The group of volunteers who participated in the community arts project
A truly unique art installation was unveiled in Kilkenny Volunteer Centre last Friday as part of National Volunteering Week celebrations.
The installation, created by volunteers, marks the culmination of a 10-week community arts programme entitled the Art of Volunteering. 18 volunteers from a broad cross section of Kilkenny based community groups and organisations participated in the programme which explored the concept of volunteering through a series of creative workshops.
Facilitated by local artist Rachel Burke, the Art of Volunteer Programme was a community collaboration between Kilkenny Volunteer Centre who coordinated and delivered the programme Kilkenny Carlow ETB Community Education who funded the initiative.
Paula Harte, Volunteering Development Officer with Kilkenny Volunteer Centre notes,
“As a newly established Volunteer Centre, we are tasked with promoting volunteering in Co Kilkenny. With that in mind the idea for the project was to invite volunteers from a variety of organisations that we work with to come together to explore what volunteering means to them. The hope was to also reflect the impact that volunteers have on our communities.
Volunteers from all over Kilkenny, came together and generously gave their time, their hearts, their creativity and engaged fully with the project. Collectively, with support from local artist Rachel Burke, we now have these amazing individual pieces of art that not only reflect each participant's personal journey but will prompt discussion and inspire reflection on volunteering for a long time to come in the Kilkenny Volunteer Centre.
The project was funded by the Community Education Service of Kilkenny Carlow ETB.
Siobhan O'Brien, Community Education Coordinator said: “Kilkenny Carlow ETB were delighted to support this wonderful initiative. One of the key roles of the community education service is to offer people the opportunity to explore new interests and learn new skills in an informal and inclusive environment. This project enabled the participants, many of whom had no previous experience in art, to work with a tutor over several weeks, develop their talents and produce these wonderful pieces. Well done to all”.
Deirdre Dowling, volunteer and participant on the programme commented, “For me, volunteering is something that is very important to me in my life and participating on this programme was a wonderful experience. Over the ten weeks, we really got the opportunity to explore what it feels like to be a volunteer and produce a special piece of art that reflects this. During the programme I had a wonderful time, I met so many new people, I made new friends and I had an outlet to be creative and try something new. Isn’t that what volunteering is all about?!”
The art installation will remain on display in Kilkenny Volunteer Centre’s premises in 11 Irishtown Kilkenny and will serve as a strong visual representation of both the personal experience and the collective impact of volunteering in Kilkenny.
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