About Schoolhouse for Art

 The Old Schoolhouse, Enniskerry Village

The Old Schoolhouse, Enniskerry Village

Many congratulations on getting Schoolhouse for Art up and running. There is a great need for a well run facility like this, and I have no doubt that it will be great success, and it’s wonderful to see you’ll be having regular life drawing sessions, which I’m a great believer in as the backbone (literally!) of drawing.
It’s great to see this lovely old school starting a new phase in its history, and what could be a better use!
I wish you all the very best with it
— Una Sealy, RHA

Our history

 Enniskerry Clock Tower by  Brenda Malley

Enniskerry Clock Tower by Brenda Malley

Since 1818 a small Schoolhouse nestled under the gaze of the clock tower in the heart of the picturesque village of Enniskerry in Ireland’s ‘garden county’ Wicklow. This was a school for children, a house of learning where young minds explored, examined and recited the rhymes and reasons of the unfolding world. For almost two centuries its solid walls absorbed the chants and childish chatter of thousands of young voices.

In 2011, the children marched up to the top of the hill to their perfect new school.  The old schoolhouse fell silent for two years and quietly waited while its guardians debated and deliberated over the commercial and the common good…

… ‘Schoolhouse for Art’ was deemed to be a fitting substitute.

Schoolhouse for Art is in essence a facility for the study and exploration of the visual arts. Located in ‘the old schoolhouse’ in the heart of Enniskerry village it is an exhibition space and a meeting place where images and ideas mingle. It caters for all ages and all abilities. The former school playground is a natural arena facing the clock tower, a three-dimensional canvas to display an evolving gallery of large pieces of sculpture. The ‘Schoolhouse for Art’ is also a host to visiting artists from across the globe who want to paint the surrounding inspiring countryside and experience the unparalleled Irish hospitality.


Our Mission Statement

Our aspiration is to establish Enniskerry, County Wicklow a premier ‘Art Destination‘ with the Schoolhouse for Art at its core.” The objective is to create a viable business that will generate sufficient income to make this project sustainable.

In addition to providing excellence in art schooling, and a unique indoor and outdoor venue for art related events, the ‘Schoolhouse for Art’ concept has a strong social and community awareness. It endeavours to support practicing artists, help emerging artists and encourage aspiring artists (of all ages and abilities). It engages with, and supports the local community and through ‘practical demonstration’ promotes County Wicklow and in particular Enniskerry as the ideal ‘art destination’.

The market for professional artists is seriously depleted, and as a result ‘art classes’ have become a vital supplement to the income of practicing artists enabling them to continue with their art endeavours. The ‘Schoolhouse for Art’ is committed to supporting our professional artists. Our classes and workshops are hopefully providing that necessary income.

In addition to supporting ‘professional artists’ and providing ‘aspiring artists’ invaluable training, the ‘Schoolhouse for Art’ classes and workshops also provide the perfect antidote for stress and damaged self-esteem. Having personally experienced escapism and the self-healing benefits from totally immersing my mind in painting, I have a personal goal to encourage more men to take art classes and unearth their hidden skills and talents – or to simply escape from a harsh reality for a couple of hours.

“The work of creating art distracts the mind and fuels the imagination. The created work of art rekindles pride and restores self-belief”.

Since early 2013 the enterprise had been a ‘solo mission’, my personal “on with the Adventure!” response to the economic upheaval we collectively had to deal with. I have been supported by good friends, good wishes and good luck. Without exception everyone I have met believes the ‘Schoolhouse for Art’ is a perfect fit for the former Powerscourt National School and a great addition to Enniskerry village. The Schoolhouse for Art is now covering a diverse range of disciplines through our menu of classes and workshops.

This concept is excelling since its initial launch it has moved from the ‘I’ to the ‘we’ on the basis that there is only so much ‘I’ could do. A wonderful team has been built.

Welcome to the Schoolhouse for Art – welcome to Enniskerry.
— Neil Condron, Director

SCULPTURE GARDEN

Our ‘Sculpture Garden’ is an ideal arena to display a constantly changing gallery of large sculptures (currently exhibiting magnificent wood sculptures by local artist Conleth Gent and Paul Flynn.

It will also be used for  ‘plein air’ artists. ‘Schoolhouse forArt’ will also be a destination for visiting artists from across the globe who wish to attend our ‘artbreaks’ and paint the surrounding inspiring Wicklow countryside, while experiencing our renowned Enniskerry hospitality.

EXHIBITION AT PRESENT

Currently we are exhibiting magnificent wood sculptures by local artists Conleth Gent and Paul Flynn 

ALL PIECES ARE AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE

Contact: 353 1 2869594 (September, 2018)


SHADOWCAST

by Paul Flynn and Con Gent.

Shadowcast is a monolithic sculpture carved from a monumental single piece of Macrocarpa.

Screen Shot 2018-09-26 at 11.52.28.png

It was felled to make way for a new development in Carrickmines, Co Dublin.   It has been exhibited at the National Botanic Gardens - Sculpture in Context.

The Pattern on each face is that of a shadow of a tree in winter cast upon its surface.   Birds populate the tree branches and in amongst the branches are the Chinese symbols for Earth, Wind, Fire, Wood and Water.  Its medium is wood and stainless steel. 

“NATURESPACE”

by Paul Flynn and Con Gent.

Screen Shot 2018-09-26 at 11.52.41.png

‘Naturespace’ is a multisensory artwork carved from a large single piece of cedar.  This cedar piece was sourced locally from the Charlevile Estate, beside Powerscourt.  It is solid.  It is carved from 1 piece of timber.  It measures 2.4m height by 1.1m wide.

The pleasant scent of the cedar wood is nature’s own aromatic fragrance.  It has a soft geometric pine cone pattern on the outside leading to an inviting upholstered pattern interior to make you feel as if you are in a luxurious cocoon. Natures Space. 


It also provides a meditative space with its own resonance, when you sit inside and recite a calming mantra you will hear and feel the sound of your voice soothingly resonate.  Natures Pace.

It is a piece that is in keeping with the environment, sitting in our garden between the stumps of 2 felled trees. mixed evergreen and deciduous back drop her at the Gateway to the ‘Garden of Ireland’, Co. Wicklow.



Enniskerry an Art Tourism Hub

The ‘Schoolhouse for Art’ are delighted to have confirmed supplementary funding under the Rural Development Programme (LEADER) 2014-2020 supporting our ambition to develop and market Enniskerry as an Art Tourism hub with the Schoolhouse for Art at its core.  We take this opportunity to acknowledge the support from Wicklow County Partnership.

The Enniskerry Art Tourism Aspiration Development Approach or the EATADA project will target 3 actions through a comprehensive development and marketing strategy that will be built over the next year. 

The actions will include weekend workshops, residential packages and retreats.   The work undertaken will ensure the identified actions are sustainable, cost effective and fulfil the greater objective of making Enniskerry Village an attractive destination for Art Tourism, and for business which that supports.  It is anticipated that questions and issues will arise through the process, approaches and problem solving will be required bringing this project to completion.