Solstice Arts Centre Logo
Solstice Arts Centre Logo


« We believe that arts and culture illuminate our lives, and awaken possibility in everyone. We create extraordinary creative moments that stir hearts and minds. »

Engagement, Learning & Participation

At Solstice we aim to inspire, encourage and support engagement and learning through the arts in a positive and inclusive environment. Within our Visual Arts programme we do this with a range of artistically rich activities and creative events centred around our gallery spaces.

Exhibiting a broad range of artworks by national and international artists annually, we support the development of emerging and early career artists as well as promoting established artists and their practice. Exhibiting artists, and a range of artist facilitators, are invited to present workshops, talks, seminars and panel discussions throughout the year. By providing access to these arts and cultural events we promote active participation within the community. Gallery engagement enables our audiences to connect directly with professional artists and develop links to each exhibition.

An important part of our Learning & Participation Programme is our visual arts workshops or gallery associated events. To promote an understanding of arts and cultural concepts we provide quality and engaging arts experiences for children, adults, families, artists and schools, where participants can develop creativity and learn new skills. These shared experiences also support artists in developing their practice in new ways with a diversity of groups through the centre.

Family Engagement

At Solstice we value time spent together, making memories and having imaginative fun. Following a shared walk through our gallery spaces on the 3rd floor, sit and play in our Creative Corner. Inspired by each exhibition, use an array of materials to make and explore, or sit and read with your child in our cushioned area, taking time out from the hustle and bustle of daily life and enjoy some creative quality time together

Education & Schools

Visual Arts in Education Programme

Solstice is committed to providing quality arts experiences for schools and teachers as well as creating connections to practicing artists. Our Visual Arts in Education Programme provides access for Primary and Secondary School pupils directly to the arts through:

  • Exhibitions of artworks by national and international artists
  • Guided tours of the galleries
  • Artist-led talks
  • Hands-on workshops

For a greater understanding and enjoyment of the contemporary art on display, practical educational resources are developed to support each exhibition. These interactive resources are made available on-line or when you visit with your group or class.

‘The visual arts curriculum emphasises the importance of both making art and responding to art…observation, imagination and the child’s own experience provide the starting points for artistic activities.’ Primary School Visual Arts Curriculum


We also encourage students and teachers to engage practically with art making in the centre. Facilitated by exhibiting or teaching artists and inspired by the artworks in our galleries, a series of hands-on workshops are organised for primary and post-primary level students.

Creative CPD (Continued Professional Development) opportunities for Primary & Secondary school teachers are run annually within Solstice to encourage and support engagement with the arts in the classroom.

Guided tours of the galleries

To assist in the interpretation and enjoyment of our gallery exhibitions you can book a free guided tour for your class group. This can also be accompanied by our relevant Educational Learning Resource, a practical, fun way for your pupils to learn more about the artist and their work.

Please let us know if you wish to avail of our learning resource and total number of pupils attending when booking so we can have everything ready for your visit.

Educational resources

Highlighting visual arts and cross-curricular links to the Primary and Secondary School Curriculums, our educational resources are developed for each exhibition. Look, Draw, Think & Respond are themes used for primary level while the post-primary resource gives specific information for the Art Appreciation Gallery Question on the Leaving Certificate paper. For examples, see our You Are Made of Stardust educational resources.


Our visual arts workshops are an important part of our Learning & Participation Programme. Facilitated by an exhibiting or other professional artist we host a range of hands-on workshops inspired by the artworks in the galleries. Following a guided tour, students are given the opportunity to respond creatively through activities such as drawing, print, clay and construction while also promoting skills in critical thinking, collaboration and self-expression. For examples visit You Are Made of Stardust Associated Events.

CPD (Continued Professional Development)

Assisting teachers and teaching artists in developing the skills and confidence to engage in artistically rich experiences with children, our Continued Professional Development courses focus on the gallery as an additional classroom. Through discussions on art and a hands-on activities, participants are encouraged to enhance their artistic skills while experiencing the potential of the gallery context as an educational resource, and how this can be applied to the classroom context.

We welcome any feedback or engagement from teachers, schools, families, individuals and other cultural organisations to assist us in developing our programme and to meet your needs. For more information or to get in touch about our Visual Arts Engagement Learning & Participation please contact Deirdre at

Learning & Participation

To assist in the interpretation and enjoyment of gallery exhibitions a member of staff is always on hand to show you around the gallery.

Artists or curator talks at exhibition openings are also an ideal opportunity for you to meet and hear the artist(s) give an overview of their work in the gallery, their inspiration and artistic thought process. These openings are open to all, free to attend and no booking is required. Keep an eye out on our social media or sign up to our newsletter for details on openings. Be sure to select Visual Arts as an interest when signing up.

All our exhibitions feature Associated Events, a programme of artist led talks and workshops taking place during each show. We endeavour to ensure they are available to a wide range of age groups and must be booked in advance. Whether you want to develop creatively, learn a new skill or explore a new art form our associated events promise there is something for everyone. For a list of our current associated events see our Visual Arts 'What's On' page.

Free Cinema Screening

Many exhibitions are accompanied by a free screening of a film in our 320-seater 4K cinema. Linked thematically to the artworks in our gallery, this mid-week evening event is an opportunity to sit back and relax. Previous screenings have included A Rich Inheritance in association with the exhibition Faces in the Clouds, the Michael O’Connor Collection, Contact (1997) in association with the exhibition You Are Made of Stardust by George Bolster, and Fantasia (1940) in association with MUSIC +MAKER. The gallery opens one hour before the film begins so you can view the associated artworks before this special screening.