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Community Art Projects

I specialise in inclusive collaborations with children and staff to design and produce interior and exterior graphic Murals and art installations using a carefully chosen colour palette of high quality, child friendly paints and materials. 

  • Unmasked:Cobblers Lockdown Sessions CD
  • Straide N.S 2020 Mayo Ireland
  • Sancta Maria College 2020 Mayo Ireland
  • Brackloon N.S 2020 Mayo Ireland
  • Carrakennedy N.S 2019 Mayo Ireland
  • Killeen N.S 2018 Mayo Ireland
  • Lankill N.S 2017 Mayo Ireland
  • Cuilmore N.S Newport 2017 Mayo Ireland
  • Westport 250 Parade 2017
  • Murrisk National School Mural at the foot of Croagh Patrick November 2016 Mayo Ireland
  • Westival 2019 ART ATTACK PAINT DANCE
  • Westival 2018
  • Westport Arts Festival Parade Sept 2016.

Most Recent completed Projects :

Working experiencially with children and adults of all ages and capabilities.

Over the last 30 years I have experienced and delivered a large variety of projects that demand an understanding of all materials and art disciplines. Celebrating local and global heritage, environment, culture and art.

Finding artistic solutions through collaboration and exploration is a really rewarding and educational process. Developing self esteem, learning new skills and enlightening our senses. 

Whether it is a public or commercial space, school or private house the sense of achievement and ownership is immeasurable

The Children`s Land League 

Project Straide N.S School Mayo explored "Synaesthesia" to produce a visual sculpture that reflects the rights of all children in Ireland. In Collaboration with Lucy Hill Creative Arts Ireland, Arts Council and The Michael Davitt Museum.

Murrisk N.S Mural County Mayo Ireland

Murrisk National School wanted to paint something on the outside of their school which would reflect the vibrance of the School on the inside and its exceptionally beautiful suroundings.

 One sunny Monday morning the whole school went for a long walk down to the beach and took their sketchbooks to REALLY observe their environment and talk about what it meant to them. In the following 4 days I spent time with each child developing their interpretation of the particular subject they had chosen to explore and by Thursday we were ready to build the composition. We looked at Paul Henrys work and talked about Hockneys colours and graphics. The individual drawings were projected onto Marine ply prepped boards and they all came back to paint their part.

The result is the most wonderful expression of the children's appreciation of where they live. The Mural is bursting with colour and content and illustrates the huge variety of History, nature, leisure pursuits and heritage in such a small area.

It is a very rewarding experience to guide a child to create something they didn't know they were capable of, not just individually but as a team and the finished design is now available as a printed card to raise funds for the school .Contact for details .

Warren Farm Nursery Exterior Mural

Warren Farm Nursery Exterior Mural

Area to be transformed was a tired peeling wall of the Nursery Portacabin and ugly metal container in the playground area. The initial discussions with staff confirmed the exploration of subjects for me to present a series of designs which were proposed to the school and a budget agreed.

St Joseph's After School Club

 This workshop was funded by Irish in Birmingham by the inspirational Pat Wright.

 The children exchanged their experiences and memories of Ireland – Family, sport, music, Legends, holidays, rainbows. We looked at the social history contained in old letters between emmigrants and stamps from 1870 to present day. Each stamp was identified from the catalogues and then they selected their own collection of used stamps to stick on a small vase ready for a flower or a tea light. All washed down with pink lemonade and Tatoes with some traditional irish music just to keep us focussed.

Shustoke School Jubilee Projects

My 2012 project was with Shustoke C of E Primary School in North Warwickshire where I received a friendly welcome and enjoyed a week working with children, staff and parents to produce the two murals below for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, June 2012. Each class celebrated a different decade and all the images were brought together on the large mural of a crown. 

 Thank you Shustoke School!

Here is What the Head Teacher Ms Wall says:

'We commissioned Nicky Dowd to work with us for four days on a large scale art project to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The work included many of the children and also provided an opportunity to involve members of the community – parents were welcomed into school to work with their children.

We were extremely impressed by the professional approach of Mrs. Dowd who came into school to plan the project with staff and prepare the resources prior to the workshops. Every effort was made to plan the project thoroughly and discuss creative ideas with school. Once the project commenced, the time taken to plan the project, certainly paid dividends as the results were wonderful and exceeded our expectations.

Nicky Dowd had a most pleasant and professional manner she was encouraging of children of all ages.

My staff and I would be delighted to work with Nicky Dowd again in the future and would happily recommend her to other schools.'

Warren Farm Projects

Warren Farm Primary School: Here is a testimonial from Gill Barr of Warren Farm Primary School:

 'Nicky has worked at our school on two fantastic community arts projects during the last two school years. The first project involved parents and children from across the whole school designing and painting six 8ft by 4 ft boards themed around different countries. Nicky facilitated themed culture days involving the relative different food, music, history and geography of India,USA,Brazil,UK,France and Spain.

This project was a wonderful opportunity for our parents and children to showcase their artistic talents under the expert guidance of Nicky. This work is displayed in our junior playground and is a vibrant improvement to a previously drab area. 

The second project was inspired by Andy Warhol based around British Olympic heroes. 

A design competition was run in school and the winners worked with Nicky to produce an Olympic display which adorns our front playground area.

National Trust

Testimonial for Nicky Dowd by Joyce from the National Trust

It is some what enlightening and rare to find artists and creative facilitators that can build on the bones of your initial concepts and use them to create resources and inclusive opportunities for audiences, participants and community.

I’ve worked with Nicky on several occasions with Birmingham Irish Community Forum and the National Trust Whose Story? Project.

With the Irish Forum she worked as a scriptwriter on an animation project called “Why The Irish?” Paddy Idol with, Bishop Challenor School and CAN Arts in 2005; funded by Irish Youth Foundation and supported by Birmingham City Council Youth Service. Nicky encouraged the young people to be as expressive and open in an informal educational setting. This was visualised in their final piece which they were proud of, having enjoyed a new creative experience celebrating their cultural background. 

With the National Trust Whose Story? Project which was an exciting initiative which aimed to engage and attract audiences from Black and Minority backgrounds to the National Trust who wouldn’t normally visit. Nicky worked on the ‘Access All Areas’ project at Croome Park in Worcester 2008/2009; again as a scriptwriter/facilitator creating an audio tour for the parkland. Exploring how cultures from all over the world were reflected at Croome, from the trees to the people who lived there. Along with audio artist Sarah Wilson and Redditch based youth group Caribbean Roots Connection produced an audio tour narrated by William Dean, who was Head Gardener at Croome in 1824 plus the young people acting the parts of 18 century characters who may have worked or lived at Croome.  

A Community Musical Lockdown Project 2020-22

to raise funds for Mental Health support with Westport Lions Club.

Double C.D recorded as a result of the pandemic Lockdown with 20 local artists. 

 St Vincents Primary school is in an inner city School of multi ethnicity located in an under privaleged area of Birmingham.

 It was felt that the 8 Values and ethos of the school needed to be visually expressed outside to reflect the inclusive, welcoming environment. The jigsaw theme symbolises the importance of our individuality and strength of team work. Each class discussed and explored their own interpretations of a given value, producing paintings and drawings which were then recreated by the children directly onto the prepared boards.The entire School was involved creating a body of work which was displayed inside to demonstrate the design process and childrens involvement.

The Jigsaw Art Project was organised by Patricia Wright, Cultural Development Officer for the Birmingham Irish Community Forum whose posts and projects are funded by the Emigrant Support Programme from the Embassy of Ireland. This took 6 days to prepare complete & install and was opened by the Mayor of Birmingham.

The Jigsaw Art Project

Birmingham Children's Hospital U.K

A Commercial Commission for Birmingham Children’s Hospital to reflect the protected areas of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

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