Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College

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Audio, Visual, Ireland

Students head to Ireland for an intensive, three-week course in art- and music-making.

The Emerald Isle inspires a great deal of art—lyric poetry, visual art and music.

A group of 14 Wheaton students and two professors plan to steep themselves in the natural and cultural beauty of Ireland's County Clare for three weeks devoted to creating art. The group will use the Burren College of Art in Ballyvaughan as its home base and studio space.

The course has been offered twice before (see video). This time, however, it will feature a new wrinkle: a conscious decision to mix the visual arts and music together, says Professor of Art Andrew Howard who has led previous incarnations of the class.

"We believe that visual artists, musicians and writers share common ground in the creative process," Howard says. "The purpose of this course, outside of raising the bar of expectations for our students, will be to partially reveal what the similarities are and how best to execute a truly connected educational experience."

Professor of Music Matthew Allen, who will co-teach the course for the first time, is no stranger to Ireland. An ethnomusicologist, Allen recently completed a film on renowned singer and educator, Seán Ó Sé.

"We are hoping that some of the music and art students will want to do creative projects together," Allen says. "We're working on arranging studio space that will facilitate interdisciplinary music and art possibilities."

Allen notes that Ó Sé will be visiting the class "as our vocal consultant; another friend will be visiting the class as the instrumental music consultant." The artists are expected to conduct an afternoon workshop and an informal evening concert.

The course will culminate in an exhibition in Mars Arts and Humanities this fall. A preview of the work will likely be on display online on the blog, Arts in Ireland.