Seamus Heaney Home

Kim Montgomery – Encouraging kids creativity

Birds in the Landscape Painting Workshop

Tell us about yourself

I am a visual artist and qualified as an Art & Design and Special Educational Needs teacher in 2005.  I set up ‘Art of this World’ fine art workshop service in 2014, inclusive of all ages and abilities.  I work with schools (SLD and mainstream), councils, community organisations and private parties.  I design and facilitate workshops across a range of skills including drawing, painting, printmaking, collage and sculpture.  I specialized in Post Graduate Fine Art at University of the Arts London and graduated in Fine and Applied Arts at Ulster University.

Art of this World was set up as a service that would provide opportunities for creative expression and wellbeing through visual art.  In 2020 Art of this World received an IERP award from Arts Council NI in 2020 to sustain the provision of art opportunities through lockdowns, including running an art competition for local children.  As a practicing visual artist, my work belongs to permanent public art collections including, NI Civil Service (selected by Arts Council NI), Ulster University, CCEA, SEELB, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council / Larne Renovation Generation.  In 2021 I became an associate member of Ulster Society of Women Artists.

My work is exhibited in solo and group shows across Ireland and the UK.


How can art and design benefit children of all ages?

-Increased self-expression.  Art is a language of its own and can give children a voice to communicate and process the world around them and to express themselves.

-Art & Design gives children an opportunity to make constructive mess and develop problem solving, creativity, self-esteem, confidence and wellbeing.

-Art of this World workshops deliver art history context in relation to projects undertaken.  As an A Level History of Art teacher I have lots of useful reference points, though the best way to learn about art is to go and see it.


What will children learn from your workshop at Seamus Heaney HomePlace?

My upcoming workshop at Seamus Heaney HomePlace, ‘Birds in the Landscape Painting’, has been designed to help children learn how to paint with step by step guidance, through demonstration of colour mixing and a range of painting techniques.  Children will learn how to paint landscape details including sky and a backdrop sympathetic to Heaney’s locale, ‘Church Island’.  Children will have the opportunity to consider the theme of nature locally, designing and painting a starling murmuration pattern.  Participants will gain an original masterpiece to keep and adorn their walls at home.

Do you have any tips for parents on encouraging kids creativity and getting them involved in art?

-Give children freedom to experiment with a range of materials – a ream of cartridge paper or sketchbook, pencil, pen, old magazines, scissors and glue stick are a good starting point.

-Create something every day to build confidence and to work out what your child is interested in and wants to express.

-Allocate an art work space where mess can be made, revisited and displayed.

-Go and see as much art as possible (there are lots of galleries and museums across Ireland).

-It won’t always work out as planned but sometimes the best creative discoveries come from mistakes.

-Keep going, every day there are things to express and art can channel this.


Kim’s workshop is taking place on Friday 6th August and tickets are available here.


Image – ‘Christmas Eve’ painting by Kim Montgomery (acrylic on wood, purchased by Department of Finance (selected by Arts Council NI), 2021.