Louth County Council’s Picture This programme proves a huge success

Louth County Council’s Picture This programme proves a huge success

Recently, for some pupils in three primary schools in Louth, Fridays became even better with the visit to the school of artists, artwork, and the Cathaoirleach of Louth County Council.

To mark the midway point of Picture This, Louth County Council’s schools programme of visual arts engagement, Cllr. Paul Bell, Cathaoirleach, Louth County Council accompanied project co-ordinator, Claire Halpin, and artist Breda Marron, on their regular Friday visits to the three participating schools in Picture This.

“I was delighted to be able to see for myself the valuable work being carried out in these three schools by Clare and the artists, and it was a great opportunity to meet and talk with the children and the teachers. It’s important for every young person to develop an understanding of the visual arts, and initiatives such as Picture This introduces young people to contemporary paintings, print and sculptures. What makes this unique is that they often get to meet the artists who made the pieces in the first place.” said Cllr Bell.

Brian Harten, Arts Officer of Louth County Council, artist Claire Halpin and Cllr Paul Bell, chairman of Louth County Council, with pupils at CBS Primary School in Dundalk

All of the artworks going out to the schools are part of Taisce Lú, the art collection of Louth County Council.

Brian Harten, County Arts Officer, said: “We wanted to find new ways to make these artworks relevant and real to people in Louth, so in 2016 and 2017, we established “Irish, Alive and Mostly Female”. This initiative saw seven Secondary schools choose artworks from the collection on-line, and then have the artworks brought to their school. Debate and discussion was facilitated by arts educationalists, and each school was visited by artists and artworks for ten weeks. The response from both students and teachers was very positive, and we amended the programme to make it more suitable for primary school children.”

This phase of Picture This has three primary schools participating. They are St Joseph’s National School, C.B.S. Primary School, both in Dundalk, and St Paul’s National School, Walshestown.

Dr Roz Morris, Principal of St Joseph’s in Muirhevnamor said: “One of the great benefits of Picture This is the way the artists and facilitators encourage the quieter and those with maybe less confidence in the class to give their opinions. We are delighted to have Picture This in our school, as every pupil gets to discuss and interact with artists and their work, all in the environment of their own school”.

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