FieldWorks: Enrichment Arts Gap Year Program in Ireland

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About

Students ages 18 to 22 have an opportunity to make new artistic works in a remarkable location, all while being challenged to approach their creative practice from new perspectives.

With Cow House Studios' FieldWorks program, a hybrid residency and enrichment program, students will embark on a thrilling, 12-week multidisciplinary course with a particular focus on each participant's individual creative process, where one-on-one tutorials provide guidance for further research.

In addition to time spent in the studio, there will be weekly organized trips to Dublin, the West and other points of interest in the Southeast region with a particular focus on artist-led initiatives and studio visits with accomplished Irish artists, designers and curators.

Highlights
  • Drawing, painting, new media, sculpture, digital & darkroom photography
  • Daily individual tutorials & weekly group critiques
  • Studio visits with Irish artists, designers, curators & other creative practitioners
  • Life drawing sessions, practical demonstrations & workshops
  • Travel to stunning locations of natural beauty in the west & southeast regions

2021 Dates Announced

We are grateful to be running our 2020 FieldWorks gap year program and have added an additional 2021 spring session. We just updated our website with these dates. Please check out our website for more details as well as information about Art on the Farm, our summer program for teens.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

10 Rating
based on 9 reviews
  • Housing 9.8
  • Support 10
  • Fun 9.6
  • Value 10
  • Safety 10
Showing 1 - 8 of 9
Default avatar
Lilli
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

FieldWorks Fall 2019

I can't stress enough how great the three months I spent at Cow House last fall were! I was mind blown by the location and facilities, we had access to every means of making I could've asked for and endless support from Frank, Rosie, and the visiting artists. It didn't take long to feel completely at home; the housing is so comfortable and beautiful, the food is great, and everyone on the farm is incredibly welcoming (they're also just cool people in general). The opportunity to work so closely with other students and instructors allowed me to grow in ways I didn't expect, not just as an artist but as a person, too. It was really special to get to know everyone and what they make as well as we did.
I never ran out of things to do there; when we weren't in the studio we were exploring the area, hanging out in the library (which has tons of interesting novels and artist books), or going on trips around Ireland. Frank and Rosie are great at balancing how much time we spent on the farm and how much we travelled; our day/overnight trips were frequent enough that I felt like I was always seeing new things but spaced out in such a way that we could really dig into our studio time before heading out again. Fieldworks is such a well-rounded program, and the time I spent there feels so rich with experience and growth. Frank and Rosie are amazing people + artists and I am so thankful to know them. I hope to return one day and highly recommend the program to anybody who makes any kind of art!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
-Try everything the studio has to offer, it is super well equipped
-The forest is crazy! Definitely spend time in it, and explore the surrounding area
-Hang out with the animals, they are all such characters

Default avatar
Kaiser
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Eyeopening Learning Experience

I loved my time here. The faculty - Frank and Rosie and Caitriona (the chef) - were all so kind, helpful, and caring. The farm is beautiful, the food is delicious, and the excursions that we took all over Ireland as part of the program were so fun. We worked in multiple mediums of art; I got to try out film photography, video art, bookmaking, and pen-and-ink-drawing for the first time. We were constantly challenged but I never felt an exceeding amount of pressure. The opportunity to visit galleries and museums, and talk to working artists broadened what I fundamentally thought about art. I think I have really matured as an artist after my time here, and I now understand so much more about the professional world of contemporary art. It's clear that Frank and Rosie, and the rest of the Cow House crew, really put their hearts into designing the curriculum and schedule. I'd definitely recommend this to any high school graduates who like art.

What would you improve about this program?
I think it would be nice if there were more non-American students.
Kaiser
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Taught me how to be an artist

I loved my time here. The faculty - Frank and Rosie and Caitriona (the chef) - were all so kind, helpful, and caring. The farm is beautiful, the food is delicious, and the excursions that we took all over Ireland as part of the program were really eyeopening and exciting. We worked in multiple mediums of art; I got to try out film photography, video art, bookmaking, and pen-and-ink-drawing for the first time. We were constantly challenged but I never felt an exceeding amount of pressure. The opportunity to visit galleries and museums and talk to working artists really broadened what I fundamentally thought about art. I think that I have really matured as an artist after my time here, and I now understand so much more about the professional world of contemporary art. It's clear that Frank and Rosie, and the rest of the Cow House crew, really put their hearts into designing the curriculum and schedule. I'd definitely recommend this to any high school graduates who like art.

What would you improve about this program?
I think it would be awesome if there were more non-American students taking part in the program.
Default avatar
Haven
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Such an incredible experience

It was the perfect gap semester- I made lifelong friends, got to see the best areas of Ireland, and grew so much as an artist! Frank and Rosie were amazing mentors, and I feel like I really improved my skills in photography and learned how to push my creative ideas further. The farm was a beautiful place to live for a few months and I would love to go back again.
The excursions we took to the different areas of the island were well planned, and great fun! We spent time looking at art galleries but also had free time to explore on our own. We traveled to the famous cities like Dublin, Cork and Galway, to the most beautiful rural landscapes like the Aran Islands, and the Dingle area- on bike, bus, and on foot.
Time spent on the farm during the week was relaxing but also focused, All the food was delicious, and in our down time we watched movies and played games.
I would recommend this to any artist looking for a beautiful place to be able to focus on their art and for a super unique Irish travel experience.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
A peacock named George, and two lovely Alpacas on the farm.
Default avatar
Ellie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Greatest Experience Ever

After I came home from Cow House Studios I immediately wanted to get back on the plane and return. I learned so much and grew so much as an artist and a person during this program. I cannot recommend it enough!!! Frank and Rosie are super enthusiastic and it’s obvious they care a lot about their students and want to help them get the most out of their time at the studio. I was able to illustrate and assemble a book which has been something I’ve wanted to do for years. Also the food was phenomenal!! I looked forward to lunch and dinner everyday and was never disappointed. The building the students lived in was cozy and inviting. The surrounding landscape was stunning! I loved being able to see and walk to the Blackstairs Mountain so easily! Overall I’m incredibly grateful to have had this experience, and I cannot wait to return to Ireland when I get the chance.

What would you improve about this program?
I think the program is perfect as is, I just wish I could’ve stayed longer.
Default avatar
Shannon
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Autumn Gap Year Program 2019

When I was a senior in high school, I felt that I wasn't ready for college. I explored other alternative options, including gap years, this is how I discovered Cow House Studios. I knew that I love art and the idea of traveling to another country to learn and make art pushed me towards applying to this particular program. During my stay at Cow House, in only 3 months I learned a variety of different mediums, techniques and skills that I will use as I continue to make art. Rosie and Frank are amiable, considerate, supportive and amazing artists that I truly admire. They teach art in a way that makes you confident in what you are making and also embrace every creative thought and idea.
I also met some of the most talented, inventive, sincere young artists I've ever met, who I was lucky enough to share such an experience with. Each of us were completely different with styles/mediums of art which made this experience even more unique by learning from one another.
I am extremely lucky to have experienced Irish culture, scenic and historic parts of Ireland, to have visited galleries/exhibits raging from professional to college artists. To have lived on a farm with a studio accessible everyday, any time of day, filled with endless art supplies and teachers who creatively challenge you. I highly recommend this program to artists who want to learn and grow in a unique way.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
My advice to future travelers on this program is to explore every form of art Rosie, Frank and visiting artists teach you. You could easily discover a passion for a new medium of art that you have never tried or have never been interested in trying. I also encourage future students to ask questions, make art outside of your comfort zone, be involved!! Another piece of advice, I suggest students to use the studio as much as possible, its there for you to make whatever you please, take advantage of it!! My last piece of advice, look around the farm, make use of everything around you, embrace Ireland.
Default avatar
Michael
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Spring Semester at Cowhouse

Let me start this by saying that I had an absolutely lovely time at Cowhouse. As an artist (eh, sounding pretentious), or as someone who makes art (better) , getting to spend three months making work in a beautiful environment without any of the stress of normal is something close to heaven.
I think what makes Cowhouse so special is this stripping effect that happens there; in high school, I struggled to make art because I had so much pulling me away; tests, homework, the college process, maintaining a perhaps mediocre at best social status, family, etc. The list of things that get in the way or distract in normal life are endless, but at Cowhouse, there's almost nothing. Cowhouse gives its students this precious gift of time, space, materials, and opportunity, and so the creative impulse naturally expands and blossoms simply because there's nothing to keep it from doing so. Each person in my group grew tremendously as artists overt this experience, and I will be forever grateful to Rosie and Frank, as well as everyone else who helped make that possible.
On some more mundane notes:
Facilities/ bedrooms and stuff: The studio is in a converted farm and is beautiful and spacious. Ideal for making art. Bedrooms are in quaint and comfortable, but if you are a light sleeper be sure to bring headphones or earplugs or something as the walls are very thin. The farm itself is beautiful and fun to explore. There are also lots of animals running around which is nice, except George, the peacock. I wasn't a fan of him.
Food: I could go on about the food there forever. It's incredible, and I miss it so much. Cooked daily by Cowhouse's master chef Caiitrioneiereer (pronounced Katrina) Folly, and sometimes Frank (whose frittatas are, well, fine), Cowhouse cuisine centers on fresh ingredients and includes meals from around the world. I'm talking sushi, I'm talking dumplings, I'm talking burritos, and alu ghobi and lamb vindaloo, and burgers, oh dear god, the burgers, and more traditional Irish food as well like delicious breads and soups, and the occasional bangers and mash. They are very very accommodating of all dietary restrictions, even pho-gluten-free-folk and vegetarians who eat fried chicken will find acceptance there.
The trips are a fun break from work and the farm, and it is nice to get around and see some of Ireland's nicest spots. I strongly recommend spending several afternoons in the pubs and tossing back a couple brews. I sure did.
Spending three months in close quarters with 7 other people can be difficult. Inevitably there will be arguments and feathers will be ruffled, but this area is probably one of the best spots for personal growth as you will be forced to manage personal relationships and keep everyone happy. This was also one of the most rewarding aspects of this program as well as I made some life long friends during my time there.
Anyway, I can't recommend Cowhouse enough; go there if you get the chance.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
- Be sure to bug Caitriona as much as possible.
- Bring warm clothes cuz it's cold and rainy a lot.
- If you're struggling with anything, ask for help, even if you're just feeling homesick or something! Frank and Rosie are always there to talk. I never regretted chatting with them.
- Play with Michael and Emmett; they're hilarious.
Default avatar
Luna
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Fieldworks 20/10 highly recommend!

The three months I spent on this wonderful farm where absolutely magical. For me it was the perfect balance between productivity and play. The teachers where absolutely spectacular and I feel so lucky to have met them. Going in I didn’t really know what to expect; a little farm in someplace called Wexford where people make art? However I’m so glad I made the decision to go on this adventure. Cowhouse is a very well equipped studio with amazing housing and a forest! I spent my days making artwork, walking through streams and playing with dogs/cats/peacocks/llamas/ducks etc. At first I was scared of living with only 7 other kids but honestly it’s not that big of a deal. I made some life long friends and art work that I am deeply proud of (I’m already excited to go back !!). I highly recommend this program and promise you will make some cherished memories.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
- Don’t be afraid to try new foods
- Have fun! Don’t be scared to ask for advice and talk to people
- you don’t need to pack as many pieces of clothing as you think
- jump in the pond ‼️