Each year, the Royal Ulster Academy holds an exhibition where the best examples of visual arts in the North and South of Ireland are selected and awarded prizes. Participants - some of whom are RUA members, while others are not - have included Betty Brown, Colin Davidson, Rita Duffy, Graham Gingles, Barbara Rae, Keith Wilson and many more.
Mercury Prize nominee, fRoots Album Of The Year and BBC Folk Awards Winner, Sam Lee, is fast becoming accepted as a new pioneer, defining the sound, sight and texture of folksong today. His 2012 album, 'Ground Of Its Own', was nominated for The Mercury Prize and is as much a musical manifesto as traditional album, reflecting the less than conventional route Sam has taken.In 2011 Sam received an Arts Foundation Award, which for the first time, honoured folk music amongst the art forms. His live band, Sam Lee & Friends, carve a new acoustic sound with their home-made and mongrelised instrumentation using unconventional and contemporary arrangements that challenge preconceptions of what ?traditional folk' should sound like.Sam Lee the heart of folk - The TimesOne of Britain's finest singers and the most cogent force of his generation in British folk music - The Observer