Open Studio: Stencil Art
Aug 1 2024 | 10am - Aug 31 2024 | 5pm

333 E River Road
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

John Von Wicht, Stencil on Japanese Paper. Black and bright orange abstract symbols with a navy blue accent.

Additional Details

In 20th-century American art, STENCIL ART evolved through various contexts, from its early association with political activism to its integration into avant-garde experimentation. During the Great Depression, stencil art served as a potent tool for conveying messages of hope and solidarity, with artists commissioned by organizations like the Works Progress Administration (WPA) to create murals and posters addressing issues such as labor rights and racial equality.

In World War II, stencil art became a pivotal component of American propaganda efforts, utilized in posters and materials aimed at rallying public support and fostering patriotism. Following the war, stencil techniques found a new platform in the burgeoning graffiti and street art movements of cities like New York, where artists employed stencils to create intricate murals and tags on urban surfaces.

The rise of Pop Art in the 1950s and 1960s further propelled stencil art into the spotlight, with artists like Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein utilizing stencils to replicate iconic imagery from popular culture and mass media. Stencil techniques facilitated the precise reproduction of imagery, challenging traditional notions of artistic authenticity. In contemporary American art, stencil art continues to thrive as a versatile medium employed by artists to explore a diverse array of themes and techniques. From social and political commentary to explorations of identity and consumer culture, stencil artists employ a wide range of styles and approaches, contributing to the ongoing evolution of American visual culture.

Drop-in, Self-Guided Art Activity

Each month, WAM presents a self-guided art-making activity inspired by an art piece or artist from the museum's collection. Everything you need to make your own masterpiece is provided and the activity is designed to be accessible and open to all. Drop-in during open hours and get creative!

John Von Wicht, Stencil A, 20th Century. Stencil on Japanese paper, 25 x 37 in. Gift of Hudson D. Walker. Not on View.