A group of over 50 people from various parts of Donegal will meet in person for the first time at an art exhibition on Saturday, May 28th, in Inver Community Centre to showcase their artwork which was created over the last 18 months.
This Art Exhibition is being organised by DLDC, which supported the delivery of online art workshops with Colm Sweeney during lockdown through the Social Inclusion Community Activation Programme (SICAP). These online evening art workshops gave the participants a space to relax and forget their worries for two hours. They learnt new skills and connected with the outside world at a time when everyone was struggling with restrictions and fears during the pandemic and lockdown.
Colm Sweeney said, “Online art workshops are hard to explain, but I discovered with my Men’s Shed group early in lockdown when we started meeting via Zoom, that it was possible and actually worked well, so when this opportunity to offer art online arose, I gave it a go”. Kathy Cunningham, Lifelong Learning Project Officer with DLDC, advertised these workshops, and they were very quickly full, and the demand for more workshops continued to grow.
Susan Kierce Marsh, Lifelong Learning Co-Ordinator with DLDC, notes that ‘Learning to paint with Colm Sweeney was far more than just an art class, he included storytelling, and his calm tone made the class seem almost like a mindfulness session. Colm was fantastic in encouraging everyone to get out and look around them to appreciate the beauty locally, including the colours, skyline, trees, and the local sites. These art classes provided a valuable social connection for our clients, and we are now in a position to celebrate in person with our Art Exhibition’.
When restrictions eased and following some discussion, the majority of the group were happy to continue with their art classes delivered online via Zoom. The participants noted that the online session was very accessible, especially for housebound or those who didn’t have transport. Another benefit of the online class meant not having to move equipment, paints, paintings, etc., to and from a venue – the artwork could be finished off where it was, and the group could stay together.
This art exhibition, “Our Zoom Journey of Creation and Connections during a Pandemic”, will showcase our clients’ artwork, stories, and experience.
This art exhibition is a free event open to the public and will be held in Inver Community Centre on Saturday, May 28th, 2022, from 11.30 am to 2 pm. Refreshments will be served, and all are welcome.