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Luxembourg Students Learn to Look

By Chris Starr

Photo: Renowned New York-based artist Accra Shepp before a captive audience at ISL.
New York art fans will recognize the name Accra Shepp. His solo exhibition of photographs entitled “The Islands of New York” is on display through May 11, 2014 at the Queens Museum. He has work in the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art, The Victoria and Albert Museum, The Art Institute of Chicago, and a host of other prestigious galleries. Numerous books and publications have featured his art photography and he has been on the faculty of well-known art schools such Pratt, Bowdoin College, and the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University.
Mr. Shepp was recently invited by the International School of Luxembourg (ISL) to participate in its Learning to Look art series. He spent a week in Luxembourg at the school conducting workshops on photography and photographic manipulation and addressing students in a variety of age groups.
Learning to Look is the brainchild of ISL Upper School Art Teacher, Olivia Lorton and the ISL Art Department. Each month the school features a professional artist across a wide range of disciplines. The artist’s work is placed on display in common areas of the school, and the artist visits the school at least once to share his or her vision, career path, and techniques.
The aim is to widen ISL students’ perception of where a fine arts degree can take one professionally. The series originally began with local artists in Luxembourg but is now expanding on an international scale. Past genres on display have included painting, printmaking, photography, etching, and graphic/surface design.
Last month’s Learning to Look artist was American-born Anita Dore. She spoke to the students about her creative process of designing patterns for textiles and other surfaces. Students learned from Ms. Dore that one can “find inspiration in almost anything—a garden, the steam coming up from a cup of coffee, reflections of streetlights on a rainy window.”
The Learning to Look series at ISL was launched in November 2013 with the paintings of British-born Luxembourg resident JKB Fletcher. The etchings and prints of Diane Jodes were featured in December. Diane is Luxembourgish and the founder of the country’s only collective printmaking studio. Swedish-born painter Jeanette Bremin offered inspiration for students throughout a cold January.
Other artists having visited over the course of the academic year are ceramicist Ferggal O’Hannrachain from Ireland and English painter Ben Carter. In every case, students are able not only to enjoy the artists’ creations, they get to interact on a personal level with the creators themselves.
Through the work and expression of these visiting artists, more and more students at ISL are learning to look for aesthetic inspiration in the world around them.

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