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Virtually There: New Exhibition by Artists, Children and Teachers

09 Aug 2014 - 25 Aug 2014

VIRTUALLY THERE, a  new touring exhibition of work by artists, children and teachers created through online residencies, now in its final week, will close next Monday 25 August.

The exhibition stems from the Virtually There project by Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership, the only long-term professional arts programme running in Northern Irish schools.
Demonstrating the use of virtual technology to connect studio and classroom, the exhibition showcases work created by artists Ann Donnelly, Julie Forrester, Ann Henderson, Sharon Kelly and Andrew Livingstone with primary school children from all over Northern Ireland. The exhibition will be accompanied by a programme of events for children, parents, teachers and artists. VIRTUALLY THERE will continue at Highlanes Gallery until Monday 25 August.
Marcella WilsonTeacher at Donaghey Primary School in Cookstown, said: ‘During the projects I am constantly being challenged about my expectations of the children, my teaching methods, my classroom practice, the experiences being offered to the children, their learning experiences, the improvements in their skill set and so the list goes on. I think it is amazing that someone can come into my classroom via the computer and challenge me in such a manner. Looking at the work produced by the children helps me appreciate the process more and helps me to realise what we have achieved together, over a relatively short period of time – just imagine what could be achieved if funding was available for all schools to participate in work like this all the time.’
Orla Kenny, Creative Director of Kids’ Own, said: ‘This tour provides a significant opportunity for Kids’ Own to profile a very unique way of working between artists, teachers and children, which has been emerging through the Virtually There project over seven years. To us, what it highlights is that technology can provide a unique platform for connection between the classroom and the studio and gives children an opportunity to enter into an enquiring space with an artist. Far from drawing them away from their learning, it supports everything they are doing in the classroom and offers so much richness in terms of developing their creative and divergent thinking and supporting their learning and development through collaborative exploration. We look forward to bringing this exhibition to new audiences of teachers, artists, parents and children all over the country.’
Aoife Ruane, Director of Highlanes Gallery, said: ‘We are delighted to partner Kids Own on the presentation of this unique exhibition where the creative collaborative work of artists, teachers and children is highlighted. It is a great opportunity to view and connect with the artists involved in this fascinating project engaging the idea of technology within the artist’s studio and the classroom.’
Kids Own Opening Event:
VIRTUALLY THERE opens on Saturday 9 August from 12.00 to 2.00pm with a special opening introductory session led by Orla Kenny and VIRTUALLY THERE artists Sharon Kelly, Ann Donnelly and Julie Forrester. Gallery visitors are invited to explore the role of technology and how it can support meaningful collaborations between artists, children and teachers.
This event is free but places must be booked in advance at
Children’s Workshop Programme:
Exhibiting artist Sharon Kelly will lead three gallery based art workshops for children aged 10 to 12 years on Friday 15, Thursday 21 and Friday 22 of August from 11.30am to 1.00pm each day.
Sharon Kelly will connect virtually with the children during the workshop on 21 August. 
The sessions are €5.00 per child, with early booking advised on and 041-9803311.
The exhibition will continue to Limerick, Tralee, Carrick-on-Shannon, Derry and Banbridge, County Down from August 2014 to April 2015.
The VIRTUALLY THERE exhibition tour is produced by Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership and is funded through the Arts Council of Ireland’s Touring and Dissemination of Work Award.
The Virtually There residency programme has been funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland since 2007.
Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership is a Sligo-based non-profit arts organisation established in 1997. Kids’ Own support children’s writing and creativity through the development of bookmaking projects and arts opportunities in education and community settings across the 32 counties of Ireland. Kid’s Own’s vision is an Ireland that truly values the arts in lives of all children and recognises children as strong readers, writers, thinkers and creators.
VIRTUALLY THERE will continue at Highlanes Gallery for three weeks only, until Monday 25 August.
  • Date: 09 Aug 2014 - 25 Aug 2014
  • Location:Ann Donnelly, Julie Forrester, Ann Henderson, Sharon Kelly and Andrew Livingstone