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”.

Our 2019 portfolio of classes and workshops is exciting. 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. The on going support by good friends, good wishes and good luck has I believe come to fruition. 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. We have developed a wonderful portfolio of national and international tutors, of exemplary quality. The Schoolhouse for Art is now covering a diverse range of disciplines through our menu of classes and workshops.

Our ambition to develop Enniskerry as an Art Tourism Hub is being realised through the support under Wicklow County Partnerships LEADER and the Creative Ireland initiatives. And our Sculpture garden now hosts a medley of work further supporting our long term objectives.

This concept is excelling since its initial launch. A wonderful team has been built.

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


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.


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


Contact: 353 1 2869594 (September, 2018)


by Paul Flynn and Con Gent.

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

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. 


By Martin O’Keefe


Crescent is a piece of work created by Martin O’Keefe who was born in Newry Co. Down and raised in West Cork and Dublin. Martin O’Keefe is a visual artist who works primarily in the mediums of stainless and mild steel, aluminium, copper and brass.

This piece ‘Crescent’ measures 290 cm x 68 cm x 31 cm it is created using stainless, mild and bright steel. An award-winning sculptor Martin honed his craft on a part-time basis for over twenty years, committing to full-time professional practice in 2013 and presenting his work to the public from 2016.  Martin designs and hand crafts all his work from his studio in Kilternan, South Dublin.

Inspired by his cultural heritage, surroundings, the ordinary, life experiences, thoughts and observations. Martin continues to create unique pieces of sculpture which absorb, reflect and distort light and landscape; inviting the viewer to look past the obvious into the imperceptible and inconspicuous.

Steel is an amazing medium, its hard but soft, rough but silky smooth, cold but warm and inviting. When worked it becomes compliant, stretches and bends, distorts and discolours and the most exciting part if allowed steel will bring you down a path you hadn’t first envisaged. This is why the process is as important as the final outcome.

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.

Picture of Romance


Under the Creative Ireland Programme, (2018) the Schoolhouse for Art in collaboration with visual artist Paul Flynn and with support from local historian Mr Michael Seery, engaged in an investigative project to look at the romantic lives of 20th Century artists Mr Paul Henry and Ms Mabel Young. Paul Henry is one of Ireland’s, if not Ireland’s most recognised landscape painter. Both he and his wife Mabel chose St Patricks Powerscourt Church, Enniskerry as their resting place after their deaths. We believe that this ‘Picture of Romance’, the love story of their lives while living in Wicklow supports and widens the art tourism portfolio and brief of the Schoolhouse for Art. This is an exciting on going project which celebrates the lives of both these formidable artists.