A Whirlwind Of Activity And Weather!

I will do my best to share with you what has transpired over the past two days at the Burren College of Art.  A difficult story to tell but well worth the telling.

Our students have been asked to create a body of work, both in visual art and in music, that reflects how they are perceiving and digesting this Irish experience.  Tomorrows blog entry will be written by Matthew Allen, my partner in this years Arts In Ireland program, outlining how he is working with his music students to meet the goals of the program. I’ll leave that to him as I continue to keep you informed of recent activities and programs that our students in general are experiencing.

The day began with a one hour walk along the coast road in Ballyvaughan.  This has become a morning ritual for those that rise early and want to begin their day by walking in the crisp morning air at 7 am.  On day one, 12 students participated.  On day two there were 9!  I guess we’ll have to see where this goes but it’s a great time to sort out the day, and get to know one another.

Our normal day begins at 9 am with different groups of students working in different locations on their individual projects.  Matthew and I spend considerable time on the road moving students around from one place to another.  There is a rhythm to all of this that pretty much takes care of itself, although organization is critical.

This morning I drove 4 students to Corcomroe Abbey.  This is a restored Abbey built in 1198 A.D..  We spent about 2 hours making photographs, sketching, and working on preliminary drawings that will be enhanced and expanded back in the studio.

Amy Magaletti is photographing small ferns that grow in the walls at the Abbey

Amira Pualwan is making preliminary sketches that will be incorporated into larger work

Stephanie Hoomis is working on charcoal drawings as reference materials for her project

Rachel Vergara also works on reference material to be used in her project

This evening was spent listening to Edie Lenihan, noted story teller in Ireland.  Edie has spent many years collecting tales, myths and legends from around the country.  Many of Irelands myths and legends have been passed through generations orally and Edie has made it his lifes work to record and document them in written form.  He spoke to students from Wheaton as well as Louisiana State University.  His appearance is exactly what you might expect for a person who tells fantastic stories that have survived countless generations and that have helped shape the culture of this country.


I’m going to include a few more photographs of places we visited today so that you can share this experience.

Corcomroe Abbey. Restoration completed in 2011.

The view from the front of the Burren College of Art

The limestone pavements and beautiful walls of the Burren

Stay tuned..much more coming tomorrow. Each day brings new and exciting adventures that we love sharing.  Again, any comments please send them to ahoward@wheatonma.edu.