Make art in Ireland this summer at Cow House Studios. Study painting, drawing, photography & new media, live on our family farm, work in a beautiful studio, and travel the country from Dublin to the West. This teen summer program is ideal for students interested in visual art and building an excellent portfolio.
Art on the Farm presents a unique opportunity to study drawing, painting, photography and new media alongside practising visual artists in a focused and intimate studio environment.
During this 25-day multidisciplinary course, you will experience Ireland’s stunning landscapes and bustling cities, engage with a new culture and work closely with experienced artists who are dedicated to fostering your creative growth. Students of all skill levels benefit from our personal attention and guidance; you will be challenged to experiment beyond your boundaries, consider new possibilities for art-making, and use your chosen medium to relate your ideas to content.
We offer concentrations in painting, new media or photography. Additionally, all of our students participate in daily drawing sessions. During Art on the Farm, you will complete excellent portfolio pieces for advanced placement and college applications.
Cow House Studios is devoted to providing the guidance necessary for you to be in charge of your own learning, yielding a more inquisitive approach to making art and curiosity for the world around us.
At Cow House Studios we value personal expression, emphasize the creative process and encourage meaningful exchange. We believe that engagement with the visual arts provides intellectual and creative enrichment and simultaneously builds confidence and trust in one’s ideas.
Our classes are project-based and require you to combine technical knowledge with innovative problem-solving. Careful consideration of practiced craft is encouraged while promoting an awareness of art in a contemporary context. You will gain valuable experience working in a studio setting with like-minded peers, dedicating extended periods of time to intensive creative exploration, and forging lasting friendships.
At Cow House Studios we teach drawing, painting, photography and new media through expertly guided classes and rigorous studio practice. Our curriculum is centred around research, experimentation and critical thinking, complemented by practical demonstrations and workshops to advance your technical knowledge. Group critiques and individual tutorials form an integral part of our program, helping you to gain confidence and self-awareness in discussing your artwork. Furthermore, lectures and gallery visits will introduce you to various artists working in relevant media, giving context to your interests and further informing your own artwork. We encourage a multidisciplinary approach, which can include exploring an idea or theme through a variety of materials, processes or media.
Our students come to the Cow House with diverse backgrounds; many have a lot of experience and plan to pursue a career in the arts, while others arrive with very little experience in the art room but are dedicated to improving their artistic abilities. The most important quality in our students is a desire to make art.
Embracing this variance, you will be paired with a mentor who will work with you on an individual basis. Our mentors are accomplished visual artists, dedicated to working with young people. Through individual tutorials and assignments that are tailored to your needs and goals, they provide the one-on-one attention necessary to guide you through the technical and conceptual challenges you will face to make your ideas tangible.
At the core of our curriculum is drawing; in addition, you will choose an area of concentration in either painting, photography or new media. Each day begins with a drawing lesson exploring the themes of light, space, colour and movement, which may then be applied to any creative process.
A Typical Day at Cow House Studios
Breakfast at 9am. Then into the studio at 10am for the first workshop, typically focusing on drawing to get the creative juices flowing. Break at 11am for a refresh and the second session begins at 11:15am where you will work in your chosen area of concentration; painting, photography or new media. Lunch is served from 1pm to 2pm. After lunch, we return to the studio for our third session of the day which is typically a brief led project where the prejects are desinged to develop a specific skill while allowing you to choose your subject matter. Between 5pm and 6pm is open studio time where faculty give individual attention and tutorials. You can also explore the farm, read a book or catch up with friends and family back home. Dinner, a yummy home cooked meal, is served at 7pm. After dinner you may use the studio facilities to continue developing their projects, watch a movie, play a game of pool or partake in one of our many organised evening activities.
- Option 1: Drawing & Painting
- Option 2: Drawing & Darkroom Photography
- Option 3: Drawing & New Media
Sample workshops, presentations & classes:
- making a cyanotype
- introduction to printing in the darkroom
- the history & processes of photography
- introduction to oil painting
- two-day life drawing session
- workshop on colour theory
- Shooting video & recording audio
- digital manipulation in Adobe Photoshop
- presentations by Irish artists
Weeks 1 & 2
Intensive workshops in drawing, painting, photography and new mediaBrief led projects: you will develop specific skills while exploring your chosen subject matter in your area of concentrationTrips to Dublin and the west of Ireland provide inspiration and artistic, cultural and historical contextGroup critique provides feedback as you refine your workCollaborative projects based on contemporary artwork
For the next 10 days choose your medium and explore personally meaningful contentDevelop your project under the individual guidance of one of our artists
Fun on the Farm
Cow House Studios exists alongside the working O’Gorman family farm. Much of our time is spent here and in the surrounding area. Outside of the studio, you can enjoy hiking and mountain biking in the Blackstairs Mountains, or gather around one of our campfires. Take time out of the day to seek a private spot under a tree to read a book, or challenge a new friend to a game of ping pong or chess. Play fetch with the dogs or try your luck at fishing in the pond. Sit back and enjoy a movie on the big screen, make some music, or help out in the kitchen baking scones for the next morning’s breakfast. There is sure to be something for everyone to compliment a productive day in the studio.
Ireland’s rich cultural history, expansive skies and beautiful landscapes are an endless source of inspiration. You will be exposed to a variety of art, Irish and international, contemporary and ancient which will inspire your work upon returning to the Cow House.
Dublin (Sessions 1 & 2)
Home to many historic treasures, Ireland’s largest city was once an ancient settlement founded by the Vikings over 1000 years ago. Today Dublin has a youthful, vibrant, modern culture with great shopping, cafés, music and restaurants. We visit a selection of museums, contemporary galleries and visit professional artists in their studios.
Through our international artist residency program, we have built meaningful relationships with artists, curators and many art institutions. While in Dublin, we strive to organise an exciting two-day itinerary, facilitating a unique insight into the Dublin art scene.
Some of the places we may visit include…
- The Irish Museum of Modern Art
- The National Gallery of Ireland
- The National Museum
- The Douglas Hyde Gallery
- The Gallery of Photography
- The Kerlin Gallery
- Hugh Lane Gallery
- Temple Bar Galley & Studios
- Fire Station Studios
At the end of our second week, we take a three-day excursion to one of the below locations in the west of Ireland. We explore beautiful dramatic landscapes, early Christian architecture and ancient Celtic structures in these sites of international historical significance.
Galway and the Aran Islands (Session 1)
On this three-day excursion to Ireland’s west coast; we visit Galway city, the Cliffs of Moher and 16th-century Dunguaire Castle. We explore the Burren region; this fascinating limestone landscape is home to numerous Megalithic Tombs, such as the Poulnabourne Dolmen, and many monastic Christian structures, as well as rare flora, caves and underground rivers. We spend one night on Inishmore, a small island community off the west coast and largest of the Aran Islands. There, we bike through stunning scenery, soak up traditional local music, and see Dun Aengus, a Megalithic ring-fort enclosed by three massive dry-stone walls built to deter attackers. Undoubtedly the most famous and impressive site on the island, it is perched spectacularly on the edge of a sheer 100-metre cliff that falls dramatically into the Atlantic Ocean.
Cork & Cape Clear Island (Session 2)
During this three-day excursion, we visit Cork, Ireland’s largest County. We spend our first night on Cape Clear Island; this Gaeltacht (Irish speaking) is Ireland’s southernmost inhabited island. Through hiking and kayaking, we explore the wild scenery; the sparkling harbours secluded pebble beaches and rolling green hills. Our second day takes us back to the mainland, and to the charming town of Skibbereen where we visit James Turrell’s Irish Sky Garden at Lissard Estate offering a special glimpse into the artist’s contemplative explorations of light. Our third day begins with a visit to the spectacular gardens of Bantry House, followed by a coastal hike to Three Castle Head, the ruin of Dunlough Castle that stands atop the cliffs at the northern tip of the Mizen Peninsula.