• Schools Programme

  • The Ballinglen Arts Foundation Schools Programme has been running since 1995. Its main aim is to introduce local children to new skills to help increase their knowledge and experience of the practice of art-making. Each year over 20 national schools in the region are invited to send a class of children to Ballinglen. They spend a day making work,  participating in a talk and tour of the Balinglen Permanent Collection and Ballinglen Gallery show and  meeting artists in their workspaces. These studio visits create a sense of familiarity with a working and exhibiting environment for the children. Many Ballinglen Fellows who have been the recipients of studio visits by schoolchildren have expressed how important it is to be witnessed by these young people because of the freshness of perspective and immediacy of their concerns. We believe that a whole class programme is especially important as it allows children who have not been selected or identify as creative to have an experience of art-making; opening up possibilities for children who would not ordinarily see a creative life modelled in their environment.

    450+ children attend our Schools Programme annually, scheduled from September to June. Because of our rural location, we often host an entire school and its teachers for the day.

    We have celebrated the work of the children with exhibitions and events of their work in the Ballinglen Gallery and online in 2021. We participate in Cruinniú na nÓg, the national day of creativity for children, and gratefully receive funding from Creative Ireland for this.

    Projects focus on a particular theme and set of skills each year.  The Schools Programme is often centered around making a print using etching and mono-printing techniques as there are many printmakers counted among the Ballinglen Fellows, and we have the means of offering a learning opportunity not widely available.  

    We partner with Céide Fields, a Neolithic archaeological site that contains the oldest known field systems in the world, which is 7 km from Ballinglen. The schools visit Céide after their day of creativity, uniting art, heritage and archeology.