Gaelscoil an Ghoirt Álainn – Commission Opportunity

Percent for Art commission opportunity at Gaelscoil an Ghoirt Álainn – call for expressions of interest

NSF and Gaelscoil an Ghoirt Álainn, Cork, intend to commission a public art work under the Percent for Art Scheme funded by the Department of Education and Science.

Is láthair foghlamtha faoi leith agus speisialta é Gaelscoil an Ghoirt Álainn. Is í an Ghaeilge máthair-theanga na scoile agus glacann na páistí páirt sa tumoideachas ón gcéad lá dóibh sa scoil. Chomh maith le sin is scoil ilchreidmheach í Gaelscoil an Ghoirt Álainn a chuireann fáilte roimh pháistí le nó gan traidisiún reiligiúnach.

Gaelscoil an Ghoirt Álainn established in 1993, is a co-educational, multi-denominational, Irish language medium school under the patronage of An Foras Patrúnachta and affiliated to Educate Together. It is now in a brand new building on one of the highest points on the north side of Cork city; the school was located in temporary accommodation at Brian Dillon’s Hurling and Football Club since 1998, and in February 2020, they officially moved into their new building.
The school’s ethos is multidenominational and celebrates diversity within the school community and in the locality. Festivals from different cultures, religions and traditions are celebrated through the year. The school was awarded a Yellow Flag for diversity and inclusion in 2019 and they also achieved two Green Flags as well as an Active Schools Flag for physical education. They are currently involved in Creative Schools Ireland and have formed student arts council for the project.
The school community focuses on inclusion of all – from the student council to the very active parents’ association. They all work together in running an annual Christmas Fair, Seachtain na Gaeilge events and family social events in the school.
Gaelscoil an Ghoirt Álainn is a co-educational, multi-denominational primary school that welcomes children with or without a religious tradition. Due to its unique status as both a Gaelscoil and a multi-denominational school, Gaelscoil an Ghoirt Álainn attracts increasing numbers of students from the area. Currently, 370 students are enrolled. Well over 80% of the children attending the school come from within 1.5 miles radius of the school. The school is a Gaelscoil and children learn through immersion in the language from their first day at school. Gaeilge is spoken throughout the day by everybody in the school building.

The two-storey building has sixteen classrooms, a hall, special education rooms and a library as well as a yard and plenty of outdoor space. The green spaces have not yet been fully landscaped. The children take part in a range of activities in the school including Irish dancing, traditional music (they have their own Banna Ceoil and singing group), swimming, Gaelic sports, tennis as well as beginners Italian lessons. They have an annual school concert where children showcase their talent to friends and family.
The School strives to be involved in community events e.g. singing in residential homes, community music with Music Mash-Up, Christmas concerts in UCC and elsewhere, the Cór Fhéile, Sciath na Scól, Cork City Sports. Throughout the school year children participate in a variety of cultural, scientific and historical field trips and workshops – e.g. in 2019-20 they had folk dance, Lego, drama and science workshops as well as a range of guest speakers.

It is intended that the commissioned art work/s will be site specific and will be integrated into the redevelopment and or sited in and or around the building or grounds. The brief asks the artist to:
• Reflect the ethos and ambition of the school; its commitment to education and knowledge sharing
• Respond to the redeveloped site and its redevelopment
• Reflect the meaningful interaction between staff and students
The context – the site and its renewed space and environment and its core constituency, its staff and 370 students (ranging in age from 4 – 13) are considered of key significance in developing a vision for the commission. The external grounds surrounding the School are also an option for the work(s).

Budget €30,300 inclusive of all artists’ fees and costs including installation, VAT and insurance etc.

Commissioning Process:

This is a two-stage open commission and will be managed by the NSF.

Registration of Interest:
To register your interest in the project you must email expressing your interest by Wednesday, 25th November 2020

Site Meeting:
Please register your name, address, and email and phone number and indicate if you can attend the proposed site visit on Wednesday 2 December, 2020 at 12 noon (sharp)
All correspondence will be by via email.
No access will be permitted to the site unless registered and it is encouraged that you attend the briefing, however, extensive notes and photographs will be circulated to those who cannot attend the site meeting, due to Government restrictions, due to Covid-19.

Artists will then be required to submit the following (please DO NOT submit anything other than what is listed below)
• Brief description / outline of your concept / inspiration for this commission and how you would work in the context of the brief (i.e., how you would approach the commission), outline proposed materials, scale and high-level budget breakdown
• Relevant curriculum vitae
• Images of past works that may be relevant in this context – max 8 images with credits
• Please note maquettes/models will not be accepted at this stage
• Deadline for entries : 12 noon Wednesday, 27 January 2021.

A maximum of up to 3 artists will be short listed and receive a fee of €500 to further develop their proposals for stage 2.
There will be a five member Jury Panel that will include two representatives of the school, the project architect, and two visual art professionals nominated by the NSF. The selected artist will be invited to meet with staff representatives to explain and aid the understanding of the work at the project’s initiation.
Summary of deadlines:
Expression of interest in the project: Wednesday, 25 November 2020
Site visit: Wednesday 2 December 2020 at 12 noon (sharp)
Closing date for stage 1 entries: 12 noon Wednesday, 27 January 2021.
Short listing will take place in February 2021.

The panel reserve the right not to make any award, if in their opinion, there are no suitable entries.
The role of the National Sculpture Factory is limited to the administration of the competition and will have no further role once the selected artist has been selected and the contract signed.

Applications to be sent via email to, clearly marked Gaelscoil an Ghoirt Álainn Commission.
All applications will be acknowledged. Please note: Canvassing will disqualify.

Please note due to Covid19 restrictions all correspondence including the application and selection process will take place online, therefore we recommend you send in one PDF only.
All social distancing protocols must be adhered to during the site visit; no admittance to the site unless you have a face covering/mask and hand sanitizer.