Denise Ferran is the current president of the Royal Ulster Academy of Arts and an acclaimed Irish artist, known primarily for her land and seascape paintings. Born in 1942 and raised in Enniskillen, Fermanagh, Ferran was educated as an art teacher at St Mary’s University, Belfast before going on to become Head of the Art Department at St Dominic’s High School, Belfast and after Head of Education at the Ulster Museum. She has been presented with several awards including the Ulster Academy Silver medal, the Ulster Academy Watercolour Prize, the Thomas Dammann Junior Memorial Trust Travel Award and has twice been presented with the coveted Fullbright Scholarship at Boston College and at the University of Minnesota.
The artist has repeatedly exhibited with galleries in Ireland and the US and her work has been part of many public collections such as the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, National Self Portrait Collection, Fermanagh County Museum, Ulster Television, Department of the Environment (NI), and the US Embassy, Dublin. She is the co-author of An Irish Painter Abroad and The Sculptor: F.E. McWilliam. She also serves on the Board of Ireland USA as the co-chair of the Culture Committee. Other notable accomplishments include her acting as advisor in the reconstruction of the Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda and the F.E McWilliam Gallery and Studio, Banbridge, along with curating the opening exhibitions (2006, 2008).