Teacher's Studio

Teacher's Studio 2016 • Gal/i

The Teacher's studio was a series of three workshops for adults who work with children and youth in the area of visual arts or who would like to work in this area. Apart from art teachers and art students also employees of NGOs active in the work with children and youth were invited to take part.

The impulse for the Teacher’s studio was the insight that artistic (leisure) activities for children and youth in Abkhazia are either inexistent or, if they exist, they are organised with very limited resources in terms of material, space, funding and teachers. Often, also the repertoire of activities is limited. The latter is related to limited access to material and funding, but also to a lack of exchange with the outside world and a lack of information on activities other than soviet style drawing lessons and traditional dancing classes. Information about innovative artistic activites with children and young people only rarely found their way in the towns and villages of Abkhazia.

The project Teacher’s studio aims at (re)establishing artistic activities as leisure activities for youth in villages and small towns of Eastern Abkhazia. To that end, it provides new and modern know-how and material to people active in organising artistic activities for youth in this deprived region. Hopefully, the project is a first step which contributes to the growth of a network between culturally active people.

The Teacher's studio on facebook

* artasfoundation would like to underline that its use of names and titles particularly with regard to the conflict regions should not be construed as implying any form of recognition or non-recognition by the foundation or as having any other political connotation whatsoever.


The third Teacher's studio took place from 19.-24. September 2016 in Gal/i, the easternmost city in Abkhazia. A group of around ten participants of the introductory screenprinting workshop in January 2016 participated a second time in order to consolidate their knowledge and look deeper into the technical aspects of screenprinting. This advanced workshop allowed them to share their know-how with pupils during workshops they conducted themselves in two schools.

The screenprinting workshop in the framework of the third Teacher's studio was a workshop for advanced participants who showed a specific interest in screenprinting during the second Teacher's studio. On the one hand, the workshop dealt with all necessary technical aspects of screenprinting, be it the preparation of the screens or their cleaning, mixing the colours or working with chemical products. On the other hand, the participants planned three events, where they shared their knowledge with children and youth. The three events were the opening of the newly renovated rooms of the Art School in Gal/i, where the participants together with the visiting children printed on t-shirts, as well as two screenprinting workshops for pupils. Like in the first Teacher's studio, the third Teacher's studio strongly focused on the transfer of the acquired knowledge from the participants to children and youth.

The school workshops and the transfer were successful. The participants from Ochamchyra conducted a two-days workshop in the boarding school in their town. The pupils drew their own paper stencils, but at the end also printed on t-shirts. The participants from Gal/i and Kokhora conducted their workshop during three afternoons in the middle school in Kokhora, a village near Gal/i. In this workshop, the pupils in the end even were working with the exposure of their own stencils to light. Finally, the teachers of the Art School Gal/i, where the workshop was taking place, decided to include screenprinting in the curriculum of their school. During the school workshops, the workshop leaders of the Teacher's studio remained completely in the background, as there did not almost not emerge any questions the participants were not able to answer themselves.

The screenprinting material is now stored in three different places in Abkhazia: in the Art School in Gal/i, in the Ochamchyra Youth House (project partner of the first two Teacher's studios) and in the cultural centre SKLAD in Sukhum/i (partner of the projects Curator's initiative und Conversation pieces). All participants have access to the material in one of the places and are invited to use the material for their own purposes or for workshops. In addition, the participants visited a professional screenprinting studio in Sukhum/i. The owner and director Daur Gumba presented his equipment and works and promised to support the new colleagues in technical questions and in case they want to order new material.

Project coordinator:
Sabine Jenni

Silas Heinzmann

*1990, teaches the silk-printing workshop in the Teacher’s studio. Six years ago, Silas founded his own silk-printing studio. He works as as a freelance artist and graphic designer in Basel. Silas studied art and graphic design in Basel and Leipzig.

Fabian Pfeil
* 1980, originally trained in machine design, has been self-employed as a silk-screen printer since 4 years. Together with Silas Heizmann, Fabian curates a screen-printing studio in Basel.

Art School Gal/i
The Art School in Gal/i offers afternoon and weekend classes for schoolchildren in subjects like drawing, painting and art history. The school has functioned since the 1990s, most of the time without having rooms of its own. Classes were held in a corridor of another school. Since summer 2016, the Art School is now located in a central building of Gal/i, in their own rooms which were renovated with the financial support of artasfoundation.
The Art School director Gulnara Kardava and her team coordinated the third Teacher's studio in Gal/i.

Tsira Shubladze (NGO Avangard)

Tsira Shubladze supported the team of the Art School with their organisational tasks.
NGO Avangard on facebook

SDC Cooperation office for the Southern Caucasus