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Beautiful Beasts: Early Years Visual Art Adventures 24 Jun - 12 Aug 2020

Sign up for a summer of inspiration and creativity for Ages 2-4 and their grown-ups, as visual artist Lucy Hill guides you in exploring your neighbourhood to create easy and fun art at home.

Lucy will use walks in your local area to inspire you and your little one to have fun foraging and finding materials together. Then, enjoy playing with what you have gathered at home to create all kinds of animal-inspired creations.

Through bite-sized videos, inspiring image collections and ideas, Lucy will prompt gentle art explorations with little ones using materials easily found at home, in gardens, in parks or laneways.

To participate, simply sign up at a once-off cost of €15 and all of these drops of inspiration will arrive in your inbox in two-week blocks across the summer months. These open-ended art adventures are an invitation to reimagine daily walks and spend lots of time exploring, creating and re-creating with your little one whenever it suits you.

We don’t want to spoil the surprise, but here’s just a hint of what’s in store:

Stick Creatures

  • Wednesday 24 June: Go for a walk, bring a bag, and collect sticks of any kind. Bring them home and play with them to see what you can make. Maybe add eyes, or legs or wings to create stick animals, monsters, or insects?
  • Wednesday 1 July: Use your sticks in even more fun and creative ways using paint!

Habitat Photos and Prints

  • Wednesday 15 July: Have fun on your walk positioning a toy animal on top of walls, trees, rocks etc. Grown-ups can let their little one take photographs of their animal on its adventures using their phone.
  • Wednesday 22 July: Create more visual stories of your animal’s adventures using paint to make prints, tracks and trails of all kinds.

Frozen Animal Kingdoms

  • Wednesday 5 August: Go for a walk and collect things together such as leaves, twigs, seeds, flowers, shells, seaweed or anything else interesting. Bring them home and learn how to use them to create frozen worlds for a small plastic animal toy.
  • Wednesday 12 August: Create new and different types of worlds for toy animals to play in using vegan chia seed slime, sand, mud, water or paper.

You can sign up at any time. If you sign up after 24 June, you will receive all of the resources that have already been released, as well as receiving all the forthcoming resources as scheduled.

Lucy Hill Blog Byline Pic

About Lucy Hill:

Lucy was The Ark's inaugural John Coolahan Early Years Artist in Residence during 2018/2019. A visual artist, educator and researcher with particular interest and expertise in the area of early years visual arts education, Lucy has exhibited nationally and internationally and has won several public art commissions and awards. Her interest in early years visual art education began in 2003 when (inspired by her own children), she approached the Linenhall Arts Centre in Castlebar to allow her to design a visual art program for two year olds which she subsequently delivered for ten years. Lucy has also been an ‘aterlierista’ (a type of artist in residence) with Woodland Park Preschool in Westport since 2007, collaborating on documentation projects, exhibitions, installations, toddler and sibling workshops, education programs for parents and educators, family art events and research. Lucy also works with agencies, consultants and institutions on long and short term early years projects that have culminated in interactive child friendly exhibitions. Her training and professional development in this area includes a study visit with Early Childhood Ireland to visit Reggio Emilia inspired preschools in Italy. Lucy is also currently working on a PhD research project at NCAD with an early years visual art focus. You can see some of Lucy's work at her website:

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Part of The Beautiful Beasts @ Home

This summer, enjoy a range of delightful online events and experiences in visual art, drama and dance, inspired by The Ark's collection of loveable animal sculptures, The Beautiful Beasts. Find out more about The Beautiful Beasts @ Home.

The Beautiful Beasts @ Home is part of The Ark’s 25th birthday season, sponsored by BDO.