I am at home on Cape Cod writing this. It’s in the low 80’s, a beautiful July day. I have been on two Cape Cod Canal walks and spent the 5th of July on Martha’s Vineyard with my family. I haven’t quite come to grips with the fact that two days ago I was on the Island of Ireland and then the next day the island of Martha’s Vineyard. Great to be home!
I did want to write this last blog before too many days have passed. The last few days in Ballyvaughan were a kind of blur; Everyone working very hard to complete projects, installing the exhibition, writing their artist’s statements, and preparing to return home. I made a series of photographs during all of this and I will try to post them here in a way that will help you understand what the last few days were like.
The end of our three weeks in Ireland is always bitter-sweet. Everyone is exhausted but excited about their projects and their completion. I think everyone really enjoyed their time together and all that they shared: new friendships formed, lots of laughs, shared frustrations and highs and lows. Lots of bonding going on. All in all, a pretty exceptional experience in so many ways.
Matthew and I are very, very pleased with the work of our students. They worked hard, played hard, and came together to produce exceptional art and music. They surpassed all of our expectations. Studio folks worked with the musicians and the musicians offered criticism and support to the studio students. This was an example of connections with depth. At Wheaton, during the regular academic year, we meet with our students two or three times each week. This is a traditional approach to academic scheduling. In Ireland we work with our students for 21 days, at least twelve hours each day. We teach and learn together, we eat together, we walk and talk together. Teaching moments are everywhere, from the classroom to the Cafe to the Tea Room. A great opportunity for our students and an equally fantastic teaching opportunity for Matthew and I.
This was my 4th and last teaching adventure in Ballyvaughan. I will write one more blog addressing this but for now suffice it to say that I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to work with 61 fantastic kids in Ireland since 2006. The Arts In Ireland program has been one of the jewels in my teaching career. Thank you to all of my students who have made it special.
Karl Rivera, Liam Grace-Flood and Nesli Kohen work on the finishing touches of Karl’s installation.
Syd Beck sprays her pen and ink/watercolor with a fixative.
Morgan Johnson plays one of her original compositions. Matthew Allen, Sophia Darby, Nesli Kohen , Morgan Johnson and Mir Singh perform together. Three songbirds: Sophia, Morgan and Nesli.Sophia Darby sings one of original compositions created in Ballyvaughan.
Karl, listening to a musical performance. Mir is performing one of his originals. Matthew Allen enjoying the work of one of his students. Elise Waelder looks on at one of many critiques. Drew accompanying one of his classmates. Emma Garcelon answers a question about her photographs. Margaret Frothingham responds to a comment about her work. Tianxiao Fu explains the basic concept behind her work. Karl Rivera provides an explanation as to the construction of his work. Sienna provides additional information about her pencil drawing and the concept behind it. Jack Brotherton responds to comments about his sculpture project. Liam Grace-Flood amidst his sculptural installation. Nesli with the Highlands, great local supporters of our program. Our group: Top, L-R: Margaret Robe, Emma Garcelon, Sydney Beck, Drew Sencabaugh, Jack Brotherton, Elise Waelder, Morgan Johnson,Margaret Frothingham, and Liam Grace-Flood. Bottom row, L-R: Sienna Van Slooten, Tianxiao Fu, Sophia Darby, Karl Rivera, Nesli Kohen and Mir Singh.
The real A in I group!!!!!