Paintings by young artists from Scoil Raifteiri, Cornanool National School and Snugboro National School will feature in a prestigious art exhibition at this year’s internationally recognised Belfast Children’s Festival taking place in May, with an expected audience of some 10,000 people. The works were created as part of the Linenhall Arts Centre’s visual art programme for Schools. Orla Henihan, arts access officer at the Linenhall Arts Centre, said: “We have always known that fabulous art works are created during our visual art programme for schools workshops. We are absolutely delighted that we now have the chance to show some of them off!” The 21 self-portraits by the budding Mayo artists were chosen by the University of Ulster and the Belfast Children’s Festival from schools, groups, and organisations from across Ireland to be part of the festival’s More of it than we think exhibition.
The works were created in March during the Linenhall Arts Centre’s visual art programme for schools. This programme focuses on the Linenhall’s ongoing programme of visual art exhibitions and is designed specifically for primary schools. In March 2009 the programme focused on artist Will O’Kane’s exhibition at the Linenhall, The Lure of Presentiment, which consisted mainly of portraits. Participating children took part in a gallery tour followed by a workshop in which the children painted self-portraits with a special focus on composition, colour mixing and planning of a background colour to reflect the mood they wished to represent in their work. The exhibition will run during the Belfast Children’s Festival from May 22 to 31 at the Belfast Waterfront. Eleven thousand people are expected to attend this year’s festival which is run by Young at Art, a children’s arts charity.