Art on the Farm High School Program in Ireland

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Apply Now

We still have a few spaces remaining for our second session of Art on the Farm, our summer art program for teens and our autumn session of FieldWorks, our gap year art program for students ages 18-22. Follow the Apply Now link to learn a bit more about either one of these programmes for aspiring young creatives.

About

During this 25-day program, students have a unique opportunity to focus on drawing, painting, photography and new media alongside practicing visual artists in a focused and intimate studio environment. Art on the Farm is designed to yield a more inquisitive approach to making art and foster a deep curiosity for the world. We encourage personal expression and emphasize the creative process to create a meaningful exchange. We believe that engagement with the visual arts provides intellectual and creative enrichment and simultaneously builds confidence and trust in one’s ideas. Our students come from diverse backgrounds; some have a lot of experience and plan to pursue a career in the arts, while others arrive with very little experience in the art room but are dedicated to improving their artistic abilities. The qualities our students share are a desire to explore Ireland’s stunning landscapes and cities, engage with a new culture and make art under the guidance of experienced artists.

Highlights
  • Intensive workshops in drawing, painting, photography and new media
  • Brief led projects: you will develop specific skills while exploring your chosen subject matter in your area of concentration
  • Trips to Dublin and the west of Ireland provide inspiration and artistic, cultural and historical context
  • Develop your own personal project under the individual guidance of one of our artists
  • Group critiques providing valuable feedback as you refine your work

Questions & Answers

Reviews

100%
based on 6 reviews
  • Growth 10
  • Support 10
  • Fun 10
  • Housing 9.7
  • Safety 10
Showing 1 - 6 of 6
Serena
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Magical Summer!

I spent the summer after my Junior year of high school at Cow House Studios with Frank & Rosie. I was fifteen - this was more than ten years ago! That summer taught me so much, and I had so much fun during the process! I experimented with oil paints for the first time and realized I wanted to pursue painting seriously (I went on to major in Fine Arts at university and am now at an artist’s residency in Finland). I also got to experiment with other forms of art making that I had never considered (such as cyanotypes) and, while I was pushed out of my comfort zone, I was also in the most spectacular setting (surrounded by nature! in Ireland!) so I never felt overwhelmed.

When I think back at my time spent at Cow House, it sometimes feels like a dream. The setting is idyllic - lush green grass, a lake, beautiful old trees. Every morning we had amazing freshly baked breads and pastries, rustic jams and nutella. Some nights we would sit crammed on a couch talking until the sky lightened and the birds woke up.

Over the course of six weeks we all were able to explore a variety of mediums from printmaking to oil painting to sculpture to photography. Frank and Rosie are amazing human beings and wonderful teachers. They are both kind and patient and learning from them was really a joy. The summer I was there, Jenny & Matt (who both studied at RISD) were also teaching, as well as a sculptor named Darragh Casey, so the teacher-to-student ratio was great. I always felt like there were people I could talk to if I needed help or further instruction or inspiration, and I truly learned a lot.

I had an incredibly incredibly fun and rewarding experience, and one which I also made lifelong friendships. Cow House Studio is an amazing, magical place and I cannot recommend it more.

What would you improve about this program?
I honestly cannot think of any major ways to improve the program.
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Abbey
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Holistic Review of the Summer Session for Teens

When I applied to this program, I wanted to push myself to learn new skills and expand my horizons. I also wanted to travel to a different country! I had only been away from home for 2 weeks and was terrified of a whole month. Immediately after getting there I knew it would be a fantastic experience. I got there before everyone else because my parents drove, and Rosie had a pot of tea--I could tell from the first impression just how warm and kind she was. All of the staff are not only gifted in art but amazing mentors who actually care about your personal development. I've had a lot of art classes in the past where they teach you one way of doing things and only help you as they walk by in a large classroom. At Cowhouse, everything is personalized and the mentors will follow you down any creative path you wish to explore--I was in the painting intensive but for my final project I got to do an installation with plaster molds, acrylic paintings, and I even got to paint on their barn floor. There is no end to their support, and the program helped me bring my skills to the next level while still feeling like I was mainly having fun with friends and going out. Art here is very much part of a broader social experience--the studio is open 24/7 and we often had late nights and danced while doing our respective art projects. The facilities are amazing as well. Each room holds 2-4 people gets its own personal bathroom in a homey wood house including a living room with couches and a computer. The chef at Cowhouse, Caitriona, is THE BEST COOK. I have never had such quality homemade food! It was like getting gourmet food every day (and they always had cookies and chips to eat for snack in the cupboard). The surrounding area is also so amazing. As a California girl, I felt like I was in a fairytale exploring their family-owned forest (with border fences so you will not get lost) and swimming in their lake. Students like me who love to run were allowed to leave the barn to run wild in the beautiful surrounding community. The off-campus trips were incredibly beautiful and all-encompassing; we got to explore rural towns, ruins, the city of Dublin, and Cape Clear island. I have been to a lot of sleep away and day camps in my life, and I have never had such a life-changing experience as this. The other students and staff came together instantly as a community and I am still in contact with the friends I made. My art skills improved and so did my artistic mind--my ability to see and analyze things differently will stick with me for the rest of my life. The workshops were helpful, fun, and eye-opening. I came back from Cowhouse a much better artist, but also a much fuller and a more enriched individual. That is where Cowhouse really makes a difference, it brought my entire being, not just my art, to a better level. This is definitely the most fun I have ever had in a summer.

What was your funniest moment?
It was late at night and we all needed to work on our projects so we decided to have a very late night dance party for someone's birthday. We danced around for at least 2 hours in the studio and sang our hearts out into cucumbers from the kitchen we pretended were microphones.
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pamina
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

helped me discover my passion

when i first arrived in Ireland i was terrified, this was my first time traveling alone and i didn't know any of the kids very well. i had a bit of a bumpy beginning because of this fear but the teachers and environment they set up was so welcoming that i immediately fell in love. i was the only person who chose to do video/digital work in our group so not only did i get the teacher all to myself i also got to walk around the farm all day, basking in the sun and recording sounds/video with one of the dogs keeping me company. i made a short animation and was intrigued with what i could do in this medium, this later led to me making a stop motion video that won a national gold medal and best in grade award in the scholastic art and writing competition. i can honestly say that i could never have accomplished this without the help of the teachers here or the trust they put in us as artists. i loved it, i would love to go again and would love to recommend it to anybody.

What was the most nerve-racking moment?
we went to the cliffs of moher and was able to get pretty close to the edge before getting very scared
Raquel
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Enriching artistic and life experience

When I saw people write about the way an experience changed their life, it always seemed like an exaggeration to me until I had the luck to attend Cow House Studios in the countryside of Ireland. Bringing a wealth of like-minded connections, unlimited advice, and fresh perspective, while building up my confidence in art from rock bottom, I can’t imagine my life now without making the decision to first come to the summer program in 2016. Now, returning to Cow House for my fourth session, I can say that each experience here has been utterly dynamic and unique. From the energized studio days and to solitary walks in the depth of the forest, Cow House brings revitalization and a harmonic sense of belonging to every artist no matter their practice. Frank, Rosie, and every guiding artist have overstepped the title of teacher and instead become mentors willing to go to any length to help their students cultivate their individual talents. What with the added experience exploring Irish cities and visiting hidden galleries and secluded castles in the countryside, there are truly endless opportunities for inspiration.
Writing a review for a place that has all at once become a second home and opened the doors for me to a new perspective to my future is no simple task and certainly not one I can accomplish in only these few sentences. Simply, I wholeheartedly recommend Cow House studios to those young artists who are searching for an extraordinary environment in which to gain confidence and skill in their practice.

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Arietta
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Excellent course provided by excellent people

I went to Cow House Studios within the first couple of years of them starting their programme (10 years ago now), and it is an experience that I continue to cherish well into my adulthood as it really instilled my love of art into something I knew then I wanted to pursue as a career. During the 3 weeks that I was there I had the opportunity to grow as a young artist, and was taught a multitude of methods ranging from sculpture, painting and film photography. We went on field trips with an aim of exploring new landscapes and art in Ireland, and we were encouraged to use our surroundings as fuel for creativity.

The course had limited placements, which meant that the organisers and tutors could focus on all our work equally, provide one-on-one tutorials, and give valuable advice. All my peers on the programme were like minded individuals and equally interested in the creative arts - one of the girls I met there remains one of my closest friends today and we are both thinking about returning to the farm now as adult artists for the open residency programme in 2020.

Overall a great experience.

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Carly
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Art on The Farm

Cow House Studios Art on The Farm program was an amazing experience. I spent three weeks working on art with like minded peers, while the staff challenged me to push myself in my work. I grew so much as an artist and an individual. The farm is beautiful and in such a scenic area. It's wonderful to go on walks in the woods, or occasional hikes up the mountain. If you're an animal person, there are three dogs on the farm and a few barn cats that are very friendly. Personally, I love animals and it made my experience much more homey. Frank and Rosie, the program directors + teachers are incredibly kind, understanding and intelligent people. I feel like I can trust them with anything, and that they truly care for their students. I also made friendships at Cow House that I hope to have for the rest of my life. Overall, the three weeks I spent at their summer program were some of the happiest weeks of my life. I loved it so much that I have returned for a 12 week gap year program- and am having a wonderful time.

What would you improve about this program?
There is very little I would change about this program. I think the only thing they could improve on is eventually implementing more student housing, as the summer programs can get quite crowded. However, students spend very little time in their rooms so it doesn't matter all that much.

About Cow House Studios

Cow House Studios is a progressive artist-run school and residency set in the farmland of county Wexford, Ireland. A productive farm to this day, the 180 acres of land provide an authentic and inspirational backdrop while facilitating...