Preppin’ for the new school year!

5 08 2017

Preppin’ for the new school year.  I’m entering my 11th year at my current school and it is my 28th year of teaching. My teaching career has witnessed many changes in students and the way they learn.  I have also changed the way I approach my teaching style from the beginning of my teaching career.

Customizing your teaching style is something I feel younger teachers should know, you will change over time, it is a must if you want to be relevant to your students.  I want to tell you that it is okay to shift and change up things, follow your own instincts.  It is challenging because as a new educator you want to meet the administrations goals and the schools set curriculum but you can find ways to being your own twist to the situation.  It can be in how you handle daily rituals such as a morning routine or start of the class routine.  You can also set up your spaces to reflect your goals and approach, even if all you have is a laptop station.  Apply stickers to the front of the laptop reinforcing your attitude about the subject you are passionate about.  Students love it when you are passionate and show it.  Set up a space for you to display items that make the space yours with artifacts, small lamps, vase of flowers, photos of family…whatever you want to share and use for inspiration.  Something that you are inspired by and supports the classroom atmosphere.


I have personal goals to reach every year and they shape and influence my approach to the new school year.  I also have a philosophy that reaches beyond this school year to shape my career.  I am by nature a “work horse” who strives to help all of my students achieve and push to be greater than before.  I also have a goal to mix it up and level up my studio work and teaching.  I always strive to go further than the year before.  I cast off things that didn’t work and develop new ideas for the new year.  I find this to be a great motivator to keep me in the game.

One goal I have is to successfully launch my new Convergent Technology course.  This actually was inspired by a few students of mine who want to level up their abilities and mix in new skills.  It also taps into my love of stop animation and helping to develop quality creative content to share with the world.

Goal two is to bring in more guests to speak to my students about big issues related to the Themes that help shape the students Artist Proposals.  I feel when they hear from other experts or artists it brings it home for them and inspires original content.

Goal three is to keep creating…this includes my own work and writing about my experiences.  I feel I have a lot to share about how I’ve developed my teaching style and how I balance it all.

I am looking forward to joining my talented students soon.  I just need a little more time to get my studio ready for the busy hands and minds.


Best wishes to all of you beginning the school year.  I’m thrilled to have a new storage space and taking full advantage of the freed-up space in my studio to better serve my artists.

Traveling and taking time to shut off

26 06 2017
IMG_7533I went to Paris the City of Lights-
I traveled with a small group of students and a colleague, it was my first time in Paris, in fact my first time traveling abroad ever.   I was about to visit places that up to this point, I have only read about and researched.  Looking at these places in a VR still wasn’t the same as seeing the places in person.  I have read that sometimes a person gets overwhelmed by all that they see in Paris, I can relate to that statement.  I wasn’t overwhelmed but I didn’t want to miss a bit of it.  Our days consisted of walking surface streets and using the subway.  I do believe that is the best way to immerse yourself into the city.  We started as early as 7:45 a.m. and didn’t return to our hotel rooms until 9:30 p.m.


I have my favorite places that I hope to return to so I can spend more time enjoying all that the place has to offer.  I was surprised by what I was most excited to see vs places I was interesting in seeing but it wasn’t on the top of my list; how quickly that changed once I arrived.  The architecture and details of the interior spaces captivated my imagination.  I was peering out the window views in the same position as someone who may have lived in that space long ago.  The amount of detail the craftsman created who touched each place was breathtaking.  The hand carved details of doors, side boards, furniture, and so much more was impressive.  I was equally excited about all the gardens.  I took note of the ground cover, placement of plants, and hardscape to help shape the gardens.  I could have spent days at the Palace of Versailles.  I hope one day to return to walk the garden and take a boat out on the lake.
My group also visited the Fragonard Parfumeur and it was a great tour with updated technology and a very informative historical tour.  Learning how scents were created and the science and art behind perfume was fascinating.


Monet’s Garden was on my list forever. On one of our last days we finally toured his estate.  It was so beautiful and exciting to see how he constructed his personal spaces and his gardens.  I felt very much at home in this place.  So many nuances reminded me of my Great Grandparents home and garden.  From the color of his home to the carefully planted flower beds, it all felt familiar.  Once inside his home I really felt privileged to walk in his private estate and see what he chose to collect and view daily.  The water garden was much smaller than I imagined but it still looked so much like his paintings.  I could see what his eyes viewed and then painted on his canvases.


We visited the Louvre, Musee d’orsay, Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Paris Opera House, the Chateau in Vincennes and enjoyed the street market too.  The jux-a-position of the historical buildings and monuments with modern sculptures and graffiti was so engaging.  The sounds and feel of the Parisian lifestyle was something I am curious about and want to try to find more time to stay in one place to take in the cafe’s, little shops, and the food.


I truly enjoyed all that I was able to see and capture in my camera lens.  The time was spent was never enough but the memories of seeing so much beauty will always be with me.  I can say I was on the top of the Eiffel Tower and that I took a boat tour on the Seine river.
I will travel more and see more …  but for now, I will be content to paint what I can recall in photos and memories until I travel again.


Summer Pace Begins

29 05 2017

And just like that I’m still here…


This year has been a doozey and one for people who can endure many challenges, changes, and growth.  As I complete my year in review that lists all of the activities, conferences, awards, contests, exhibits, etc. I am fully aware of the stretch that I laid out for me as an art educator to accomplish.  I do believe in setting goals and to push forward in spite of obstacles.   

2016-2017 Year in Review 

Joy Schultz

Upper School Visual Arts Program

Award: Stephens Award for Academic Excellence -City Education Trust 2017

Celebrate 10th Year at Episcopal Collegiate School

Co-President NAEA Choice Based Interest Group 2016- present

Arkansas Regional Director 2015-2017

Accepted into The Ultimaker Pioneer Program- 3D Printer Innovation

Arkansas Art Educators Visual Arts Art Educators Gallery Show-2016

Episcopal Collegiate Art Teacher Gallery Show- 2016

Arkansas Art Educators Convention-2016

  • Choice Based Art Studio Implementation and High School Discussions

NAEA Convention presentations- NYC  2017

  • Choice Based Interest Business Meeting
  • Shark Tank Experience in the Art Studio for Stronger

       Student-Centered Experiences

Arts Reveal Night- Ten Artists Presented

Chibitronics – Dr. Jie Qi Artist Workshop for paper circuitry US and MS art studio classes and the Design Lab

ART CLUB Activities and Events

Watermelon Festival- face painting

Peace Rocks Project

Painted Piano Project- Mayor of Little Rock for the City of Little Rock

Homes for Haiti- Workshop at Clinton Library and the Christmas Mission Market Sale

Empty Bowls- Arkansas Food Bank-  Art Club Project

  • Hosted Girl Scout Workshop 35 bowls donated & $510.00 raised

Paves the Way Thea Foundation- Chalk Art Mural K-12 Art Club

Art Competitions and Exhibits

Thea Visual Arts and Fashion Scholarship Competition-

Curbside Couture Runway Show- First Place Winner $500.00

Central Regional Art Show-

Arkansas State Art Show-

Young Arkansas Young Artist Show-

Fine Arts Showcase- March 13th

Governor’s Mansion Art Exhibition- Governor’s Choice Award $100.00

2017 Governor’s Young Art Competition and Exhibit at the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion. submission “Open Strings” was awarded the “Judge’s Award” in the Governor’s 2017 Young Artist Competition.

Governor’s School Visual Arts Student

Student Art Scholarship Awards: SCAD

 Congressional Art Show Competition: Six Participants

  Laying the Foundation

 “Imagine the Inclusive School of the Future” art exhibit, on view September 1-30, 2017 at the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site Visitor Center.  The outstanding quality of the work and the historical significance of the 60thcommemoration, the Central High Visitor Center would like to invite your student to donate the artwork to the National Park Service as part of the Little Rock Central High School 60th commemoration archive.

Senior Art Show- First one ever at Laman Main Branch Library 12 students

Established the beginning of the Student Art Collection: 4 works selected

Alumni Art Show- Jan 2018 -option to purchase pieces for Art Collection

AYAA State Awards: Multiple Award Winners


School Arts Magazine April 2017

Picasso Sea Book- 2016

This year I completed my tenth year at my current school.  This is the longest I have ever stayed in one place.  I am fortunate to be able to navigate through my curriculum changes with confidence.  I have autonomy in how to build the best program to meet the interests of my students.  I keep up with the National Standards and I feel I keep up with education journals to help guide my practice.  This next year, I am going to add a new course.  I believe the course I have created will meet a population of students who are underserved among the traditional media and the course will support the fast-paced content creators who are already contributing but need more guidance.  As I work this summer on collecting content to use as exemplars and articles to help guide my young creators, I am also redesigning a section of my crowded art classroom space.  I have written my grants and have my professional development ready to tackle this summer. I will work through to brush up and learn new platforms in addition to reading books, playing with the Morphi app, and finally spending time creating my own content.  I like being prepared and I am looking forward to working with my clever and talented students to break new barriers. 


I am drafting my NAEA proposal and I am getting feedback from my online PLN.  It’s new territory for most but I do like having input on my thoughts to make sure my information is clear to everyone. 

This summer I will be traveling to Paris and will be able to view places and art that I have up to this point only viewed in books and the internet.  It will be a great way to celebrate the past ten years.   Next is to spend some time back in Wisconsin, hopefully doing some plein-air painting. Then I get to participate in a SCADYear summer workshop with two talented students learning about new design and technology to elevate my program.

My summer calendar is filling up fast but I am determined to keep pushing the boundaries and maintaining an exciting program.


Spring Time Fun

14 04 2017


I really love seeing all the evolutions by students create from the choices they make in the art studio.  Offering choice through themes and artistic targets allows my students the opportunity to select areas of interest, materials to explore, and levels of inquiry.  I have witnessed students repeating the motif, materials, or theme to dig deeper and improve skills.  When the lesson was teacher directed, my students did very little connected thinking from one piece to the other, and often didn’t get another opportunity to explore the media a second time.  Now, I have students perfecting designs, experimenting, and pushing all kinds of possibilities.


I’m loving how independently my students find their supplies and move forward on their art work.  My students ask very good questions about the work such as “why are you doing that?, “why are you using that?”, “what does this mean?”.  My students expect the artist to know why you are creating, what is the purpose, and is it original.

I am excited about the possibilities of seeing my youngest students evolve within the choice based art program.  I have seen an increase in application of their knowledge that they researched to achieve goals they set for themselves to complete an artistic target.  In one semester the growth in student independence and initiative has grown.  The confidence to speak to the class about their ideas and possible creative solutions is gaining strength.  I’ve noticed an ease in which my students now preform tasks in the studio that required so much direction and set up; to a simple rhythm in the space.  In other academic areas my colleagues have noticed the cross-over and blending of our curricular areas merging them closer together.  This merger is being promoted not by me but my students.  My students are experiencing, seeing, and talking about the connections.  The importance in offering choice and self-directed learning is beginning to take hold.

Ben Triggered

The school year is quickly coming to a close and it will be time to celebrate all of our accomplishments.  We have done very well this year, claiming many awards, scholarships, and accolades.  I am most content in seeing my students happily working independently, caught up in deep thought, and working through a task they designed.  I love that several of my students have embraced an entrepreneural spirit, when thinking about their art.  They have taken to setting up websites and controlling their own social media brand showcasing their style of art.  I could not be more excited for the possibilities of this new found digital platform control, mixed with an ambition, expressing their voice, sharing their ideas/passions,  balanced with a creative drive…..there is not stopping them.  Art can change the world to be so much better.

I believe it.

New York City hosts the National Art Convention in 2017

11 03 2017


It was my very first visit to this majestic city and I could not be more excited.  I found the sites of the city a big draw and I wanted to explore whenever I had a free moment.  I did not feel intimidated by the city, in fact just the opposite, I felt invigorated.  I NEED to go back for another visit very soon to see all the galleries and beautiful architecture.

This year’s convention was very different for me.  Yes, I was presenting about my choice art program which is a big demand for educators, but I stepped up to help lead the ChoiceArt NAEA Interest Group.  I have a lot to say and share about this pedagogy because I live it daily, it has changed everything about how I approach supporting developing artists.  I love it but I am still learning, adapting, and growing so this matters to me.  The sentimental side of me feels that I am finally honoring my college professors dream by helping to serve the organization that she believed in so much.  It is an honor to help move art education to a new plateau.  I am up for the challenge because I believe in children and the power of art.  Art education is so much more than color theory and design; it’s about bridging the internal human side to the exterior human side.  Helping children learn how to express and manipulate the world with independence is amazing.


You see it in the passion of every educator that has a following at the NAEA convention.  I witness people light-up with joy when seeing Cassie Stephens, Katherine Douglas, Holly Bess Kincaid, and so many more.  It’s cool because what changes the space between the art teacher and the “Rock Star” status art teacher, is their passion and how they send that out to the world.  WE all have that ability but for some reason we don’t push out our talents into the world.  You are all capable of it.  I believe in pushing out into the world what you want.  I am often so exhausted by the efforts that I put out every day.  I realize not everyone is as passionate but I cannot turn it off.

My art convention was different this year because of the added responsibility to serve as a leader in the NAEA Interest Group and I had to present.  I wasn’t able to attend all the sessions I wanted to attend, but it proved out that most of the sessions I would have attended, I may not have been able to see them anyways due to the small rooms.  This was very disappointing.  In fact, I was very disappointed in the space I had for my session, it was a 1/3 the space of my own studio.  I knew it was too small and tried to get a bigger room but I was denied.

I made several observations this year and one of the observations I made was the number of teachers who could not get into a session, so they sat up against a wall with a plug to charge their electronics.  Sad- we pay our way too often and to not be able to get the professional development we earmarked on our agendas is terrible.  So when I had the opportunity to voice my suggestions to make improvements to next year’s convention, you bet I spoke up.

One of my suggestions was to allow the Interest Groups to set up “campfires” and “playgrounds” to have a schedule of mini sessions to help serve our educators who are interesting in learning new techniques, ideas, tools, etc.  I think all the educators who didn’t get their proposals accepted can then submit them for a mini session that meets in a specific area with the Interests group leading the way.  We can also host meet-ups throughout the day so the “celebrity” art educators can meet the crowd but still get the chance to enjoy the sessions they want to participate in to help them continue to be the “rock stars” that they are.

I am not sure how much impact I will have in the NAEA organization but I know I would love to be able to count on plan B if I cannot get to one session.  I like to maximize my professional development because this is the big convention, I want it ALL!

My time in NYC was enhanced by having the chance to meet-up the Jie Qi, the inventor of @Chibitronics paper circuits.  I met her in Denver at the ISTE Convention and I was able to have Jie come to my school for four incredible days with my artists.  She is amazing and I am thrilled to call her my friend.  I was able to connect Jie with Tim Needles and she participated in the STEAM- Makers Space Session.  In addition, I was also able to see the #K12ArtChat Grundlers, meet several people who I communicate with regularly online during Tweet-ups and FB discussions.  I was even invited to a dinner with TAB/Choice Art educators for the first great meal I had the whole convention.  Very nice.

I squeezed in a Picasso Book Series author meet-up and I popped in late to the School Arts Magazine author meet-up…I had soooo much on my plate it was overflowing. (I am in the Picasso Sea book- Cy Twombly  Trumpet Fish) Picasso Sea Book

My days since the convention have been blurred by the business of art show set up and Regional Director responsibilities.  I am trying to meet all the expectations of the art educators in my region and also my school community expectations for our Fine Arts Showcase.

During all the daily work of my day I was notified about the School Arts article about my students creating works inspired by Heather Hansen.  Wow!  Pretty cool and my students looked so wonderful.  For years I read this magazine and love the articles and now my words and photos are in the magazine.  I swear, celebrate the little things and big things, it all adds up on a really difficult day.Kinetic Body Drawings

I have many “irons in the fire” including the Recycle Fashion Runway Show, Senior Scholarship Competitions, local art contests, and AP Art Portfolio’s.  It’s a battle to the end but I am loving the student results.

Upper School Visual Arts

My next post hopefully will be filled with great announcements of art awards.  We got a few winners already but I want more!

Perspectives Shift.png

Ben Gatewood – Senior “Perspectives Shift”






Love to Illuminate Art

4 02 2017

Love mashing skills and creating hybrid curriculum for elevated learning opportunities.

16473019_10211751151114621_2082084645248831441_nWe experienced some of the cooler things that can happen in our art studio in a while within the last few days.

It has always been my purpose to reach my students the best way I can and to find new ways to inspire them to reach further than before.  So when I went to ISTE last year, I discovered a brilliant MIT doctoral student, who was creating paper circuits.

I participated in her workshop because I have a mini obsession with illuminating things all over my home and whenever possible my art.  I have been know to influence my student’s projects from time to time to include lights.  So when I realized I could teach my students how to use paper circuits with a coin battery to illuminate art ….I was transfixed.

I love the packaging, the ease of understanding how to create circuits, and the application of Chibitronics materials.  I immediately set my mind to try to get the inventor Jie Qi to come to my school for a workshop with my students.  Well, it happened this week….for three super packed days we had the pleasure of working with paper circuits with Dr. Jie.  Our students learning ranged from simple circuits to parallel circuits.  The more advanced students created their own circuits for specific works of art and a few had the chance to work with a prototype microcontroller and do some coding.

I was impressed with how quickly the school community lit up with excitement to learn all about paper circuits.  We had workshops with 6-12 graders but this did not hold back elementary parents from purchasing the toolkits for their younger children to explore.  I even had teachers from all different courses stop by and purchase toolkits.  I am hoping this will be a new trick everyone can add to the class curriculum for projects they may create in the future.

If you want to learn more about paper circuits I highly recommend you check out the website:  Dr. Jie is great at presenting the content and methods to apply for the simplest circuit to more difficult programming of microcontrollers.

Additional links to explore:

To view videos go to my Twitter or Instagram

@joycschultz          Schultz_Life

If you are attending the National Art Convention in NYC, you are in luck.  Dr. Jie is planning on joining us to see what art educators are doing.  The convention is across the street from the MOMA and her toolkit is on sale in the museum store.  PS Dr. Jie also has work in the MOMA exhibit.  If you see us wandering around don’t be afraid to ask us all about paper circuits.

Creating and writing out our new artist proposals

22 01 2017


The semester is rolling with multiple artist proposals being created in the ChoiceBasedArt studio by each individual artist.  My artists have been working on selecting ThemesArtistic Targets, and making decisions on best methods to express their intent.  This weekend I spent time reviewing the documentation.  My experienced artists have nice looking and well thought out presentations.  A few of my new students need a little more support to understand what is expected to achieve the best quality results.

I usually follow up with my students with an email with suggestions for ideas to add more content.  I offer up links that may inspire specific techniques or simple suggestions to explore alternative color schemes, perspectives, etc.   I also remind all of my students to capture progress images and upload to Sway almost daily.

Each individual artist has selected their media and many have begun working out the compositions.  This week I am hoping to have one-on-one and small group critiques of the progress they have recorded.  We will work through issues and make adjustments as needed.

We have a week of studio classes to make solid progress and host a few progress critiques.  I will have time to work with individuals on techniques and we will continue to document our process on Sway.

The following week we have a very special artist-in-residence coming to our studio classes for a two-day workshop that will explore how to incorporate paper circuits, LED lighting, and micro controllers into their art.  Many of the current projects in progress will be able weave in the concepts into the art pieces right away and level up the art piece and increase the experience of the viewers.

Dr. Jie Qi will be flying in from Boston and bringing with her the excitement of lighting up art work in clever and playful ways.  I’m thrilled we will have the opportunity to work with Dr. Qi.  Paper Circuits  I will post our experience with Dr. Qi as it unfolds in the studio.

lily-cityWishing you creative minds and busy hands with inspired original works of art.

Follow me on Instagram- Schultz_Life for daily uploads

Twitter @joycschultz

%d bloggers like this: