Funding has been secured for the third year (2012/2013) of the Longford Schools Photography Programme. A collaboration between County Longford VEC Adult Education, the Longford County Arts Office and participating schools, the programme has seen hundreds of secondary school students successfully enhance their photography skills.
Speaking to the Leader, Longford County Arts Officer Mr Fergus Kennedy confirmed the funding was in place for a third year.
“The program is going from strength to strength, and yes the funding has been secured for another year. There has been a huge increase in the number of students participating and in the volume of work they have been producing,” he said.
He added “We intend to expand it into some of the primary schools next year.”
Currently there are five secondary schools throughout the county participating in the programme. These are St. Mel’s College, Moyne Community School, Scoil Mhuire, Templemichael College, and Mercy Convent Ballymahon.
Programme director and facilitator, Ms Shelley Corcoran, joined Mr Kennedy at a recent end of year exhibition and awards ceremony at the Backstage Theatre. Presenting the awards was Longford County Mayor, Frank Kilbride.
Five awards were received by a winner within each participating school. These were Jack O’Brien (St. Mel’s College), Alan Gregg (Moyne Community School), Vivianne Sokunbi (Scoil Mhuire), Nicole Cowen (Mercy Convent Ballymahon), and Agnieszka Kruggel (Templemichael College).
The winner of the overall award was Sinéad Casey (Mercy Convent Ballymahon) and the overall winning school was Scoil Mhuire.
The awards presentation was segmented by musical intervals organised and performed by each of the five schools. The array of entertainment featured a number of memorable acts including Ríl Óg (Moyne Community School) and Keenan’s Army (St. Mel’s College).
“It is great to see the creative energy at this exhibition,” said Ms Shelley Corcoran speaking to the Leader. “The course is aiming to create visual awareness. The students really became more creative and they used photography to see the world.”
A native of Longford, Ms Corcoran is a graduate of the degree programme at Dun Laoighre College of Art, Design and Technology. She believes that the students encouraged one another.
“They all bounced ideas off each other. No matter what the task, however, the work varied greatly in content from school to school. It just goes to show how personal photography is,” she said.
Winning student from Templemichael College, Agnieszka Kruggel, told the Leader that she had worked with all types of photography throughout the year.
“I want to keep it up as a hobby. Every week we learned something new and we had great fun,” she said.
Jack O’Brien of St. Mel’s College agreed: “I was delighted to win in our school. I wasn’t really expecting it. I will definitely be keeping it up – as a hobby if nothing else.”
The students involved in the Longford Schools Photography Programme also recently visited exhibitions in the National Gallery of Photography, the National Photographic Archive and a photography exhibition at the Irish Museum of Modern Art.
Further information about the Longford Schools Photography Programme can be obtained by clicking on www.midlandcollegeofphotography.ie