Student Panel Presents Benefits of Choice Art at the Art Educators Conference

9 11 2018


This was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up.  Last year a group of my high school students hosted three sessions at a middle school in Dover, Arkansas.  It was all started by the middle school art educator- Jocelyn Alvey.  She was paying attention to what we were doing in our ChoiceArt program.  Jocelyn contacted me through my IG  (schultz_life) and requested if we could Skype with her classes to help them connect to more authentic art making.  I figured we could do better than that.  I surveyed a few of my students and we planned our traveling workshop.  Soon we loaded a bus very early in the morning and headed to a town over an hour away to help art students understand the power of ChoiceArt.

Our workshop consisted of presenting our art portfolio’s on and showing students how we develop, research, document, write, and present our ideas.  We broke off into small groups and shared our actual works so students could touch and ask questions about how it was created. We then demonstrated a few new techniques that they could start to use in their art work.

Student AAE Panel.jpg

One school year later…. we are presenting our experiences at the Arkansas Art Educators Conference.  We had four high schoolers and four middle schoolers that had a lot to say about how the experience changed the way they create art.

As it goes…hear it from the “mouth of babes”.  My students were captivated and impressed by what the middle school students remembered.  They all had individual stories that recalled what the high school artists did or said that impacted them directly.  The middle school artists shared actual works of art and also shared their elaborate sketchbooks that demonstrated color mixing, compositional layout ideas, and written thoughts.  My high schoolers truly realized the full impact of their workshop.  The middle school students were so poised and clear in their voice and how much they appreciated the inspiration my students delivered.


After the students wrapped up their presentations, the art educators looked at the art work close-up, thumbed through the sketchbooks, and asked specific questions.  Other art educators asked Jocelyn and me more questions about how our programs got started.  I was happy that a few times my students answered the questions for me.  They were so proud of the ChoiceArt program they have created in our studio.  After a while I had some time to visit with the middle school students and it was clear to me that they were transformed.  Clear vision of what art means to them, how art can deliver powerful ideas through a visual illusion, and they want to be creators for life.  We exchanged IG’s and we will continue to help inspire each other.  It’s my hope that all the students realize their full potential and pass it forward and inspire more students.

I’m hoping to post the recordings of the students own voices through the ChoiceArt FB page so you can hear how amazing it truly was.




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