Rathnure National School / Murrintown National School / St. Joseph’s National School - Kilmuckridge / St. Joseph’s National School - Ballymitty

In 2013, the Living Arts Project was established as an artist-in-residency scheme in primary schools, supporting the existing partnership between the Arts Department of Wexford County Council and Wexford Arts Centre. The aim of this project is to provide children with an understanding and appreciation of contemporary visual art. The Living Arts Project exhibition represents a selection of work produced by the participating primary schools and offers pupils a chance to see their work presented in a professional gallery.

The following artists and schools were selected for this year's project; Orla Bates with Rathnure National School, Clare Breen with Murrintown National School, Caoimhe Dunn with St. Joseph’s National School - Kilmuckridge, and Oonagh Latchford with St. Joseph’s National School - Ballymitty. Over the course of a fifteen-week programme, pupils responded to the work of each residency artist and were introduced to film making, mixed media sculpture, printmaking, painting and drawing processes.

Supported by the Creative Ireland Programme, artists Els Dietvorst and Frank Abruzzese worked with pupils from Ramsgrange Community School for a second year. The residency, developed with Art Teacher Aoife Power, included workshops on drawing, printmaking and photography. Through the themes of climate change and sustainability, the activities focused on promoting artistic and interpersonal skills and enabled pupils to recognize the potential of art to be used as a tool for communication and learning.

A mentorship programme ran alongside each residency, and each artist nominated an independent artist or curator they felt was relevant to their professional practice. This mentorship helped to ensure the effectiveness and integrity of the programme on an ongoing basis, while also providing a positive critique for the resident artist. The following mentors were involved in the 2018/19 project: David Begley, Clare Butcher, Els Dietvorst, Eammon Maxwell, and Kate Murphy.

An assistant artist’s programme runs in tandem with artists’ residencies thereby creating more opportunities for shared knowledge in relation to creating and mediating contemporary visual art. This year’s assistant artists were Aoife Banville, Michelle Colfer, Sheena Furlong, and Patricia Kent.

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.

Photography by Frank Abruzzese and Lar O'Toole
Frank Abruzzese: www.frankabruzzese.com or www.cowhousestudios.com
Lar O'Toole: www.lo2l.ie