Goodbye To Ballyvaughan

Dear All,

I was on sabbatical in 2005 and my plan was to travel to coastal Ireland to make photographs.

One night, while surfing the internet to learn as much as possible about the area where I would be working, I stumbled across a very small college known as the Burren College of Art. Since I was going to be in the area anyway, I decided to pay this place a visit. It would be the first of five visits to this great college over the next ten years. Since that time in 2005, 61 students have participated in a 21 day intensive art and then art and music making experience at the Burren College of Art (planned and implemented in 2006 after my initial visit) in Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare, and numerous others have spent either a semester or a full year abroad there as part of their Junior Year Abroad experience. This has been one of the most exhilarating and satisfying experiences of my almost forty year career at Wheaton.

All things must end, and for me, this last group, Arts In Ireland 4, was the last group that I will be taking to Ireland. I sincerely hope that others will continue this program as it is transformative for the students who participate.

Thank you to all of those at the Burren College of Art who have made my time at the BCA so enjoyable and productive: Mary Hawkes-Greene, Tim, Robert the Elder, and Robert the Younger, Anna, Julia, Martina, Ann, Martin and so many others.

Also thank you Tim Cunard, my first partner in this program and to Matthew Allen who took over for Tim after Tim’s retirement.

Thank you to all of the good people of Ballyvaughan for your warmth and hospitality. You always accepted our students and made them feel a part of your community.

Mostly, thank you to our wonderful students for providing me with memories of great times, the production of amazing art and music and in many cases life long friendships.