Painting with kids at the Ark

Last Saturday the 3rd of November here in Dublin, Marie-Louise and I went in and did a “GiganticIllustration” workshop at the Ark with 40 kids age 4-6. there was another workshop after us for 7-12 done by Irish illustrators Steve Simpson and Niamh Sharkey. The studio space is lovely with a small garden outdoor area and views of the rooftops of Dublin.I will have more pictures when the paintings are mounted and hung, but for now these are images from the day. The far right is one I did with the kids on “birds”, and the far left, you can just see a lobster claw…, is one of undersea creatures, mostly fish.

Each of us worked with 10 kids at a time on four canvas paintings, about 4 by 8 foot. We used poster paint and acrylics. I have done many events with kids over the years but never an art workshop like this. It was a challenge to get 10 kids to paint these giant canvases, on the floor, with pots of open paint, brushes, and sponges, without making it all look like a dog’s dinner. Some were more than eager to have a go but others were shy to even touch it.

As you can see from M-L’s painting in the middle of mice and hedgehogs, she had more control over her kids than I did…This (left) is Steve working with the kids. Below is the painting Steve worked on.

The Ark is an amazing building/organization somewhere between a children’s theatre art center and a children’s museum. It’s not full of permanent displays to play with but it has lots of events relating to the arts involving children with complete art studios upstairs, interactive exhibits involving art or books, and a huge theatre space that can be used indoors…or the back of the stage/building opens up to the market space behind it so they can give outdoor performances as well.

This (left) is the entrance of the building from the Temple Bar street side. On ht far right of the shot is another Dublin arts resource organization called the Button Factory, specializing in music. They have recording studios and stages for performance.

Below (right) is what the other side looks like facing the Temple Bar market square behind it. This is the location of the Temple Bar food market, surprisingly enough, held each Saturday. There are lots of good eating stalls, mainly for hot food as opposed to many produce vendors. It’s a fantastic use of the area which is better known as a tourist haven and drunken delight on weekend nights. It’s a bit like Faniul Hall area in Boston.

When the stage opens up, the aluminum ‘curtain’ folds like a paper cut-out (below left).

Huge mechanical umbrellas open and close to cover the space in rain and let the sun in…when it shines. that make the outdoor space more ‘weather friendly'(see below right).