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  • Writer's pictureEmma Hanley

Offaly Local Development Company: Next Steps Creative Programme


At Birr Theatre & Arts Centre, we strive to support as many community initiatives as possible and we are fortunate enough to host this new art project, which is led by Hazel Daly from OLDC and facilitated by local artist extraordinaire, Emma Barone.


In a world often dominated by screens, a group of teenagers have embarked on a journey that transports them into a realm of vibrant colours, textured canvases, and boundless creativity. Over the course of three weeks, these young artists will immerse themselves in an intensive art programme that not only hones their technical skills but also encourages a sense of camaraderie and self-discovery.


A fantastic group of enthusiastic and talented students from St. Brendan’s Community School have worked alongside Emma Barone to create amazing contemporary pieces of art. The aim of the project is to introduce the students to various forms of visual art, from traditional pastels and paint to modern digital experimentation, while providing an avenue for self-expression, fostering a sense of identity and purpose among the participants. The teenagers are emboldened to explore and push the boundaries of their creativity.


Each week the students arrive at the Theatre after a long day at school, have a snack to muster the energy to get to work creating unique and personal masterpieces. While they produce their artwork, they chat and have a laugh. One of the programme's remarkable features is its inclusivity. Teenagers from different walks of life, representing various cultural backgrounds and artistic interests, converge within the walls of Birr Theatre. The result is a vibrant tapestry of ideas, perspectives, and styles that enrich the artistic experience for everyone involved.

It has been thrilling to see the teenagers expand their visual art knowledge and let their imaginations flow. With one week left in the project, we are excited to see the finished artworks and potentially share the fruits of their labour with you all!


Watch this space...


This project is supported by the Laois Offaly Local Creative Youth Partnership

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