Reviews of Art on the Farm at Cow House Studios
Going to Ireland this past summer for the "Art on the Farm" summer program was probably one of the greatest experiences of my life to date. I spent... Read full article »
Information about Art on the Farm at Cow House Studios
Art on the Farm summer camp program presents a unique opportunity to study painting, drawing and photography alongside practicing visual artists in a focused and intimate studio environment. During this three-week multidisciplinary course, teenage artists experience Ireland’s stunning landscapes and bustling cities, engage with a new culture and work closely with experienced artists who are dedicated to fostering their creative growth. Students of all skill levels benefit from personal attention and guidance, are challenged to experiment beyond their boundaries and consider new possibilities for art-making.
At Cow House Studios we teach drawing, painting and photography through expertly guided classes and rigorous studio practice. Our curriculum is centred around research, experimentation and critical thinking, complimented by practical demonstrations and workshops to advance technical knowledge. Group critiques and individual tutorials form an integral part of our programme, as students gain confidence and self-awareness in discussing their artwork. We encourage a multidisciplinary approach, which can include exploring an idea or theme through a variety of materials, processes or media.
During the first week of Art on the Farm, each student is paired with a mentor who works with them on an individual basis for the duration of the programme. Our mentors are accomplished visual artists, dedicated to working with young people. Through individual tutorials and assignments that are tailored to each students needs and goals, they provide the one-on-one attention necessary to guide students through the technical and conceptual challenges they will face to make their ideas tangible. In the third week, everyone works towards the completion of their own final project. The spectrum of interests and experiences our students encounter creates a stimulating dynamic and fertile opportunity for new possibilities of creative expression.
Q & A with Cow House Studios
Q: What makes your camp or program unique?
A: We are a small program. We only take 20 students per session, and with five dedicated artist educators our goal is to ensure everyone gets the most from their time in the studio.
Cow House Studios coexists alongside the O’Gorman family farm. Co Director & Founder, Rosie O’Gorman grew up on the farm and her father Michael still works the land. The unique heritage of our location informs everyones experience during the summer.
In addition to a rigorous studio experience Ireland’s rich cultural history, expansive skies and beautiful landscapes are an endless source of inspiration for our students. Art on the Farm includes two weekend trips; to the capital city, Dublin and various sites of international historical significance.
Q: Describe a typical day in your camp or program.
A: A typical day on the farm starts around the breakfast table where we enjoy fresh baked breads, homemade jam and good conversation. Our first class begins at 10am where we usually focus on a drawing exercise to get everyone warmed up for the day. After a short break at 11:15 we're back in the studio for the first of our two skills based workshops. These workshops can include a variety of topics ranging
from colour theory and mixing to hand processing film in the darkroom, making cyanotypes or stretching a canvas. We serve a homemade lunch at 1pm and head back to the studio at 2pm for the second workshop of the day. The afternoon is spent in the studio working on assignments from earlier in the day or a personal project, enjoying the farm, taking a spin on the bikes, hiking or even fishing for dinner in the pond. A yummy dinner is served at 7pm, and evenings are spent hanging out in the studio playing pool or pin pong. Many students continue to work on their projects. Some nights we screen movies, have artist talks or an optional evening activity like night photography.
Q: What type of teenager participates in your camp or program?
A: Everyone that attends Art on the Farm shares a passion for making art, traveling and meeting new people. Some of our students have a lot of experience in the art room, and are well on their way to making portfolios for their art school applications. Many of our students have not yet had an opportunity to study art, and attend our program to learn more about something they love. Lots of different types of people attend our progam; there is always a great mix of personalities; introspective, outgoing, academic, artsy and athletic. We like it this way.
Q: Where do your participants come from?
A: About 80% of our students come from the United States and Canada while the remaining majority come from Europe. We have had students in the past from the following countries... Canada, Columbia, China, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Russia, Singapore, Spain and the United States
Q: Please describe what teens have to say about your program.
A: “Cow House is easily one of the best things that has ever happened to me.”
“there's seriously no program like this one and picking a new program for this year is going to be more than difficult”
“I attribute a very large part of my success with art school admittance to the guidance, support, and confidence that I received from Frank and Rosie”
“Applying to art school was a piece of cake because I had so much artwork that I created at cow house that I was able to include in my portfolio.”
“the quality of education at Cow House is reliably superb!”
“This program was actually one of the most amazing experiences of my entire life!”
Q: Any other information you think teens should know about your program?
A: We have three sessions of 20 students each summer.
Our students range in age from 15 to 18 years old. Everyone lives together dorm style in our lovingly renovated stone barn. We have lots of animals... cows, pigs, hens, dogs, cats, a horse, fish, ducks and two peacocks.