Why not explore your artistic streak in Craigavon. Whether you're an adult or child, beginner or advanced, you can choose from classes and workshops with the experts in everything from pottery to all kinds of arts and crafts.
Make exquisite pottery
Is there anything as satisfying as moulding and painting your own piece of pottery? At the beautifully restored 18th century thatched Bloomvale House, home to the award-winning Ballydougan Pottery, a centuries long craft tradition is being handed on in a series of master classes in pottery and crafts. Whether you're an enthusiastic potter or complete beginner their workshops are a fantastic opportunity to learn from the experts.
Workshops for all
Classes include pottery for advanced students and beginners, painting a pot, contemporary pottery, crafts for advanced students and beginners and current craft workshops. There are also weekend courses available for groups of adults, which include accommodation in their wonderful four-star self-catering cottages.
Check out the Ballydougan pottery workshop on their full-screen, high-resolution panoramic virtual reality tour. You can also organise group tours (Max 50 people) to visit the historic Bloomvale House and pottery workshops, including a demonstration of potting from making the wet clay to the finished glazed pots. These workshops/demonstrations can also be part of special birthday parties too. Call 028 3834 2201 for more information. Fantastic traditional Ulster cooking can also be sampled at their Ballydougan Restaurant during your visit.
You'll find all kinds of wonderful arts and crafts classes and workshops at the state-of-the-art Millennium Court Arts Centre in William Street, Portadown. It doesn't matter whether you're a gifted amateur or complete beginner, adult or child, you'll find the ideal class for you here.
All kinds of art
Look out for courses in creative writing, traditional arts and crafts, watercolours, ceramics, life drawing, painting, sculpture, printing, collage, art4tots, messy mitts or graphic arts/grafitti and if you're after family creative fun join in the free open art days on the second Saturday of each month (usually creating works based on the current exhibition) or their Easter Art Festival Day! There are also holiday classes for kids and adults and even a free film club!
That's just a small taste of what's on offer, so why not call 028 3839 4415 to get the full picture. A word of advice, classes fill up quickly so don't delay! You can also arrange group tours, talks and activities. An outreach can be arranged to suit every need.
Art on the island
Beautiful Oxford Island Nature Reserve is the base for some wonderful outdoor activities like sailing and birdwatching, but did you know it's also an important centre for the arts now too? ARTSPACE provides space to encourage artists and crafts people to work on the site, encouraging them to explore their creativity. You can see the artists at work and workshops are available in various aspects of the creative arts. There are also children's workshops, craft development courses and community arts programmes. Call 028 3831 1680 or 028 3831 1682 for more info.
And while we're on the arts front, check out the Allan Kirk Studio/Gallery in a beautifully restored cottage in the village of Drumnacanvy, just outside Portadown (tel: 028 3833 1713). Open through the year, it showcases Allan's acclaimed landscape paintings of the Irish countryside, as well as urban and village scenes.