Advanced Studio Residency: Burren/Ireland

Photo from Ireland Study Abroad Trip

Update: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, SAIC has canceled this study trip.


June 27 - July 18, 2020
*Note: Dates subject to change

This summer course offers students three weeks in the unspoiled, wild beauty of the Burren on the west coast of Ireland. This class will use the facilities of the Burren College of Art, an art school located on the grounds of a 16th-century castle amidst the spectacular western Irish sea coast. Studio based, with each student having a studio, the itinerary will also include visits to some of the oldest man-made structures in Europe, hill walking, and an overnight trip to the Aran Islands, the last European outpost on the western Atlantic.

This course is designed on an open studio or residency model. Students will have the freedom and time to focus on and develop independent projects, detached from the conventions and constraints of traditional curriculum, enabling full engagement with their own work, free from distractions. Group critiques as well as numerous informal sessions will be held.  Peter Power and Paola Cabal will meet with students for individual discussion and critiques. We’ll enjoy local presentations on Irish music (from traditional to post-punk) and Irish literature and history (from stone age to postcolonial, post-Celtic tiger). Field trips, readings, and explorations of Irish culture and the ruggedly beautiful landscape will provide an expansive and rare environment in which to work.

Credits3 or 6 credits STUDIO (3000-level)

Peter Power, Printmedia

Paola Cabal, Painting and Drawing

Program feeApprox. $3,300 (including transport during the program, accommodation and some meals; not including airfare).

PLUS Tuition cost per credit:
Undergraduate—$1,666 per credit hour;
Graduate—$1,730 per credit hour.

Budget at least $950 for airfare if flying from Chicago. (Note this is only an estimated figure. Actual fare will depend on many variables including airline, number of stopovers, exchange rate fluctuations, ports of departure and return, and date of ticket purchase).

Online registration beginsMarch 11, 2020

Deposit due at registration$525

Information sessions:
Monday, February 3,  4:30-5:30 p.m., MacLean room MC 112
Monday, February 10,  12:10-12:50 p.m., Columbus room CO 207

Previous trip’s course evaluations:

• I was so pleased with this trip. There was a beautiful balance of site visits, studio time, individual time, and group activities. I would encourage all students to experience this. The landscape of the Burren is beautiful and it truly changes you. I am so thankful for this experience.

• The landscape of the Burren is absolutely breathtaking. There are structures here that are thousands of years old. It is so different than Chicago and will truly change you. Being surrounded by so much space and open and natural elements was restorative. The slower pace was healing. In many ways I felt like I was able to strip down from technology and get back to the basics again. Instead of being stressed art was fun and I made some pieces I'm really proud of. Also, being able to meet other students from SAIC on a study trip like this was really impactful. I met people from many other departments that I may never have met before and really enjoyed learning from them and their experiences and seeing their art.

• Paola was very knowledgeable about the area and the trip overall as she has attended many years now. She was extremely helpful to me pre-departure answering all my questions via email in a very timely manner.

• I am so thankful to have met Peter on this trip. Being from Ireland, he has a great understanding of the area, people, culture, etc. He even put together a lecture on the history/culture etc of Ireland that was really enlightening. I also really appreciated learning from his printmaking experience. The school recently acquired a press and Peter got it all set up for us to be able to use on our trip. I greatly benefited from his 1:1 meetings with me encouraging me to dream big and simply have fun. I was enlightened by the sense of freedom he has with his own art and the freedom he encouraged me to have as well