SAISA Art Festival: Stencil Art Workshop

Stencil art is a method of creating artistic pieces using cut out stencils. This style of art has been popularized in recent years by street artists such as Caledonia Dance Curry (also known as Swoon)Ron English and the infamous Banksy. While street artists typically use billboards, walls, and other public surfaces as their canvases, some artists create works on poster boards and other materials.The style of these street artists served as the inspiration for our South Asian Inter-Scholastic Association(SAISA) Art Festival workshop.

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Students at the workshop were first introduced to the style of art by the workshop’s leader, Jon Denhartigh. Jon, spent time talking about some examples of stencil art he had created and the artistic process he followed with each piece. Each successive artwork demonstrated an evolutionary step in his mastery of stencil art which students appreciated. Afterwards, the students started on a quick activity to give them a taste of what it was like to go through the stencil art process.

Each learner was given a sheet displaying an image of themselves 4 times. They were tasked with cutting out a different color from each image, the whites, the highlights, etc. Students then layered these stencils and spray painted onto compressed wooden boards. They assessed their works and reflected upon the ways they could make them better.

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The class then moved on to brainstorming works of art based on the festival’s theme, Justice. Students had used Art Knives for the earlier activity and were introduced to our Silhouette CAMEO Electronic Cutters. The CAMEO allowed students to alter their images digitally, in tools like Adobe Photoshop and GIMP, then select areas to cut out with the Silhouette software. After two days (about 15 hrs) of cutting, spray painting and sponging paint, students displayed their art for the rest of the festival’s students to see.

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While it sometimes looks like technology does all the work for us, this workshop demonstrated that some technology shifts the work from one form to another. Students that used the Electronic Cutter spent a lot of time experimenting and reflecting on their art works as a whole while those that cut their stencils by hand spent time experimenting and reflecting on the best methods of cutting out their stencil. A few students used a combination of both methods to complete their pieces.

Type: News