Photo by: Ron Rosenstock
Location: Croagh Patrick County Mayo Ireland

Irelands west coast: Inspiration for the Arts

Tour Designed for members of Worcester Center for Crafts & Southern Vermont Arts Center

  • Nine days with accomplished tour leader, photographer, and honorary citizen of Westport, Co. Mayo, Ireland, Ron Rosenstock.
  • Co-leader Tom O’Malley, Ceramics & Photography Department Head at the Worcester Center for Crafts.
  • Unique visits with artist friends of Ron, including local painters, printmakers, photographers, and traditional art and craft studios.
  • Beginners to professionals are welcome to join this distinctive experience with like-minded WORCESTER CENTER for CRAFTS and SOUTHERN VERMONT ARTS CENTER members and the artist community of Ireland.
  • Experience the quiet side of Ireland and enjoy traditional Irish music.
  • Tour limited to 12 passengers.
  • Accommodations include rooms overlooking the Quay (harbor) of Westport, with spa and pool facilities available.
  • Experience western Ireland while spending the majority of your evenings in one accommodation.
  • Relaxed and flexible itinerary to make the most of the opportunities that come your way.





May 16-25, 2023


9 days


per person, double occupancy*

*U.S. dollars based upon minimum of 9 participants. There is a small group surcharge of $400 if 6-8 participants. We try to accommodate travelers who request single accommodations, as well as travelers who are looking for a roommate. If a single room is requested (subject to availability), or if we are unable to find a suitable roommate, there is a single room surcharge of $445.

Tour Overview

Want to be inspired by Ron Rosenstock and see your art from a different perspective?  Join a small group of artists to explore and experience this visually and culturally rich land. Ron has called Ireland his second home since he started leading tours there in 1967. He even was named an honorary citizen of the town of Westport, your home base for the program.

The Southern Vermont Arts Center and the Worcester Center for Crafts invite you to join co-leaders Ron and Tom on this revitalized...

Want to be inspired by Ron Rosenstock and see your art from a different perspective?  Join a small group of artists to explore and experience this visually and culturally rich land. Ron has called Ireland his second home since he started leading tours there in 1967. He even was named an honorary citizen of the town of Westport, your home base for the program.

The Southern Vermont Arts Center and the Worcester Center for Crafts invite you to join co-leaders Ron and Tom on this revitalized program to the Emerald Isle. Ron knows the best locations to visit and the best time of day to be there. He knows local artists personally—and takes you to their studios. Ron was one of the founding members of the photography program at Worcester Center for Crafts in 1969. From this partnership, spanning decades, he has been able to share his second home with other like-minded artists from the Worcester area. Both Tom and Ron have come full circle to offer this amazing voyage, where you will see the Ireland that few tourists ever experience. Participants will broaden their vision while learning from Ron and local Irish artists he has befriended since his very first trip to Ireland.

The program will be at a relaxed pace. You will visit local historic sites, artists’ studios, galleries, and of course the wild and rugged landscapes. You can sketch or photograph on your daily explorations that are designed specifically for the craft center. Whether you are an artist or a traveling companion, your days will be filled with new sights and things to do. Ron aims to please and can help accommodate requests such as a round of golf, bicycle hire on the Wild Atlantic Way, or even a private fishing outing.

Transportation will be in a comfortable tour van and driven by one of your new Irish friends. Limiting the group to 12 participants allows for a vehicle that can navigate the narrow roadways that larger tour buses cannot access. In turn, this provides you with an opportunity to get to know the traditional Ireland.

Your accommodations are at a lovely hotel just a short distance from the city center of Westport, with rooms looking over the quay or harbor. The hotel has a wonderful dining room that can cater to your dietary needs, and optional pool and spa facilities for those that want to indulge. Meals not included may be at a pub around the corner, or a picnic lunch by the ocean. You can relax on your own in the evening or Ron will coordinate traveling to a pub or two for traditional Irish music with his local musician friends.

Tom O’Malley’s appreciation for photography began in art school in the 1980’s, where he majored in ceramics. He has studied photography at Alfred University and Rhode Island School of Design. Tom finds photography is both a creative tool and means of documentation of his ceramic art works. His relationship with Ron Rosenstock began through the Worcester Center for Crafts, where Tom is the Photography Department Head and has had the pleasure to support numerous workshops by Ron. Tom is excited to be a part of this workshop that continues the legacy begun in the 1970’s with Ron’s first study abroad trip to Ireland.  His work may be found at:

Ron Rosenstock retired from Clark University where he taught photography for thirty years. Ron is happy to share his vision and insights with all who travel with him. His philosophy of teaching and the creative process hasn’t changed from his early years of photographing with a large format, film camera. He believes that art comes from within, not from without. Ron teaches exercises that will help you recognize your creative spirit and bring it to the surface, no matter what your art form is. These may include topics such as: 1) Entry ways to seeing, 2) Sketch or photograph in the NOW, and 3) Practical aspects of printing, exhibiting, and getting your work out there. Please feel free to view Ron’s website and e-mail him regarding any artistic questions. His work can be found at, email:  [email protected]

Photo Leader

Ron Rosenstock


Nice course, nice class today! It’s such a pleasure seeing your work…. and learning more about the “vision” you put into creating individual photographs. You’re as much a master of coaxing from software what you want the final print to be, as Ansel was in his physical darkroom work. And your images are every bit as striking as his. Maybe even more so. As I said, I learned a lot. And I think you for that. – Nick

— N. Miles
Our trip was a wonderful experience. Your planning which gave a savory taste of so much of what Ireland offers will be a memory I will always cherish. Thank you for the special stops that you did just because of my requests. I’ve already learned to play “Twinkle, Twinkle” on the tin whistle. Thank you for the high crosses and the dolmen. They were my favorites though there were many more…the areas of the potato famine were very moving.
— R. Smith

Hi Jacque, We wanted to say how much we enjoyed the tour with Ron. He was so organized and knew just where to go  despite the weather and all the other issues he was dealing with during the worldwide health crisis. And the organizational credit also goes to you!  We send you a huge thank you. We knew that you and Ron were working together trying to insure that we had plane reservations for home and hotels during our stay, etc. The woman behind the ‘curtain’…. we knew that you were doing your best to make everything happen. So a huge thank you to you as well.

Hope you stay healthy and we all keep our sound minds during this ‘strange’ time… as the Irish keep saying!


— J & S Morrell

Fantastic, simply fantastic. Having a knowledgeable tour guide that knew the best places to photograph and eat along with a driver that seamlessly navigated the irish roads are the primary reasons for taking this type of tour. Ron, however, went beyond this; he was able to include a lot of Irish history, culture and spirituality along with his unique presentations on the art of photography. Would like to do another tour with Ron.

— J Hopewell

It was great to travel with Ron, whose work I’ve long admired, and who knows the area, its people, and is so flexible with the itinerary. Aside from being inspired by his photographs, discussions, and the beautiful and interesting places he led us to, it was a wonderful to meet his local friends and even to be welcomed by some to their homes.

— S Skoloff

In my humble opinion this was a well run trip that delivered just what it promised.  The pacing worked perfectly for me.  I liked stopping at lots of different locales.  We seldom stayed anywhere that was too short or too long for me.  Can’t think of anything that would have improved the trip for me. I give the trip and Ron Rosenstock a 10 out of 10.

— E. Clark

The tour leader, Ron Rosenstock, set the tone immediately with his calm, confident, caring cordial and altogether welcoming engagement with each participant. I loved the freedom to explore what I wanted to photograph insead of being told how to shoot. That said, when I asked for some feedback it was candid and helpful and made a lot of difference to how I approached what I shot thereafter….. and the thereafter shots were a great deal better!!!

— M. McKiel

Ron was a gracious host and wonderful tour leader.  He made sure every one of us was comfortable and that we had the best opportunities for photographing.  His itinerary was diverse, interesting, and fun.  I loved his stories!  Jacque was amazing about the details.  The food was delicious.  The tour days were exciting and interesting.

— K.Gagne

The highlght of my trip was the end of the day.  Staying in the house and being waited on, discussions at night and info sharing.  Of COURSE the Irish countryside was great, but every Irish tour would  have this.  Ron is one of the nicest people I have ever met.  I feel privileged to have taken this photo tour with him as the leader.  He has so much information to share and practical advice, plus good stories and humor.   I am lucky to have made his aquaintance.  

— M.Coughlan

Ron was a gracious host and wonderful tour leader.  He made sure every one of us was comfortable and that we had the best opportunities for photographing.  His itinerary was diverse, interesting and fun.  I loved his stories!  Jacque was amazing about the details.  The food was delicious.  The tour days were exciting and interesting.

— K.Gagne

Ron was very helpful in all areas of the trip. I enjoyed his ‘tutorials’ each evening, especially the one where he took us through the editing process by showing us his before and after shots. He was also helpful when we were out shooting if we had any questions. He didn’t speak above our heads but shared information in a clear way – the mark of a good teacher! He wa enthusiastic and fun to be with, which set the tone for a great trip.

— J. Procell

This trip exceeded expectations by far! This was the result of your continuing concerns and interest in presenting to us so many aspects and views of Ireland.

— J. Bromley

Ron was a perfect trip leader. He dealt with all personalities of the group in a tactful manner. He made decisions based on what was best for all. He’s got a special talent.

— J. & B. Cummings

Ron, you provided ample opportunities to capture the essence of the landscape. However, I cherish most your times of sharing on creating your images, and the suggestions and comments you gave me regarding my own photographs. I am often recalling something you said or an image comes to mind as I contemplate some scene. I expect to see long-term results from my time with you.

— D. Lusk

Thank you for a fabulous trip! It was a blast and I actually learned some things too. I have made some progress on my Photoshop Elements skills, and am now able to selectively dodge and burn. Whoo-hoo! My next goal is to figure out how to work with layers.

— D. Broxterman

Ron, thank you especially for helping me see the beauty of clouds, of reflections of reeds in water, of silvery halos illuminating foxgloves in the forest, and of sunshine-patterned abbey windows on wet gravestones. Thanks to you, I leave with a new appreciation for the wonder and beauty of the world.

— J. Mitchell

Loved the boundless enthusiasm for all things Irish! His good humor and knowledge of the people, history, folklore, cuisine, and landscape of Mayo made the trip great. Loved going to pub sessions, too! He was very patient with all of us and I enjoyed the way he would point out his favorite spots to photograph.

— G. Alexander

Ron is my idea of the quintessential photo tour guide. He was happy to share his professional experience, knowledge and tricks of the trade with us. His love of Ireland, its people, history, architecture, and landscape came to life for us through Ron’s sometimes humorous, sometimes poignant, always interesting stories.

— S. Cocanour

Excellent presentation. I can’t think of any suggestions. Really enjoyed the variety of photos shown, plus the presentation and instructor’s knowledge. Very informative and fun to hear info and learning the material. I’m motivated to take better photos!

— Julie M.

Ron really was dedicated, and worked diligently to accomplish showing us the Ireland that he loves. Ron also has a wonderful personality for a tour leader: open, and humerous!

— J Bromley

We enjoyed all the history and stories of the areas we were visiting. ron is very knowledgeable, it was GREAT!!

— B & M Stewart

Ron’s attention to detail had a direct impact on the participants’ experience. He was always available to answer technical questions when asked.

— L Poirier

Your talk on photography and the spirituality of photography was a great revelation for me as I have always felt this way about it myself. Your talk was the affirmation I had been searching for. It was great beyond words to be participating with a group of Artists who were as passionate as I about photography and image making.

— M. McLaughlin

It is a photographers paradise-so much to shoot and in the most incredible light. But what makes Ron’s trip special is RON. Ron takes care of his people. Even the most timid, first time traveler is included, drawn out, mentored and educated. I truly look forward to exploring elsewhere under such positive circumstances.

— B. Bartel

Tour Itinerary

May 16: Home

Your journey to Ireland begins with an overnight flight from the U.S. to Shannon Airport in western Ireland. In past tours, some people chose to arrive a day earlier and stay close to the airport. Hotel options will be sent in your first packet of reading materials. (Meals on Plane)  Please note meals included below: B-breakfast, L-lunch, D-dinner

May 17: Shannon - County Mayo

The west coast of the Emerald Isle has captured the heart and mind of many a traveler over the centuries, inspiring traditional artists from poets to potters, weavers to welders, musicians to dancers, and artists including your locally known photographer – Ron Rosenstock.

You will be met at Ireland’s Shannon International Airport and driven north to Westport, on the shores of Clew Bay. After lunch relax and get settled into your accommodations for the week. Depending on the weather conditions there may be an opportunity for the group to enjoy the sunset over Clew Bay. Overnights Westport Coast Hotel (D)

May 18-23: County Mayo

The specific itinerary for each day will be set by Ron and Tom based on weather and local events. Each day you will travel by van from your home base to visit a variety of historical, cultural, and natural sites. The evenings can be spent over artistic discussions in the hotel or a walk to town (25-minute walk) to enjoy the sights and sounds of the many Irish pubs in Westport that abound with traditional Irish music.

Ballintubber Abbey, one of the oldest Abbeys in Ireland, dates back to the 12th Century and is named for the natural spring where St. Patrick baptized his first Irish converts. Nearby is historic, vine-covered Castle Bourke on the shores of Lough Carra.

Westport and the village of Newport both capture the flavor of traditional Irish towns with their tree-lined canals, stone bridges, and colorful shops. Historic Murrisk Abbey lies at the foot of Ireland’s Holy Mountain, Croagh Patrick. Remote Barnabawn Point on the ocean features both a mile-long sandy beach with ruined cottages as well as a rocky shoreline. The picturesque village of Cong was the set for John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara’s film, The Quiet Man. Other nearby sights include Ashford Castle, Cong Abbey, the forest, and river walk. This excursion typically is paired with Lough Corrib, where sheep graze peacefully on the rolling hills, laced by stone walls, which descend to the lough..

Taking Atlantic Drive north along the ocean you will see Achill Island with its rocky shores, heather, and cliffs. Wind up at the remnants of Keel, a village abandoned during the potato famine.

Start a day at Burrishoole Abbey, beautifully situated on an inlet of Clew Bay, then take in Carrigahowley Castle, one of the many strongholds of Grace O’Malley, the adventurous 16th Century pirate queen. (B each day, two D)

May 24: Westport - Shannon

Leave Westport early, driving south to County Clare, where you will spend the evening close to Shannon Airport. Along the way, explore County Galway near the town of Gort. You may visit Thoor Ballylee, the 16th Century Norman tower and cottage that was home to poet William Butler Yeats. The Irish Literary Revival began nearby at Coole Park with its beautiful lake and forest walks. Complete the day with one of Ron’s favorite places Quinn Abbey. You will then check into the hotel for your last evening. Overnight Park Inn Radisson Shannon Hotel (B, D)

May 25: Shannon - Home

After breakfast, cross the parking lot to the airport terminal. Airport luggage carts are available just outside the hotel lobby door. (B)