Art Scene

Zara McDaid

Art Scene: Students exhibit their Suile Na nOg at RCC

Cait Ni Mhordha, Colaiste Ailligh, Letterkenny.

Cait Ni Mhordha, Colaiste Ailligh, Letterkenny.

AS AN art teacher I believe that art education is an important aspect of the overall education of students. Art is a means for children who do not otherwise excel in school to have a subject where they can shine.

Involvement in the arts has been shown to increase academic performance in all areas, not just art. Art also encourages for self-expression. Therefore, there is not necessarily a completely right or wrong answer.


This can encourage students who may have a hard time in other areas where there is only right and wrong. Art can build self-esteem, confidence and motivate students to learn. The motivation that is created in the art classroom can be carried over to other subjects.
This can lead them to make internal and stable attributions for their success, encouraging further hard work and success.

Parental involvement also increases when children are involved in the arts. It is a way for parents to relate to their children’s education without being intimidated by their own lack of knowledge. All of these things contribute to make art education an extremely valuable subject.

This month the annual Suile na nOg exhibition opened last Thursday night by well-known Donegal cartoonist Jarla Duffy and will run in the Regional Cultural Centre in Letterkenny until October 25.
This exhibition of work is a fantastic way of showing off the amazing talents our Donegal students possess, and a great way to recognise the tremendous effort and hard work that these Junior Certificate students put in all year.

The high standard of proficiency is clearly evident and it is a credit to the art teachers in these Donegal schools who have taught the students the necessary techniques to create such unique works of art.

Olivia McColgan, Carndonagh Community School.

Olivia McColgan, Carndonagh Community School.

Suile na nOg was set up by the Donegal Art Teachers Association and has been successfully run every year by them. The Regional Cultural Centre team does an outstanding job of displaying all the pieces and have been a constant support over the years which the Art Teachers Association is extremely grateful for.

This exhibition consists of the art work produced by the Junior certificate art students during their third year as part of a project they undertake for their Junior certificate art examination. The exhibition showcases an array of talent from art student around the secondary schools in Donegal, showing project from such paintings, 3D work, sculptures, textile pieces, preparation sheets work to name but a few.


These Junior Certificate students were given a project brief at the beginning of October with a list of six themes to choose from.
The themes were Moving Parts, Mid-term Break, Things that fly, Forces of nature, The competition, and a poem entitled ‘A Character’.

The students had to research their chosen theme and produce a substantial body of work which had to be developed over the school year and be completed by the end of April.

This work involved creating preparatory sheets which displayed the development of their ideas using a variety of media.
Support studies pages involved the research of an artist’s work that linked to their own work and which they felt was a source of inspiration when producing their own pieces of art.

Three-dimensional sculptural pieces also had to be made using materials such as clay, modroc (plaster bandages), newspaper, cardboard, and wire just to name a few.

Craft pieces such as calligraphy, lino printing, batik, embroidery, and weaving were another element of this project.

I would like to congratulate the secondary school art students and their teachers who are taking part in this fantastic exhibition. I encourage everyone to pop into the regional cultural centre, Letterkenny to see the wonderful array of talent on display.

Aoibheann Walsh.

Aoibheann Walsh.

Popular Letterkenny-based beautician and owner of Glow & Go, Aoibheann Walsh will be showcasing her creative makeup artistry with a difference at Gabrielle’s Fashion Show in the Clanree Hotel, Letterkenny, on October 16 at 8pm.

Aoibheann will be showing her makeup artistry looks and collaborating with costume designer Sinead McCahey, who I mentioned in last week’s column for her creative Halloween makeup looks – yes, this girl is multitalented!

Aoibheann hopes to showcase some contemporary creations using her artistic flare and Sinead’s design creativity. Make sure to pop along, but beware you’ll be in for a fright!

Sinead McCahey.

Sinead McCahey.

Zara McDaid can be contacted on Facebook, search ‘Zara Mc Daid Art’, or e-mail is

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