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: https://chibitronics.com/learn/  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

Reflection is key to progress forward

29 12 2016

I made it my priority to take time to work in my new fancy sketch book and to exercise daily throughout my Christmas break.  I am proud to say I am doing both daily.  I have also been practicing to be mindful and this has helped me to be less stressed and to focus on being in the moment.

As I have been working on myself the quiet pull to focus on my studio practice is calling me.  I have been doing some research, reading, and following the lively conversations on the Art Teacher FB page.  I do read and comment but I also practice scrolling on by.  It is a choice to participate or not participate.  As much as I love to keep working on my style of teaching, I know everyone has different levels of comfort and a variety of situations that can influence an art educators style of teaching.  I strive to share what I am learning and discovering while I am actually doing it in my studio.

I believe I am always learning and experimenting with my artists in my studio.  I work with my artists to create the best studio experience I can.  I am student centered educator and so I have a structure that stays in place with slight modifications, but I am always willing to swap out when something is not working well for my artists.

This next semester I have one new course from first semester and that is Sculpture plus a semester of Mixed Media but this time around my students expressed a desire to focus on Digital Art and Photography.  In addition, we will be able to incorporate into each studio course, our new Ultimaker 3D printer.

It is my plan for my artists to continue to utilize the artist proposal format with daily progress documentation on Sway.  I will be leaning on my Intermediate and Advanced art students to demonstrate the quality of the submissions.   I will be modifying my artist proposals for the experienced artists with a presentation of their proposal, research, and sketches to the class.  I then plan to have the entire class ask propelling questions to push the framework of the initial proposal to have an expanded direction.  I feel strongly that by doing this my students will push each other to move away from cliché images and be connected to the meaning of the piece.  I have found that my students respond well to class discussions and critical questioning about their ideas.  I want to continue to develop these conversations earlier in the designing of the artist proposals to strengthen the students voice.

My Themes and Artistic Targets will stay the same but I will be creating units based on media to keep the studio organized and be able to provide the necessary spaces to create with the specific media.  My studio space is limited so I do need to work with the individual artists on scale of sculptures and spaces to store works in progress.

I will also be chunking the media for some of my courses to help with the distribution of supplies and storage.  I am planning on offering cardboard, plaster, clay, wire, and paper at different times for the first quarter.  Second quarter I will encourage students to break out into areas they wish to develop further.  Of course I will always offer soft sculpture and the 3D printer on the side.  My digital photography students will go through a planned scaffold program to ensure quality compositions and levels of understanding of using Photoshop.

The art courses that are moving onto second semester will dovetail our experienced artists with a few completing work from first semester, while new students will learn all about Choice Art Studio and how to implement their own learning in the studio.  I will repeat the same content as first semester to teach students how to navigate the Haiku platform with resources, learn how to use Sway for documentation and research, and all about the Google forms for submitting artist proposals.  My artist mentors will also be presenting ideas, critiquing work in class discussions, and completing summative assessment forms with artist’s statements. So the new art students will be pulled into the current of the art studio by hearing the discussions, watching demonstrations, asking questions, researching, collaborating, and recording reports using Screencastify for the archives.

As usual, I have also been kicking around a few challenges to help move students along a continuum of exploration.  A couple of challenges I want to pose for my students are:

  • White Space
  • Micro and Macro Fabrication
  • New design approaches for solving societal challenges

We will see how it goes…


I hope you are all looking forward to the New Year.  I am looking forward to New York and serving through the NAEA ChoiceArt Co-President position.  I hope you all take the time to read the newsletter from NAEA for the article Anne Bedrick and I crafted for all of you.  Looking forward to our face to face conversations at the convention.

NAEA Convention

Thursday, 3/2/2017      4:30 PM – 5:50 PM

Hilton/New York/4th Floor

Meet the Choice-Art Educators!

You are invited to the first meeting of the Choice-Art Educators special issues group! Come meet like-minded educators and discuss any questions or concerns.
Anne Anne Sommer Bedrick and Joy Schultz. Co- Presidents Choice Art


I am also excited to start a fresh set of semester courses and to gear up for our recycle runway show and my student trip to Paris in June.  So much to look forward to in the new year.

Recharge and Make ART!


Closing in on a Semester of Art

14 11 2016

We are winding down in some areas while gearing up in others.  Our semester comes to a close soon, so we need to start planning backwards to make sure we can complete the works we have in progress.  We also need to push on the gas to complete our community projects such as our Painted Piano and Empty Bowls.  We have accomplished so much already with our own individual voices, creating original works of art that address ideas, and thoughts that each artist wants to express.   We have worked hard on our Peace Rocks, Homes for Haiti, and even our Chalk Art Mural.

As the art educator in the middle of all the fun, I am so proud of the quality and heart that goes into everything that we accomplish.

I just finished with the State Art Conference and I am looking forward to the National Art Convention in NYC.  The School Arts Magazine article that I wrote will be published in March and will be in the one magazine that each art educator will get at the NAEA Convention.  The Picasso book series will also be at the convention so my illustration in Picasso Sea book will get into more educators hands too.  My own art work was accepted in the Arkansas Art Educator’s Show, the opening reception is November 18 from 5-8 pm at the William F Layman Library at 420 Main St, North Little Rock.  It is the 2nd Annual Arkansas Art Teacher Exhibition! This year we had over 80 entries and our juror, Guy Bell, selected 45 of these works for the show.  I am proud to be able to keep creating for myself while influencing my young artists. So many great things coming up this school year.  Plus, ten days in Paris in June.


“Doves in the Woods”  Joy Schultz

I will keep you posted on our adventures in the studio on my Instagram- Schultz_Life and of course I am always on Twitter @joycschultz

Keep being inspired!

  Our Arts Reveal Night was very successful and we will post a link to our recording of the event soon.


Evaluations for First Quarter- What is Happening?!

2 10 2016

caitlyn-batikI am quickly wrapping up a quarter for this school year.  I am enjoying watching my students gain strength in decision-making and planning their time in the studio.  Many have presented in class to share all the progress and research they have accumulated on their Sway links.

My most experienced artists flow from one project to the other, completing all the necessary tasks required to close a piece.  They document daily progress, keep a written record of transitions, share changes to the concepts, and maintain a dialogue with me on necessary details.  Assessments and artist statements are submitted at the close of each piece. They are working artists and their ideas flow seamlessly from one piece to the other.  The artist voice is clear and the artist statements almost write themselves.

Other artists need more support.  This is where a clone of me would be helpful.  Each and every student is on their own individual path to be creative.  Each and every student comes with a different set of skills and different degrees of engagement.  It’s my job to help my students make the leaps and grow.  This of course doesn’t happen on my schedule but on theirs.  It’s all developmental.

My students have been presenting a lot this year.  WE do this in class for the whole class or they opt to present to a smaller group in class…either way they will gain confidence in presenting  and will also gain more clarity about their own voice. I am using screencastify to record my students on screen presentations with only the voice recording.  I save all the presentations on the Gdrive and share it with my students so they grow accustomed to presenting.  This component of presenting is very important to help motivate, model, and celebrate the artists work.

Offering students choice and supporting their goals is one of the most rewarding ways to spend my time.  I have students who share images of their progress with friends and family without my prompt, I have students “hacking” my classes, duplicating the same requirements of documentation, and submission without a grade.  I have students forming ideas for future projects while still finishing the current project.  I have students asking to volunteer to present in class and volunteering to present for our ARTS REVEAL NIGHT. I have students who are not currently in my studio courses but have creative adventures to share and want to present what they have been doing independently.  I even have students doing community service projects who are not in an art studio course.  They are coming in and working so they can be artistic and to be near the creative space.

YES!  We got something going here.  


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