Community arts play an important role in the cultural, political and social life of a place. The aim is to make art and culture accessible to everybody without exception, so that through collaboration, learning, sharing and creativity the whole community can come together to lift the morale and to culturally enrich their area. Community arts can also be to used express concerns or issues through an artistic process, and in these cases a voice can be given to members of the community who might otherwise not be heard. Since 2012, volunteers at Clonakilty Community Arts Centre have been working towards these ideals, and in the coming year the effort will continue.
In 2015, artist Susan O’Regan initiated the intriguing ‘Creative Mapping Project’ at Clonakilty Community Arts Centre. This collaborative project brings transition year students and trainees from Co-Action together to complete an abstract textile map of Astna Square, Clonakilty. While developing new skills of traditional and contemporary stitching, the groups also have fun getting to know each other. This project is a great example of community integration brought together over a creative project. The project continues into 2016.
The folks at Clonakilty Community Arts Centre have been busy making plans for a culturally and creatively crammed 2016. Their education programme for the year will see a continuation of classes and workshops such as life drawing with John Hedlam, calligraphy with Shay Cunningham, and the ever-popular jewellery making classes with Michael Deurden. On Tuesday and Thursday afternoons you can learn how turn your old scraps and junk into pieces of art or useful objects for your home at Upcycling classes with Laure and Yolanda. On Saturday afternoons the kids are set loose with paints, paper and other materials at the Creative Kids class with Roisín. New classes on the programme in 2016 include Photography, Creative Writing and Tactile Textiles with Joan Mulvaney, where participants will learn how to use various textiles in experimental ways to make works of art, accessories or decorations.
The exhibition programme for 2016 at the CCAC is shaping up to be interesting, and announcements about the full programme will be made towards the end of February. In November of last year the centre made a call out for exhibition proposals and the response has been huge. This call for exhibition proposals remains open until February 15, and full details about how to apply for an exhibition are available on the centres website.
For full details of courses, projects and exhibitions at Clonakilty Community Arts Centre, visit: www.clonarts.com.