The Place

Where is the program?
Cow House Studios is located on the O’Gorman family farm, in rural Wexford, two hours south of Dublin. Nestled at the foot of the scenic Blackstairs Mountains, it is located three miles from the village of Rathnure. Director Rosie O’Gorman grew up on the farm, and her father Michael still works the land. He is often seen on the tractor or tending to the cattle. There are 180 acres of land to explore, and a pond for swimming and fishing. Today, Cow House Studios coexists alongside the working family farm. To read more about the history of the Cow House please click here.

Do you have any pets?
We have three dogs and three cats; Lulu, the chocolate Labrador, Rupert and Rodney, the Tibetan spaniels and Dolly, Nelson and Cash the country cats. They love to play. We also have one peacock named George Clooney, and a retired racehorse called Trigger.

Where is the closest town/village?
Cow House Studios is located in rural farmland. The closest village, Rathnure is three miles away, and the nearest town, Enniscorthy is twelve miles away. It is a very safe, scenic environment. You can get directions here.

What is the weather like in Ireland?
During the summer, the weather in Ireland is temperate; the average summer temperatures are 65 F/ 18 C. It is often sunny, but there is frequent, soft rain, and night time is cool.

Program Details & Registration

What are the dates?
Session 1
Arrive: June 25 – Depart: July 19, 2017
Session 2
Arrive: July 21 – Depart: August 14, 2017

What do you teach?
During Art on the Farm we teach drawing, painting, photography and new media. To read more about our curriculum click here.

I don’t have much experience making art. Will I be left behind by the classes during Art on the Farm?
No, our summer programme is designed primarily to give each student as much individual attention as they need. Our maximum enrollment is 24 students, and we have five instructors dedicated to making everyone a better artist. Whenever you have a question, or reach a stumbling block we’re there to help you through it.

I want to make a portfolio for my college application. I’m even considering art school.
Is Art on the Farm the right choice for me?
Yes, all the instructors at Cow House Studios are practicing artists who were once in your position applying for schools. Instructors in the past have attended some of the most well renowned art schools in the US and Ireland including Rhode Island School of Design, San Francisco Art Institute, Bard College, UCLA and the National College of Art and Design in Dublin. We know what schools are looking for, and can help you develop your portfolio to the best of your ability for college submission

Do I need to submit a portfolio along with my application?
You do not need to submit a portfolio; Art on the Farm is designed for students of all skill levels. The most important quality in all our students is a desire learn, and the motivation to make art. Our students come from diverse backgrounds with varied interests. While many of our students go on to outstanding art schools, others decide to take a more academic path. We challenge each student according to their skill level, making sure each student receives the individual attention and guidance they need to meet their goals for the programme. We value the dynamic fostered in each of our sessions, and feel strongly that it contributes greatly to our student’s experiences.

I am mostly interested in Photography and/or New Media. Do I need to participate in the drawing classes, or can I just focus on taking pictures, printing in the darkroom or working on the computer?
Our 25-day course is multidisciplinary. While students definitely have the opportunity to focus on their medium of choice, we do ask that all participate in some drawing exercises. We find that a bit of drawing every day helps all our students, even the ones mostly interested in Photo and New Media. It helps with their observational skills, spacial awareness and understanding of light and shade. We appreciate that a student whose primary interest lies elsewhere may be intimidated by this approach, but we find that most students surprise themselves with the quality of work they produce, and the overall quality of their work improves as a result.

What is a typical day like during Art on the Farm?
A typical day at the Cow House starts at 9am in the morning with breakfast. Our first class begins at 10am where we usually focus on drawing to get the creative juices flowing. After a short break at 11:15 we’re back in the studio for the first of our two skills based workshops. These workshops can include colour theory and mixing, hand processing film in the darkroom, making cyanotypes, learning new software or building and stretching a canvas. We serve lunch at 1pm and head back to the studio at 2pm for the second workshop of the day. The afternoon is spent in the studio working on an assignments from earlier in the day, or enjoying the farm, taking a spin on the bikes, hiking or even fishing for dinner in the pond. A yummy home cooked meal is served at 7pm, and evenings are spent hanging out in the studio playing pool or pin pong. Many students continue to work on their projects from earlier in the day. Some nights we screen movies, have artist talks or an optional evening activity like night photography. We will periodically have critiques as well, where everyone has a chance to talk about each-others work, giving critical feedback on projects to date.

To see photos of previous sessions click here.

Do we travel around Ireland?
Most of our time is spent on the farm, and in the surrounding area, however, we do take three trips. The first overnight trip is to Dublin, Ireland’s capital, a second trip takes us to the west of Ireland for three days and our final excursion is a day long trip within our own region of the southeast. To read more about our excursions click here.

How many students attend each session?
We take 24 students for each session and with five teachers, this allows for much individual attention.

Who teaches during Art on the Farm?
Our teachers are practicing artists who are passionate about working with young people. Directors Rosie and Frank are the primary teachers during Art on the Farm, Rosie’s sister Sinead runs several workshops, and each summer two visiting artists also stay at the Cow House for the duration of the programme.. Click here for more information about our visiting artists.

How old are Art on the Farm students?
You must be between 15 and 18 years old to attend Art on the Farm. The average age of our students is between 16 and 17 years.

Where do your students come from?
Approximately two-thirds of our students travel from the US, with the remaining students coming from Ireland, Europe and the rest of the globe. To date students have traveled from all over the United States, Canada, Switzerland, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Greece, Taiwan, Colombia, Russia and Singapore.

What is the boy-girl ratio?
Generally, for every one boy there are three girls.

Do I need to participate in all three weeks of Art on the Farm? Can I attend for a shorter period of time, or stay for the end of one session and the beginning of the next?
Art on the Farm is designed as a 25-day course. It is important that everyone arrive on the first day together and participate in activities from the beginning of the session to the end. For this reason students may not participate for only part of the session.

English is not my first language. Can I still attend Art on the Farm?
All courses at Cow House Studios are taught in English, therefore it is essential that you have an intermediate level of English to get the most out of this course.

Fees & Payment

How much does Art on the Farm cost?
Tuition is €4,950. This fee includes accommodation, three nutritious meals per day, all art supplies, use of studio equipment, field trip transportation, room and entrance fees, transportation to and from Dublin airport, use of laundry facility and bed linens.

What is not included in the fee?
The airline flight and medical insurance are not included. All participants must have medical insurance prior to their arrival in Ireland. Students can avail of basic medical insurance for the duration of the programme through an International Student Identity Card (ISIC) which is easily available through ISIC. Medical vaccinations are not required for entry into Ireland.

How can I pay for Art on the Farm?
All payments must be made in euros. Payment can be made by wire transfer, Visa or MasterCard. Those paying by wire transfer will be notified of wiring instructions once we have received your application form.

What is your refund policy?
A full refund will be given if a request is received in writing at the Cow House Studios by March 1st. Requests received by April 1st will be given a full refund minus an administrative fee of €980. No refunds are given for cancellations received after April 1st.

Once the program has started, no refunds are granted for early voluntary withdrawal, absences or behavioural dismissals. In the event that a class is cancelled by Cow House Studios for whatever reason, all fees will be refunded.


Travel to and from Ireland

Who will meet my child at Dublin airport?
Your child will be met by Director Frank Abruzzese at the arrival gate in Dublin airport. Frank will be holding a Cow House Studios sign and will have a photo of your child so he can recognise them. The group will then travel together on a bus to Cow House Studios, which is a two-hour drive from Dublin. Frank will also accompany your child to the airport on the last day of the programme, check them in, and bring them safely to the security gate.

I will be in Ireland when my child is attending Art on the Farm, can I travel with him/her to Cow House Studios?
Parents are welcome to drive their child to Cow House Studios on the first morning of the programme between 12pm and 3pm, and if parents would like to pick up their child from Cow House Studios they must do so between 8pm and 10pm on the penultimate day of the programme.

Do I need a visa to travel to Ireland for Art on the Farm?
EU residents and students from specific countries such as the USA and Canada do not need a visa to travel to Ireland. Citizens of certain countries do require a visa. Please click HERE to find out more about visa requirements. If you need a letter to assist in securing a visa, please do not hesitate to contact us.

What about health insurance?
All students must have medical insurance for the duration of their stay in Ireland. If you already have medical insurance it is best to check with your insurance provider first to see if they cover foreign travel.

Does my child need a letter of consent?
Parents must write a letter of consent stating that their child has permission to travel to Ireland to participate in Art on the Farm. Students must have this letter when they go through immigration at Dublin airport. Please state that Frank Abruzzese and Rosie O’Gorman will be responsible for your child during their stay. Include their dates of travel, passport details, your contact information, the contact details of Cow House Studios, and their home address.

What time should my child’s flights arrive in and depart from Ireland?
All flights must arrive in and depart from Dublin airport. It is important that arriving and departing flights are booked for specific times. Please schedule flights to arrive in Dublin airport between 8am and 1pm on the first morning of the programme, and schedule departures home between 10am and 2pm on the last day of the programme.

Safety

What happens in the event of a medical emergency?
Your child’s safety and well being are of the utmost importance. Both Directors Frank and Rosie are certified in Occupational First Aid, to deal with minor incidences, and in the event of a medical emergency, our doctor is a 20-minute drive from the Cow House, and Wexford General Hospital is a 35-minute drive from Cow House Studios.

Will my child always be supervised?
Most of our time is spent together on the farm at the Cow House, where students live with Frank and Rosie in a family environment. During our trips to Dublin, students have a few hours free time to explore the main shopping area in Dublin city centre. Each student is given a map and contact details and then sent happily on their way to explore with a little more independence.

How can I stay in touch with my child?
We have four computers at Cow House so your child can email you news from Ireland. Students can also use the phone in the Cow House to call home free of charge once a week.

What to Bring

Are cell phones allowed?
Cell phones are allowed but must be left in the bedroom during the day. Phone calls can be made and received after 8pm.

Are laptops or other tablet computers allowed?
We do not allow students to bring laptops or tablet computers, but we have four computers in the studio for internet access and project research.

How much spending money is needed?
The tuition fee includes all accommodation and meals, art supplies, field trip transportation and entrance fees, students only need to bring some spending money for gifts. €100 should be plenty.

What materials/equipment do I need to bring?
All art materials are included in the tuition, but you are welcome to bring your own sketchbook and any other unusual materials that you might like to use.

Do I need to bring a camera?
While we have some cameras at Cow House Studios if you have a camera, it is best to bring and use your own. That way you are learning on the same equipment you’ll be continuing with when you return home. It need not be fancy, any SLR camera with manual controls will be fine. A mega-pixel rating of 12 or greater is recommended for your digital camera. Remember to bring the extra batteries, a manual if you have one, memory card (if digital), and a carrying case to protect it.

How much luggage should I bring?
Please make sure to pack efficiently. Bring one piece of check-in luggage. Pack a bag large enough to hold all personal toiletries, a light rain coat (this is absolutely necessary), comfortable walking shoes or sneakers (again, a necessity)
a bath towel, hand towel and wash cloth, a laundry bag, a small backpack (in addition to your check in luggage), an old t-shirt/ sweatshirt to wear in the studio, and a swimsuit and beach towel. Bring practical clothing: including jeans, shorts, sweaters, tee-shirts, and one nice/ dressy outfit.

Should I bring rain boots?
We have many pairs of gum boots (wellies) at the Cow House, all sizes and colours, but you may bring your own if you prefer.

What about laundry?
Students do their own laundry once a week. Washing detergent is supplied.

How many students share a room?
Each bedroom sleeps between 4 and 6 students. The rooms are cosy, each with their own bathroom.

Food

What type of food do you serve?
We take our food seriously at the Cow House and take pride in serving heathy delicious meals. Frank cooks a variety of dishes, from Italian to Indian, Mexican to Irish, and we are proud to serve food that has been produced locally; fresh milk and cheese, natural irish beef and lamb, and delicious root vegetables. We also have our own vegetable patch producing herbs and seasonal green goodies. Mary and Edel bake daily and have become quite famous for their soda bread, banana bread and deserts.

Do you cater for special dietary requirements?
We are happy to accommodate any specific dietary needs, whether it be a food allergy, vegetarian or vegan requirements.

Taking Artwork Home & Documentation

How do I get my artwork home?
At the end of the programme all your work will be packaged for you to take home on the plane. Any oil paintings will be mailed to you later once they are dry.

Will you document my work?
Your work will be documented, posted in our online gallery and sent to you on a cd for portfolio and college applications.