Students Leading Students

18 03 2018

Artist Workshop with High School Artists

On Thursday, March 8, ten of my art students traveled to Dover Middle School (approx. 1.5 hours away from our school) to present their research, process, and inspirations for creating their art work. The students who participated in the artist workshop were selected for their ability to present, relate to younger students, and their artistic style/voice.  I wanted themes and age-appropriate work to share with the middle schoolers.

How it all began.

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I was contacted by Ms. Jocelyn Alvey the Dover Middle School art teacher.  Ms. Alvey follows Schultz_Life Instagram and was so impressed by the work and level of engagement the Episcopal Upper School students have in their Choice Art program, that she reached out for some help for her students.  At first, Ms. Alvey wanted to Skype with our students about our process and presentations.  I knew we could do better than that so I hatched an idea to create a workshop program and take it on the road.  Anne Marie and Heather were instrumental in helping to plan the workshop and assisted with the details and materials. In the process of the workshop details I contacted Paul Leopoulos the Thea Foundation Director. The Thea Foundation provides art supplies and funds for art programs all around Arkansas.  All I did was ask him if he would provide some funds for our students to present to the Middle School art program.  Mr. Leopoulos was super supportive and wrote a check for $200.00 for the presentation.  Once approvals were made to travel to Dover, the Upper School artists prepared a Sway presentation of their work and practiced the techniques we planned on presenting to the Middle School artists.

 

 

We hosted two workshops to a packed art studio.  Several Upper School artists presented their Sway links and then we divided into small groups. Each Episcopal art student shared actual works of art with the small groups and told them about their ideas and how they created the work. We wanted the younger students to be able see, touch, and ask questions about the ideas.  Then each middle school artist was able to experiment with the new techniques we shared in our small groups.   We demonstrated a few techniques with the Dover artists, packing tape transfers, chalk paper marbling, and using images from books and painted papers.  We also provided painted papers, magazines, children’s books to cut up, and handouts about line designs.

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The sessions went great and the Dover students loved the new techniques and asked excellent questions.  When the first session was about to end, Anne Marie and Matt presented Ms. Alvey the large check to inform her about the donation.  She was very touched and the Dover students got really excited about being able to purchase new materials based on what the Episcopal artists shared.

 

 

Our second session was equally packed and the word was out about the Episcopal artists so they couldn’t wait to get into the art room.  After our second session, we met up with the Dover students at lunch to continue the conversations.  As we picked up our lunch the Dover students waved individual artists to their tables.  Carter brought along paper and pencil and gave a drawing tutorial at the table.  It was difficult to see what he was doing because of the large crowd that gathered around him to see and record his work with their phones.  Haley looked through a Dover student’s sketchbook and talked about drawing.  London was mobbed at lunch to talk about all kinds of ideas.  Matt and Rodney sat with a few Dover students and enjoyed talking about school and sports.  The rest of the Episcopal students sat with Ms. Alvey and shared what they experienced during the sessions.

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We all agreed that it was an amazing workshop and how much each artist benefited from the experience.  Anne Marie thinks we should start traveling all over and presenting to other art programs.  Well, you never know what will happen next…

Thea Dover check donation

Next up is a small group of art educator’s coming in April to observe my studio in action.  I have to admit I’m a little nervous but when I mentioned it to my students they got very excited about the idea.  It just proves that if you ignite their passion and let them lead the world opens up for them.

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As I am writing this I am looking through the NAEA18 Convention sessions.  I’m so looking forward to Seattle this year.  I cannot wait to all the ChoiceArt Educators at our meeting and to hear all of your successes from this school year.

 

 

 

 

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