Art, Craft & Design at St. Mary’s CBS

Art, Craft and Design are fundamental to human existence.
They play a major role in human evolution and development.
Each involves a different way of thinking:
Art emphasises ideas, feelings and visual qualities.
Craft emphasises the right use of tools and materials.
Design emphasises planning, problem-solving and completion, using drawing as a means of thinking.

At Junior Cert level we explore a large variety of crafts to enhance the students understanding of artistic techniques and build confidence in the student’s ability to explore a variety of art methods. The students will engage in crafts such as Batik, Carving, Calligraphy, Ceramics, Clay and Mixed Media Modelling, Graphic Design, Printmaking, Painting, Puppetry and Pottery. Each of these areas will be aided by research through life drawing and still life as well as imaginative composition. Over the course of two years the student will practice and perfect the crafts in order to execute a project in third year that will include a series of research drawings and two finished art works constructed in their preferred craft area.
Art vocabulary and support studied will accompany each craft area studied in order to develop the student’s appreciation of art and as an introduction to the study of the history of art.
The Transition Year art course consists of an eight week block of art, craft and design. In previous years’ students have undertaken projects in the areas of Batik, Wall Mural Painting, Set Design, Graphic Design, Printmaking, Photography and Clay Modelling or Pottery. Students also have the opportunity to take part in outside school art competitions such as Art in the Park, Junk Kouture, Texaco Art Competition, Credit Union Poster Competition among others, in which the students of St. Mary’s CBS have been very successful at over the years.
At Leaving Cert art students get an official introduction to the History of Art and gain a broader understanding of ancient and contemporary art from around the world. Our study of Irish Art takes us on an annual trip to Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth in Co. Meath, and students also make regular visits to the National Gallery of Ireland and the Irish Museum of modern Art in Dublin. A close connection has always been maintained with our local gallery also and throughout the year several trips to the Dunamaise Art Gallery will enhance the student’s studies of local and visiting artists to the area. These gallery visits are essential to the student’s appreciation of art in society and is also a major area examined in the history of art assessments.
The craft areas studied at Leaving Cert are similar to those at Junior Cert however at this stage the level of research and investigation as well as the students understanding of methods and techniques becomes much more focused and profound. The craft project at this level requires research and support studies executed to an extremely high standard and the ten-week project, completed in sixth year, requires evidence of strong construction techniques, knowledge of methods and materials along with appropriate design research. This design research along with all drawing research will be aided and enhanced throughout the course with an in-depth study of the human figure, landscape drawing and painting, still-life and imaginative composition.
St. Mary’s CBS also runs an Art Club after school once a week which is open to all Junior students, Transition Years and Senior students interested in completing a Portfolio for access to third level. Here students have the opportunity to work on personal art projects and take part in extracurricular competitions. The art room has always been considered as a free space for students to explore, create and experiment with materials and will always be a place in which students can escape to their imagination.