Putting the ‘A’ into STEAM!

Yes, we are proud of the many STEM stars amidst the current student body and our past pupils (see news below) but let us not forget that St. Conleth’s is quite the ‘artsy’ school, too, and Ms. Halpin and the St. Conleth’s Art Department have been for years churning out world-class animators, illustrators and various other experts in craft and creation.  One of our current students who is sure to join the list of our artistic alumni greats like Mati Remi, Becky Donnelly and Jack Kirwan is Second Year Ignacio Sadofshi, whose amazing sketches you see below.

Of course, this being St. Conleth’s, we do not just cultivate the already talented: we also install an appreciation for art in the rank and file.  Few, if any of us, have the talent to create the masterpieces above, but we all can enjoy art for the chance to express our creativity and even just for the social aspect of the close-knit art-room experience!  Ms. Halpin (with the generous support of the Parents Association recently arranged for an oil painting expert, Eilis O’Toole, to come in and give our TYs a a series of special workshops where they can gain some valuable hands-on (and hands-in) experience.   As you can see, everyone has enjoyed themselves so far, so much so that they did not even mind helping with the extensive clean-up!

Ms. Halpin explains, herself, the processes involved, regarding both funding and the fun stuff:

I applied for a grant through the Creative Engagement initiative to do a project with a group in the school. The idea is that it is something different to what the students normally do and the teacher is upskilled too. I then contacted the Parents Association to help with funding so I could offer the project to the whole of TY.  The first class was a learning process! Prep is essential, research crucial and imagery from which to work, a necessity.  Set-up took a long time…  We realised oil painting is smelly, messy and a lot more complicated than just ‘putting paint to canvas’. The paints require mediums such as turpentine and oil to make the paint ‘move’.  Said mediums melt plastic containers so those glass jars are necessary! Colour mixing is fun but also requires concentration. There was some distress that we had no black (a popular colour with introspective and gloom-loving teenagers!) But we moved on. The first step ridding ourselves of that white canvas with a base wash and now these canvases await our next moves! 
Check out the canvases below and stay tuned for news of the next step!