Our art science programme, Awakening Curiosity, has kicked off to a fantastic start with the schools programme selling out. For the past month, groups of children have been enjoying the fun, quirky and sometimes curious elements of our art exhibition with a twist of science. Terry O'Farrell, the leading artist on the programme has been running some wonderful workshops, igniting the children's curiosity in science by getting them to create pictures, clay pieces and other artworks inspired by their experience of the exhibition.
For the first time ever, we were able to facilitate afterschools groups, who, thanks to our key funders, were offered a free guided experience of the exhibition.
It's been a busy month, with our open education evening and the launch! On Monday 21 May, we held a special open evening for friends and colleagues working in education as part of Awakening Curiosity. Dr. John Coolahan, Professor Emeritus at NUI Maynooth and Marie McLoughlin, President of Froebel College of Education, were our guest speakers for the evening. Following the speeches, everyone was invited to take a tour of the exhibition and to meet some of the participating artists and The Ark curatorial team. We received wonderful praise for the evening, best summed up by two of our guests – “The Ark looked beautiful, full of colour and adventure” and “Honestly, that was really enjoyable. I rarely get invited to an event where the speakers are knowledgeable, interesting and genuinely inspirational”!
So now we move into June when Awakening Curiosity opens to families and the general public (23 June - 6 August). On Wednesday, May 30 we were honored to have both Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and broadcaster Miriam O'Callaghan to launch the programme. The Minister and Miriam met with children from St Columbas National School who were in experiencing the exhibition and participating in workshops. Guests assembled in our bright workshop where the Minister, Miriam, Sheila de Courcy, Chair of The Ark board and Eina McHugh, Director of The Ark all spoke about how wonderful it was to bring together art and science and be able to give children the opportunity to be part of Dublin City of Science.
The morning ended with our guests nibbling on strawberries and cream and sipping lemonade, while the children poured over colourful biscuits and their finished artwork. It was a great start to what promises to be a fantastic summer programme.
We hope to see you and your family here at The Ark over the summer months, where you will be inspired by the artworks of our artists and learn more about biodiversity and the world around us.