The Visual Arts in Willow Park Junior School
Willow has always been a creative and exploratory space, a school where boys can express themselves both physically and imaginatively.
In Willow, pupils follow the national Arts’ curriculum within the classroom. In the visual arts, this curriculum includes interrelated activities in making art and in looking at and responding to art.
Ongoing creative work takes place within individual classrooms and the results are to be seen in the varied and ever- changing displays along the school corridors. Pupils are encouraged to paint, sculpt, design and draw. The process of creation and the pleasure therein is emphasised and whilst talent is recognised, the importance of artistic expression and play lies at the core of artistic activity within the school.
However, the visual arts are but one aspect of the living Arts in our school.
2007 saw the inaugural Willow Arts’ Week*, a week in which the school is immersed in all the Arts (Music, Sculpture, Drama, Dance, Painting…. to name but a few). Since then, Willow Arts’ Week has grown in breath and importance as it punctuates our academic calendar with creative colour and energy.
During Arts’ Week, the Sandford and Leinster Galleries generously loan the school a selection of the best of Modern Irish Art and the boys share the space with Le Brocquy, Knuttel and Jack B. Yeats. Our central school space- ‘The Hub’- becomes a gallery for the week, where pupils view and study, whilst parents peruse and buy. Indeed, practising artists (and collectors) also donate works to our growing ‘Willow Collection’- all of which enrich the ambiance of the school throughout the year.
Young, emerging musicians and artists from Blackrock College perform throughout the school whilst visiting professional musicians introduce and explain their instruments and interests. Singing, drama and dance workshops take place and a myriad of individual artistic ‘pieces’ are created by pupils’ within the classrooms.
The Arts became a living and natural expression within the school and the resonance of Arts’ Week continues throughout the year.
* See our Annual School Calendar for this year’s dates.