Budding artists are looked after well in St. Jarlath’s, with Art as a school subject being offered both in Junior and Senior cycles. In the Junior Cycle, students spend their time trying out all manner of different techniques and media to hone their artistry skills, culminating in a project and a drawing examination to show the new skills and techniques learnt. Students can then take Art as a Leaving Cert subject, where the subject is an interesting mix of Art History and practical work. Students learn about various different artists and artistic movements, as well as techniques used by them, the knowledge gained eventually being tested in an exam at the end of their studies. There are also practical examinations testing the students in Imaginative Composition or Still Life drawing, Design or Craftwork and Life Sketching which make up over have the marks for the subject, meaning that a student who is talented artistically can do very well.
There are also many less formal formats for artistic expression by students in the College. The Opera backdrop and stage design is done by in house art students in conjunction with the Mercy, a fantastic outlet for students’ work to be appreciated by a paying audience. There are also various poster campaigns run by junior students during the year, such as the long-running, first year drawn anti-bullying poster campaign or the Seachtain na Gaeilge inspired seanfhocal poster spread. The student magazine Novum also provides a great format for budding artists’ work to be published, with the cover designed by a Leaving Cert art student and ample room provided for any comics, sketches or drawings done by students.