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 arts and crafts. 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

My aspiration is to establish Enniskerry, County Wicklow a premier ‘Art Destination‘ with the Schoolhouse for Art at its core.
My 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 will endeavour to support practicing artists, help emerging artists and encourage aspiring artists (of all ages and abilities). It will engage with, and support the local community and through ‘practical demonstration’ promote 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 their income enabling them to continue with their art endeavours. The ‘Schoolhouse for Art’ is committed to supporting our professional artists. Our classes and workshops will hopefully provide that necessary income.

In addition to supporting ‘professional artists’ and providing ‘aspiring artists’ invaluable training, the ‘Schoolhouse for Art’ classes and workshops can also provide the perfect antidote for stress and damaged self-esteem. Having personally experience escapism and the self-healing benefits from totally immersing my mind in my paintings, 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 this enterprise has been a ‘solo mission’, my personal “on with the Adventure!” response to the economic upheaval we collectively are trying 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. I hope to prove them right. Currently 16 artists (and growing) covering a diverse range of disciplines are giving, or are about to give classes/workshops – already dozens of ‘students’ have benefited from attending.

For this concept to excel after its initial launch it will need to move from the ‘I’ to the ‘we’ on the basis that there is only so much ‘I’ can do (and I miss my brushes!). In the meantime the ‘I’ could do with ‘you’ – if you like what I’m doing you can support me and my extraordinary teachers by attending our art classes and workshops.

Hopefully we’ll meet in the Schoolhouse for Art soon.

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 stunning ceramic pieces by Niamh Synnott).

It will also be used a stage for ‘performance art’ and ‘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.