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    Cow House Studios: FieldWorks Gap Year Art Program

    Cow House Studios: FieldWorks Gap Year Art Program


    • Listing Type: Gap Year Programs
    • Program Delivery: Residential
    • Destinations: Ireland
    • Credit Awarded: None
    • Program Length: Semester
    • Start Month: September
    • Category: Performing & Visual Arts
    • Selective: Yes
    • Gender: Coed
    • Ages: 18, 19+, 19
    • Housing: Dorm
    • Financial Aid: Grants/Scholarships, Payment Terms
    • Minimum Cost: $10,000 - $20,000
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    FieldWorks is our gap year art program designed to give students ages 18 to 22 an opportunity to make new artwork in a remarkable location while being challenged to approach their creative practice from new perspectives. This program provides young artists with the crucial time and space necessary to make art. Additionally, workshops, talks, and engaged discussions led by prominent practitioners are organized to provoke new avenues for thought and production.


    At Cow House Studios, above all else, we value process, the belief that a rigorous dedication to time spent in the studio yields exciting possibilities for new ideas and artworks. The core of FieldWorks curriculum is meaningful, uninterrupted time in the studio and its beautiful surroundings drawing, painting, making photographs or videos, collecting, writing, and reading. Days are punctuated by immediate feedback from instructors and peers, accelerating the creative process, whereby single days can yield an exceptional amount of productivity. This adherence to process rather than the finished result can be liberating and is essential to making connections that one might never dream up otherwise.

    While open-ended studio time is essential, we also value practiced craft. In addition to independent studio practice, a series of workshops presenting new material possibilities take place daily. This offers new options for our students and acknowledges that many artists think through ideas by grappling with new materials. New processes can often ignite a dormant avenue of thought, and our studio demonstrations are intended to provoke these new possibilities. In conjunction with our fantastic facility, inspiring landscape, and family heritage, this approach comes together to provide a truly unique experience.

    The third crucial component of one of our Gap Year Art Programs is travel. Ireland has a vibrant and diverse creative community. As a member of this community, we are keen to share it with our students. The network of practitioners that make and support challenging and creative work has much to offer. Among the most resourceful professionals, artists are keenly aware of the possibilities within their surroundings and in each other. This resourcefulness is at the core of Cow House Studios’ own crafting, and we believe it is essential to any creative practice. Learning how others have solved problems, built something from nothing, or brought together a group to form a collective or group exhibition can teach valuable lessons. These experiences are vital when confronting one’s own professional development.

    Study a variety of mediums:

    • drawing & painting
    • digital & darkroom photography
    • video & animation
    • sculpture & installation

    Sample workshops, classes & presentations:

    • daily individual tutorials & weekly group critiques
    • discussions of weekly readings relating to contemporary art practice
    • studio visits with Irish artists & curators
    • darkroom photography techniques
    • the history & processes of photography
    • oil painting techniqueslife drawing sessions
    • shooting video & recording audio
    • digital manipulation in Adobe Photoshop

    Visits to local art, craft & design spaces:

    • Wexford Arts Centre, Wexford
    • Blue Egg Gallery, Wexford
    • Workhouse Union, Callan
    • Fennellys, Callan 
    • Grennan Mill Craft School, Thomastown
    • Carlow Visual, Carlow
    • Butler Gallery, Kilkenny
    • Cushendale Mills, Graiguenamanagh

    A Typical Day during FieldWorks

    Students help themselves to breakfast then head into the studio by 10 am. After a brief meeting, everyone works independently and checks in with instructors for one on one guidance. Mornings may also be spent learning or perfecting skills such as darkroom technique, life drawing, or working with oils. Lunch is self-service and available from 1 pm to 2 pm. After lunch, we return to the studio, which, like the morning, might be spent working independently or participating in workshops that introduce new skills or processes.

    Between 4 pm and 6 pm, time will be spent working on projects and gathering new research. This time will also be used for group critiques and allow opportunities to explore the farm, read a book, or catch up with friends and family back home. Dinner, a delicious home-cokked meal,  is served at 7 pm.

    After dinner, students may use the studio facilities to continue developing their projects, take in a presentation by one of our instructors, watch a movie, or play a game of pool. Occasionally, students may partake in an organized evening activity, such as a trip to the local pub to hear traditional Irish music.