An innovative project in Cavan saw children experiencing Visual Art in a new and innovative way. The project culminates with a final exhibition, open to the public, to officially open 17 June at 6.30pm at Johnston Central Library, Cavan.
Since September children in schools in Cavan have been part of a very exciting visual arts programme entitled Ark1X1. A partnership between The Ark, A Cultural Centre for Children and Cavan County Council, this project has given children the chance to experience artworks one by one in their own schools.
Every three weeks during the academic year, a new painting was brought to the school and hung in a place where all the students could see it. The children were encouraged to take time and study the picture, to talk about it and to discuss it both with each other and in class. Then 3 weeks later it would be changed for another picture. In total during this pilot project each school has experienced 13 artworks by well known Irish artists.
Now the pilot project is coming to a close and all the artworks will leave the schools and be displayed in a final year end show which will be formally opened in Johnston Central Library, Farnham Centre, Cavan by Professor John Coolahan, (Chair of the Arts in Education Charter Implementation Group) on Tuesday 17 June at 6.30pm.
For the first time, all 13 artworks will be seen together, alongside the responses of children in an exhibition open to the public (free). By the time the show opens later this month over 5,000 children in schools in Cavan will have taken part.
The children were encouraged to discover the linking theme for themselves and decide what it means to them. Both children and their teachers were encouraged to respond to the artworks at their own pace and to take time for reflection and contemplation. Every participating child is given an ARK 1 x1 journal for their own imaginative drawings, responses and thoughts.
The Ark also provided free classroom guides, with support material on every artwork and stimulating questions. Visits by exhibiting artists to the schools, funded by Cavan Council Arts Office, have added a great richness to the project and lifted the connection with art to a deeper level.
The reaction from children and teachers alike has been hugely positive with a great air of excitement in the school as each new artwork was revealed. For some this marked their first engagement with an original work of art, not a computer generated image and many brought their parents and guardians into the school to show them the artworks.
The participating schools are: St Mary’s, Ballyhaise, St Clare’s, Cavan, Knocktemple National School, Ballynarry National School, Convent of Mercy N.S. Belturbet, St Patrick’s N.S. , Shercock, Milltown N.S., Holy Family School, Cootehil,Scoil Naomh Padraig, Blacklion, St Mary’s N.S. Drung, Cabra Central, Kingscourt and St Anne’s, Bailieborough. The project was co ordinate by Eimear Crowe, artist/facilitator and assisted by Helen Foy.
About The Ark: The Ark is a unique, purpose-built cultural centre in the heart of Dublin's Temple Bar, where children aged 2 -12 can explore theatre, music, literature, art, film, dance and more. Our programme of world class performances, exhibitions and creative workshops changes every few weeks, so expect a different experience every visit!
Cavan County Council develops the arts in County Cavan supporting excellence and innovation through strategic partnerships. The Arts Council support the work of Cavan County Council arts office.
Press information: Sinead O’Doherty, Gerry Lundberg Public Relations t: 01 679 8476 / 086 259 1070 firstname.lastname@example.org