General Information

Galway Bay_004

Dear Interested Alchemy Participants,

This is an opportunity to immerse yourself in an unique natural landscape with no other obligations other than to explore and to “just be”.  Living accommodations will be arranged for you –as well as excursions to explore the western coast of Ireland’s landscape and cultural history. Participants will not be “schooled” but if there is interest in the historical context of this environment discussion sessions will naturally begin to happen.

The trip will be mid to end of September and is limited to 7 participants – dates will be finalized with input from participants. Price per participant will be based on the number of participants going (that will influence the group rate we can get for accommodations) and what excursions the participants desire to experience. The cost of airfare, lunches and dinners will not be included in the workshop participants’ fee.

If you are at all interested please contact me at:

000 Ireland ComboThe Workshop

ALCHEMY participant Linda Rzoska is interested in leading a group of ALCHEMY participants on a 10 day workshop to an area on the west coast of Ireland known as the Burren in September. The workshop will focus on knowledge of the landscape through experiential learning. The topics that can be covered if participants are interested are the landscape’s geology, history, flora, fauna, and the culture of this unique area of Ireland. The Burren area is home to a wealth of archeological and historical monuments, including megalithic tombs, medieval castles, and abandoned abbeys. The mystical beauty of this part of Ireland has long served as a source of inspiration to artists and writers of all genres.

About The Workshop Leader

Linda Rzoska is a Professor Emeritus of Kalamazoo Valley Community College where she taught art and design classes for KVCC’s academic unit the Center for New Media. During her tenure at KVCC Rzoska organized and led 13 student study abroad trips to the west coast of Ireland in coordination with Ireland’s Burren College of Art where she taught classes in Irish Life and Culture. During this course students explored areas of Irish life, past and present, including ancient to medieval history, legends, poetry, mythology, religion, dance and music. The course relied on the active participation of students and faculty with integrated field trips, films, walking tours, reading and group discussion.

Rzoska spent 2 months working and researching in the Burren during her 2008 Sabbatical. The following is a link to her Sabbatical Proposal on her Sabbatical Blog.

IMG_2187The Accommodations and Excursions

Workshop participants will be staying at Meadowfield Bed & Breakfast in the coastal village of Ballyvaughan in County Clare. Meadowfield is owned and operated by Burren local, Breada Keane. There are single, double and triple rooms available – with all rooms ensuite. Meadowfield is located in the village and a few minutes walk to the local grocery, pubs, restaurants and coastline.

The excursions will take the participants throughout the unique landscape and historical sites of the Burren. Some are within walking distance of Ballyvaughan– so participants will walk, other times participants will be driven by another Ballyvaughan local, Thomas Connely. The following are a list of possible excursions:

  • The Flaggy Shore –mentioned in Seamus Heaney’s poem Postscript.
  • Coole Park –estate of Lady Gregory and name sake of W.B. Yeats poem The Wild Swans at Coole.
  • Cliffs of Moher,
  • Aran Islands,
  • Poulnabrone Portal Tomb,
  • Gleninsheen Wedge Tomb,
  • Kilfenora’s Burren Display Center,
  • Aillwee Cave,
  • Gleninagh Castle & Well of the Holy Cross,
  • Holy Well of Saint Brigid,
  • Corcomroe Abbey –mentioned in W.B. Yeats’, The Dreaming of the Bones
  • Kilmacduagh Monastery.

The Cost

The price per participant will be based on the number of participants going, what group rate Linda can get for accommodations and what excursions the participants desire to experience. The cost of airfare, lunches and dinners will not be included in the workshop participants’ fee.

Interested ALCHEMY Participants

Contact Linda Rzoska ( by Friday, May 20, 2016. Send all questions and comments to Linda.


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