilitated by additional fundraising and awards.

The two week joint workshop programme for 5 Tallaght and 5 New Orleans Youth was 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, were exhibited at RUA RED South Dublin Arts Centre in December 2008. Also a corresponding publication, A Travel Guide to A=AGHT, was published in Spring 2009.

Exhibitions of the A=AGHT projects also took 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.


3D models of A=AGHT, and 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.

Artist talks took place as part of the Insight at Alight programme of public tours, talks and events to provide access and insight into the In Context 3 programme.


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 and The Tulca Arts Festival, Galway (2006).

Prior to her residency with SDCC she was in residence at the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart Germany (October 2005 to August 2006). 

Other projects include The House that Herman Built and baconinstead which was developed as part of her In Context 3 residency. 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 in New Genres (2001), and a Master's Degree in Fine Art from Stanford University in New Practices (2004).

Commission Type Local Authority
Commissioner Name South Dublin County Council
Commissioning process Two stage open competition
Project commission dates October 19, 2008 - March 20, 2009
Artform Visual Arts,Other
Art Practice Arts Participation
Funded By South Dublin County Council
Percent for art Yes
Budget Range 70000 - 150000 euro
Project commission start date 19/10/2008
Project commission end date 20/03/2009
Location Tallaght, Dublin 24 and New Orleans, USA
County Dublin
Town Tallaght Co Dublin and New Orleans
Google Map Insert View this projects location
Website www.incontext.southdublin.ie
Content contributor(s) Rachel McAree
Relationship to project In Context 3, Manager
Public engagement

General public

Youth groups

Youth leaders



Contemporary art audience 

Participating Groups:

Foroige Youth Service, Tallaght, Dublin 24.  

Leadership Discovery, New Orleans  Black Star Academy, New Orleans  

YA YA's (Young Artists Young Aspirations), New Orleans

Associated professionals / Specialists involved

Maria Hinds
Anne Keenan
Michelle Browne
Frank Abruzzese
Rosie O'Gorman
Jared Roche
Baakir Tyhemba
Tamika Junius

Website design and development: Maria Hinds and Loughlin McSweeney



Per cent for art commission | Coláiste Chú Chulainn Co. Louth

17 February 2021

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