Arts Week 2014

Our Lady’s Bower celebrated Arts Week for all pupils from 21-24 October, 2014. The Arts Week was a special occasion for all the pupils- an opportunity given by the school to learn more about what is called “The Arts”.

It has been the aim of the school that every girl should experience a week devoted to the Arts once in her school career. There has been five such Arts Weeks before in the school: 1984, 1990, 1995, 2000 and 2008.

The Arts Week was first instituted in 1984, by Sr. Christopher and Ms Josephine Maloney, when the La Sainte Union sisters celebrated their centenary in Athlone.

Arts Week 2014 was the 6th such event, and turned out to be a rich festival of poetry, music, fashion, crafts, drama and cinema. The white walls of the new building were vibrant with colour and style, from students work to exhibitions of paintings and photos.

Our exhibitors included local artists Robbie Ryan, Niamh Dalby, Eithne Gallagher and our own Oonagh Kelly.

Many thanks to the Midlands Photography Club and to Dominic Griffiths for their wonderful display of photographs.

The following staff members exhibited their photography:

Ciara Henriques, Lisa Mc Nelis, Gudgie Moran and Yvonne O Connor.

Our Lady’s Bower has a long and well-deserved reputation for excellence in the fields of art, literature and music. Through past pupils and staff, many links with writers and artists have been established and the invited participants included many well-known speakers, artists, performers and exhibitors such as:

  • Storytellers Niall de Burca and Eddie Lenihan
  • Drama Groups Humourfit and FTFS
  • Broadcasters Blathnaid Ní Chofaigh and Kathleen Crossan
  • Milliner Martha Lynn
  • The Monks of Moyross
  • Band of the Western Command
  • Bog Oak with Helen Coneely from Celtic Roots
  • Poets Noel Monaghan and Declan Collinge
  • Film Directors Julie Le Brocquy and Martin McDonagh
  • Journalists Aisling O Rourke, Ian Cooney and Mary Lennon (ACR)
  • Origami artist George Dempsey
  • German Choir
  • Internet Safety with Pat McKenna
  • Law with Judge Deirdre Gearty

All students experienced some hands-on art activities such as felt making, yarn-bombing and embroidery, calligraphy and cake decorating. They were also given the chance to act, sing, and make music. The French Theatre for Schools performance of ‘La Décision Dangereuse’ was a huge hit among fifth years, but nothing could compare to the buzz created by young rock artists ‘Taken’ as they performed for the whole school on Friday afternoon.

Local contributors to Arts Week 2014 included the following personalities:

  • Juggling with Sandy Hughes from Tonnta
  • Gregorian Chant with Fr Turlough Baxter
  • Drama with Mary Fox and Kori Kilduff
  • Dance with Aisling Withers, Ciara Finneran and Ethna Benson
  • Zumba with Caroline Cunniffe
  • Art workshops with Emer O’Connor, Eithne Gallagher
  • Gymnastics with Francoise Gately and Pilates with Marese Gilhooly
  • Crafts with Lana Samovich, Carol Behan, Anne Marie Slevin, Mary Lough, Ethna O’Rourke, Lorna Stuart Trainor, Vera Behan
  • Writing workshop with Jean Farrell
  • Lámh signing with Fiona O’Dwyer
  • Nutrition with Lynda McFarland
  • Media with Eimear McCarrick and Mairead O’Connor
  • Cookery demonstrations with Mary Burke, Miriam Keaney, Susan Eades, Anne Marie Lough and Lisa McNelis
  • Package design with Alona Rock

Months later, the Arts Week will leave pleasant and long-lasting memories of a special event, which will stand out as a time where normal timetables were suspended, and students listened, painted, drew, experimented, tasted, sang, danced and enjoyed the Arts.