St. Ann’s NS, New Ross / St. Anne’s NS, Duncormick; St. Colman’s NS, Enniscorthy / Our Lady of Lourdes NS, Bunclody / the secondary Gorey Community School

Established in 2013, the Living Arts Project is a long term visual arts educational scheme which consolidates the existing partnership between Wexford Arts Centre and the Arts Department of Wexford County Council and intends to make engagement with, and understanding of, the fundamentals of contemporary visual art even more attainable for local audiences.

In order to facilitate this development, the scheme is comprised of two key strands; an artist in residence programme for primary schools in the County and a curatorial residency for one transition year group in a local secondary school.

In April 2013, an open call took place for interested artists, curators and schools to submit expressions of interest to participate in the programme, and after an overwhelming response the successful schools and artists began working together in September.

For the primary school residency programme the artists and schools selected were; Orla Bates with St. Ann’s NS, New Ross; Els Dietvorst with St. Anne’s NS, Duncormick; Aileen Lambert with St. Colman’s NS, Enniscorthy; and Kate Murphy with Our Lady of Lourdes NS, Bunclody. The secondary school chosen for the transition year curatorial programme was Gorey Community School who worked with curator and art historian Karla Sanchez O’Connell.

The aim of the residency programme was to prioritise the development of the artist's work within the project and use this development to in turn encourage competent engaging work from the participating students. In order to monitor the effectiveness of this programme on an ongoing basis, a mentorship programme ran alongside each residency, and residency artists nominated an independent artist or curator they felt pertinent to their practice. The aim of the mentorship was for positive critiquing of the artist’s work to occur and for expansion and refinement of the methods of engaging the students throughout each residency. This ensured that the aims of the project were met, the work and processes were of high quality and the dynamic between artist and students was challenging and productive. The following mentors were involved in the 2013/14 project: artists Orla Barry, Michael Fortune, Anita Groener, Alanna O’Kelly, and Director - RHA, Patrick Murphy.

The end of project exhibition represents a selection of work produced by the participating primary schools and artists, and a curated virtual show undertaken by Gorey Community School.

The Arts Department of Wexford County Council and Wexford Arts Centre would like to take this opportunity to thank all schools, artists and mentors involved in the project, and the local community for their support and interest in the project to date.

For further information on the Living Arts Project or participating artists please contact Catherine Bowe, Visual Arts Manager, Wexford Arts Centre at catherine@wexfordartscentre.ie or please download artist biographies and statements below.

Photography by Frank Abruzzese and Simon Bates
Frank Abruzzese: www.frankabruzzese.com or www.cowhousestudios.com
Simon Bates: https://simonbatesphotography.wordpress.com/