Over the last 11 years one of the distinctive features of Clonmel’s Junction Festival has been the hand-crafted banners and flags that have been created by primary school children working with different artists under the festival’s Participation Programme.
This year 12 classes from 11 local primary schools participated in the Pop Up People programme for the festival, which runs from this Friday, July 4 to Sunday, July 13.
The school arts programme, which has been generously supported by healthcare company Abbott since 2007, has given over 3,000 children the opportunity to see their work displayed in the town centre for a month before and during the Junction Festival. The programme also gives students the opportunity to work with a professional artist on researching, creating and making their own art.
“Abbott is delighted to sponsor the Junction Festival’s Pop Up People school arts programme. By nurturing creativity in young people this encourages students to think outside the box and develops teamwork and problem-solving skills, all of which are important skills for students to develop early in their lives. These skills can be applied to science, technology and maths”, said William Boxwell, Site Director, Abbott Vascular.
The Pop Up People project has been led by Cork-based artist Astrid Walsh. Her assistants were Aoife McGrath, a former participant of the arts programme, and Amadeus Helnwein, a recent graduate of NUI Galway‘s MA in Creative Writing. Amadeus has kept a very active blog about the project - www.popuppeopleblog.wordpress.com
A selection of the characters created by the children have appeared in Clonmel town centre. Some are large cutouts while others are on a much smaller scale and discreetly placed in shop windows, on counters and other places in the public domain. Festival goers will be encouraged to share their photographs of these Pop Up People on the Festival Facebook page - www.facebook.com/clonmeljunction