New International School (NewIS) was privileged to be able to participate in a special project at the invitation of the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on the occasion of their exhibition at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo.
Staff from the museum came and introduced Warhol’s work to the students, invited them to the exhibition, and donated the plates needed for silkscreen printing to the school. The museum then had Stefan Hoffman, a Dutch artist, spend two full weeks at the school. Mr. Hoffman makes site-specific works of art in places all around the world, using primarily silkscreen printing techniques on glass windows. Using mostly images from public and private signs, his work challenges the viewer to make distinctions between the reality of interpreting the existing visual landscape of the surrounding city or town, and the meaning of his reinterpretation of those signs in his artwork.
Mr. Hoffman was able to speak with NewIS students in depth about what it means to be a working artist, how art is bought and sold today, and what that means about our society. He also worked very hard to encourage the students to discover different techniques with screen printing, through numerous small group sessions, where students made T-shirts, prints on paper, prints on glass, stencil prints, and image transfers in Photoshop.
The temporary mural on the glass walls in the school’s reception area is the final work created by Stefan and the students, and represents the teaching and learning that went on over the two-week period of his residency. Images from students, as well as six major themes studied from the philosophy of Andy Warhol, are included in the visual layout of the work. — ADAM HOSMER