Summer Arts Programme

2020 the summer arts programme went online due to Covid-19 restrictions

Laois Arts Office are delighted with the response and with the success of a series of online arts workshops currently in progress titled “Artistic Strategies and Techniques for Oil Painting “,  presented by renowned artist Blaise Smith RHA.  Developed by Laois Arthouse and Laois County Council and hosted by the Dunamaise Arts Centre, the series is made up of four morning classes on Thursday 25th and Friday 26th June and Thursday 2nd and Friday 3rd July.

Delivered via zoom Blaise brings his wealth of experience teaching and painting to students from his studio using series of cameras and software to show different views of the painting in progress on his easel while talking through his process.

The aim of the workshops is to assist participants of all levels to produce a simple still life painting that achieves a high degree of finish.   The programme was devised to allow artists to avail of highly professional artistic development workshops remotely by bringing the Laois Arthouse Summer Arts programme Online.

See @blaisesmithartist on instagram or for more details.


In 2019

Laois County Council Arts Office and Music Generation Laois Summer Arts Programme 

An array of arts and music workshops were available for young people to enjoy over the month of July and into August.  Starting off with Circus Art Workshops hosted by circus artist Maria Corcoran at the MDA Mountmellick, running from Tues 9th to Thurs 11th July from 2pm-4pm for ages 7-12 years. Maria gave an  introduction to juggling, hula hoop, balance, acrobatics and more.

Children interested in art joined artist Jen Donnery at Laois Arthouse for workshops titled ‘Art in our Environment’.  Using materials around us to create a work of art; finding new uses for things we already have, to reduce waste and protect the planet! Running over 3 days from Tues 16th to Thurs 18th July, mornings from 11-1 and a second workshop in the afternoon from 2 to 4, for children aged 7-12.

A new addition to our progamme in 2019 was an innovative Portfolio Preparation Course for young people aged 15-18 with visual artist Mary Burke.  Running from Mon 22th to Fri 26th July at Laois Music Centre, Church Ave, Portlaoise from 10am-4pm, this 5-day course was s designed to help students prepare a portfolio for submission for Art and Design courses at 3rd level colleges. Of benefit to students preparing for the Leaving Certificate Art Coursework, introduction to research and drawing skills that could be useful when preparing their course workbook.

We also had a fun Dance programme hosted by dance tutor Marie Cashin at Laois Music Centre, Portlaoise running from Tue 30th July to Thurs 1st August. Marie will give an introduction to hip hop, jazz and free style.

The summer programme also included an adult art course at Laois Arthouse titled  ‘Painting the portrait from life’  with well know artist Una Sealy RHA. Course A June 4, 5  and  Course B June 6, 7.  Over the  2-day workshops, Una will lead the participants through the process of painting a portrait from life; from planning the composition, to completed work. This event was so popular that places booked up very quickly.  This event also includes an exhibition of  Una’s work and work by artists attending the course that opened on Friday 7th June and will be on display at the Arthouse over the coming weeks.


The Music Generation Laois Summer programme  

A Summer School of Rock and Pop runs from the 1st to the 5th July at the Dunamaise Arts Centre Portlaoise for young people aged 10-18 from Mon-Thurs 11am-3:30pm; Fri 1-3pm & 4-7pm.  Young people will develop confidence and stage presence in the weeklong camp that culminates with a concert in the Dunamaise on the final day. A great team of tutors from the Music Generation Laois School of Rock and Pop; James O’Connor, Terry Byrne, Ros O’Meara and Denise Boyle will work with musicians and singers during the week and all instruments are welcome. Participants must already play an instrument or sing to participate.  New this year is a very exciting option to study Jazz with Paul McIntyre (keys) and Dave Redmond (bass).

The Trad Summer School runs from the 17th to the 19th July  in Portlaoise for ages 6 upwards from 11am–3pm (Wed, Thurs) 11am-4:30pm (Fri)


Laois County Council Arts Office and Music Generation Laois Summer Camps 2018

Starting off with Circus Art Workshops with circus artist Maria Corcoran from 3rd – 5th July at Portlaoise that included an introduction to juggling, hula hoop, balance, acrobatics and much more.

Caroline Conway explored  pattern and texture through print and collage from 10th -12th  July at the MDA building in Mountmellick with two separate groups of young people.

Go Fly  Your Kite  workshops were held at Heritage House Abbeyleix  on the 12th July and in Stradbally Arthouse on  Friday 13th July where participants were encouraged to design their own kite,  to assemble a kite and to  learn kite safety.

Artist Jen Donnery ran a programme at the Laois Arthouse in Stradballed called “Art in our Environment”, using recycled materials to make individual and group pieces with two separate groups from 17th -19th July.

Fins Pottery Tuition spent three days at Kiln Lane Community Centre, Mountrath from 24th -26th July  exploring the many different techniques of creating with clay with  two groups of young people who enjoyed learning about and making pottery.

For more info E: or call 057 8664033/0578664109






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