Is this Educational? Huh?!

22 03 2013

How is a recycle/up cycle fashion show educational? That is a question proposed to me. Of course I was directly in the center of the evolution of the fashion show and I was the art educator spinning in the middle to propel this project to a successful launch. So this question struck me like “Huh?!” Did the person asking me this question see the show?! After the initial surprise of the question washed over me, I collected myself and I realized that my fight for the arts and art education is still being waged.

I am an artist and an art educator. I am a committed and passionate educator who feels deeply about the projects I propose for my student to engage in. I examine all the possible pitfalls, drawbacks, cost in dollars, and in time. I weigh the benefits of the projects and at what level of commitment; I can get from my students for success. You see- I don’t quit, I don’t walk away, and if I am connected to it….it will be of quality on all points; especially for my students.

I often bleed the lines between my job, my passion, and my undying desire to support artists. I was that student. I was the poor, lost, quiet, student with dreams. I was an artist and I needed direction and support. Who knows where I would be today without the guidance of key art educators. I can identify these kids in a crowd…I was one of them. Art breathes life into their soul. Many times it is what makes them come to school, wake up, and dare to dream.
Curbside Couture day 1 rehearsal (35)
I believe in dreamers, I believe in falling down and getting up, I believe in not listening when told NO! I will achieve my goals. I owe my determination from the fires I walked through as a young girl and as an art educator. As an art educator we often have to create something from nothing and do it with a smile because we have dreamers looking up at us. Art is often a forgotten essential in a child’s world when budgets get tight in schools. And yet I see the light from the artists who make things happen. The potter from Pittsburg, Bill Strickland, he dared to dream and made dreams come true. He led and is still leading artists to come and support the dream, Manchester Bidwell Corporation. The artist, Tyree Guyton in Detroit, who has taken over a forgotten part of town and has created art to help heal the city from within, the Heidelberg Project. Tyree Guyton, up cycled, reused, repurposed to help heal the city.

So when someone asked me if the recycled fashion show I helped create was educational. You-know my answer. YES- it is educational for the students who participated in the show to the people who enjoyed the event. I gave my students the opportunity to be a part of a much larger project outside of a grade and outside of the school. I gave them the opportunity to dare to dream and create from the dreams. I inspired them to experiment and try over and over to achieve success. I provided support and encouragement, I provided an opportunity to work with and speak to professional designers. I provided a stage to share their creations for the public to see.439%20CLINTON%20FOUNDATION%20CURBSIDE%20COUTURE%20by%20NELSON%20CHENAULT%201

The fashion designs were created by dreamers who wanted to try. We did not have fancy materials or even a sewing machine. We learned to invent, create, and amaze. I believe my students doubled their efforts because we worked in a group to support each other’s success. My students became designers, models, and event planners. My students had a real world experience with real world issues that needed to be addressed for success.

My student’s confidence has grown so much that some of the students are making real clothing with sewing machines. They are working with their moms and grandmas. They appreciate the handcraftsmanship of a garment. They are learning how to purchase and budget for materials. They are expanding beyond the fashion show of recycled items. I have students who are always reimagining materials to help perpetuate sustainability. My students have gained knowledge, confidence, and style with one recycled fashion show. I believe that some of these students will seek higher education to continue in a related field in the arts and business.

In education today, budgets are tight, art programs are suffering. The opportunity for students to work with others on a project in an art related area is priceless. Students, who do not get the opportunity to express themselves in the Fine Arts, do not have many other outlets. Students need to express themselves and it is best if they can be given guidance and support to nurture a positive direction. Providing an opportunity to showcase what they create is motivation and reinforcement that the arts are important. The best educational practices are structured to provide opportunity for students to share their knowledge. Project Based Learning focuses on 21 Century skills. It is an all-encompassing way of learning. It puts the learning in the student’s hands. Students experience deeper inquiry into the ideas, they have to do the research, pace and plan the work, it encourages students to develop a voice and confidence, and the final outcome is a presentation in public. This experience with the Curbside Couture Fashion Show was an example of Project Based Learning.

Is this educational? I do believe it is.

Thank you for reading,

Joy Schultz

Artist and Art Educator

Bill Strickland-

Tyree Guyton-


Season of Shows and the Results

18 03 2013

So many winners this season and a variety of works too.  Proud of all the winners and all of my artists.

Regional Art Show Winners-

John M landscape

Farm Landscape

John Michael Ekdahl- Honorable Mention Eleventh Grade

Josie Lavender Field

Lavender Field

Josie Hurst- First Place Tenth Grade

Riley B


 Riley Blair- Second Place Tenth Grade

Young Arkansas Artists Showcase-

   Eleventh Grade- Jade Pfeifer

Jade girl in rain coat

Arkansas Young Artists State Convention and Competition-AYAA Winners 2013

Congratulations to our winners!

Elizabeth Pack- Memphis School of Art Scholarship

1st- Abby Harkins Oils Expressive

3rd- Ivy Cox Acrylic Abstract

3rd- Haley Hughes Mixed Media 2-D Expressive

4th- Haley Hughes Mixed Media Low Relief

1st- Celeste Jennings Cut Paper Collage

2nd- Caroline Stebbins Cut Paper Collage

3rd- Claire Jeter Sculpture Expressive

1st- Kelsey Claybrook Sketchbook

Honorable Mention- Colin Clemmons Black and White Photography

Honorable Mention- Elizabeth Pack Altered Book

1st- Josie Hurst Altered Book

Honorable Mention – Michael Chen First Year Reproduction

1st- Ivy Cox First Year Charcoal

NAEA National Art Convention 2013

12 03 2013

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This was the first National Art Convention I attended in many years so returning was different from what I remembered. I did feel myself being pulled to nostalgia when thinking on the length of my teaching career and the people who influenced my career. I was lucky to have a tough demanding well educated art education professor. I recall the first time I entered the classroom and met her. I was so intimidated by her appearance and I could tell by the room she was a collector of information. Books lined the room from all sides and table tops often had art history books and art supplies scattered around. Dr. Ernella Hunziker was my professor from UW-Whitewater in Wisconsin. She was one of the few females in the field at the time and she had high expectations. We wrote lessons to be reviewed and this was before computers so you spent hours in her classroom or in the library researching for the lessons you planned. I was trained in the disciplined based art education philosophy.

I learned and strived to make her proud of the lessons I wrote. I also wanted to gain her seal of approval on the quality of the lessons and how I presented it to my students. After a day of observations we would sit down and Dr. Hunziker broke down everything…I mean everything. She kept track of how many boys vs. girls I called on, how long I took for my presentation, class studio time, and method of clean up instruction, etc. When she gave you criticism, it was backed up with good advice to fix the problem areas. Dr. Ernella Hunziker retired the year after I graduated and soon passed away from muscular dystrophy. I miss her advice and wish I still had her guidance on my career. I give all of my success as a teacher to her. I know I made her proud.

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Now – after all this rambling… this was my thoughts as I roamed the convention center locating the different lectures I wanted to hear. I felt her with me. I found some lectures and discussions stimulating and some inspiring. I loved seeing new ideas and exciting methods. I felt validated as an art educator and the responsibility to serve our students and to hold up a light for the creative students who often get lost. After the general session on Sunday, which was presented by the Scholastics program, I was again reminded of the power of being that one person who can truly “see” you. I know Dr. Ernella Hunziker could truly “see” me and she could see what I could do for art education. Thank you to all of you who “see” your artists and help nurture the spirit to become positive contributors in the world.

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Thank you to everyone who reaches out over the internet and twitter to help ensure we keep doing the best job we can. I will forever be learning and forever striving to live up to the responsibilities to prepare artists for the future even when we are not really sure what that will be.

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