Visual Arts in Ireland

Visual Arts in Ireland

Coast of Ireland

Exploring the Visual Arts in Ireland

This course is for students at any level that are interested in the culture and context of contemporary Ireland. Students will explore facets of the cultural, emotional, historical, and physical landscape of Ireland.

This course explores the creation of art, in response to the context of place, in this case Ireland. The beauty of Ireland’s physical landscape is legendary and its rich cultural landscape and tradition in the dramatic, literary and visual arts makes it an ideal place for students to investigate this context.

The Penn State Abington faculty will be joined at various times by Irish artists and writers.

Students will also have the distinct opportunity to live and work in Ballycastle, County Mayo, home of the distinguished Ballinglen Arts Foundation. While in Dublin students will have the opportunity to visit Irish artist’s studios, art galleries and museums, as well as museums of historical significance in Dublin. Over the course of the semester we will explore how artists use this context to make work.


Representing Place, Exploring the Visual Arts in Ireland
ART 199/299/499
Spring Break March 3 – 10, 2017

This faculty led program with an international travel component will take place in Ireland over Spring Break 2017. Residential classes will be held on campus before and after travel. Students will be expected to complete coursework and assignments based on the course level (199,299, 499) they have registered for.

One of the most valuable parts of international travel and learning in general is the idea of broadening one's perspective and achieving personal growth through exploration and experience,. Learning multiple ways to relate and see and experience the world is the key to living in the world, and broadening one's perspective creates growth.

The "place" of Ireland provides a rich fecund landscape for such investigations, explorations and connections to occur. Making art is one way to record experiences, whether it be as it relates to one's worldly views or as it pertains to one’s individual growth.


After completing this study abroad course students will have gained:

  • More worldly insight into another culture
  • Experience in the art and culture of a specific region, more specifically how artists respond to the local history and culture of an area.
  • The ability to collect, organize and respond to an experience abroad
  • Experience in the art and culture of a specific region, more specifically how artists respond to the local history and culture of an area
  • A deeper sense of independence through opening new perspectives and ways of thinking
  • A deeper understanding of materials through the students’ own experimentation.
  • An acceptance and openness to the views of another culture

Course Objectives and Learning Outcomes

  • The primary coursework will revolve around the development of the journal/sketchbook. This journal/sketchbook should reflect responses to the idea of place and in this instance an unfamiliar context, Ireland.
  • Use art; sculpture and print and drawing as a way of exploring your experiences and responses to a new context
  • Emphasis will be primarily on the exploration of context and response rather than on the rendering of naturalistic space. In conjunction with the journal/sketchbook you will create work in multiple mediums, depending on class level.
  • Various readings, videos and lectures that explore and respond to place will prompt discussion as well as inform your journal entries

IRELAND Travel Component:  Mar 3– Mar 10, 2017

Day 1
•Flight to Dublin, Ireland

Day 2
•Arrive Dublin
•Travel to Ballina and Ballycastle
•Walking tour of the town and Ballinglen Arts Foundation
•Evening meeting

Day 3
•Travel to Céide Fields or Downpatrick Head and Dún Briste
•Sketching in response to the landscape and writing about the history and culture.
•Response work in the Ballinglen Studio
•Politics of Places
•Lecture by local historian/artist

Day 4
•Travel to Céide Fields or Downpatrick Head and Dún Briste
•Sketching and writing on site
•Response work in the Ballinglen Studio
•Open Studio Time

Day 5
•All day trip to Achille Island

Day 6
•Travel from Ballina to Dublin
•Walking tour of Dublin Center and gallery visits
•Class meeting, journal work

Day 7
•Visit to Trinity College (Book of Kells and Douglas Hyde Art Gallery in
the morning
•Graphic Studio, Chester Beatty Library or Hugh Lane Gallery in the
afternoon

Day 8
•Visits to Irish Museum of Modern Art  and Kilmaneam  Gaol and possible visit to the Royal Hibernion Academy
•Farewell dinner

Day 9
•Departure from Dublin Airport to the USA