The Glucksman’s Classroom Museum is getting primary pupils happily hands-on with contemporary art.
Through the simple act of placing art within young people’s creative reach, rural-based school children in Munster are getting to grips with it in a whole new way.
Bringing the best of University College Cork’s (UCC) contemporary art collection to Cappoquin Primary School in Waterford; St. Joseph’s National School, Dromcollogher, Limerick; and Ballyporeen National School, Tipperary, the Glucksman’s Classroom Museum is making creative learning as essential to school life as pencil cases and whiteboards.
One of the Creative Ireland Programme’s 30 National Creativity Fund initiatives, this innovative project centres around the innate value of giving children the opportunity to engage with art in a truly personal way.
From classroom to cultural corner
With the initiative’s chosen schools selected in part because of their rurality and distance from contemporary art museums and galleries, this democratisation of art and creativity regardless of location, is another commendable aspect of The Classroom Museum. Selected artworks from UCC’s exquisite collection are loaned to and hung in the schools’ classrooms for a number of weeks, allowing pupils and teachers to interact with the art in their own environment, in their own way. The children then have the opportunity to meet and speak to the artist, learning directly from the artwork. A flurry of collaboration between the artist and children then follows, as together they workshop and learn how to express their personal responses to the work – fine-tuning their critical skills and confidence when it comes to consuming art in general.
“Never when I was making this work, would I [have thought] that they’d be installed in rural classrooms, being a catalyst for fledgling creativity – it was really exciting for me” said artist Fiona Kelly, one of four artists taking part in the Classroom Museum.
Talking and thinking about art is all very well and good but what about creating it? Well, that’s what happens next! The children create their own artwork which is then displayed at the Glucksman itself, bringing the creation and critical-thinking process full circle for these young, boundless creators.
By providing children from these particular schools with an opportunity to learn, enjoy and respond to original artworks, the Glucksman believes that the Classroom Museum will positively influence the wider community, encouraging and enabling many more people to engage with contemporary art.
The children’s inspiring artworks will be on display at the Glucksman from 29 March 2019.