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.

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“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.

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Finding the Flow

27 08 2016

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It’s my tenth school year at my school, 26th year of teaching, my second year of full choice. You would assume I got this under control.  I do have things lined-up and a system in place but with new students in the studio who are new to the program it’s all new to them.  So I have a lot of housekeeping information to disperse before a successful launch of my choice based studio can begin to flow.  I feel the momentum has been growing for the choice program and my students are excited about the self-directed and self-pace studio opportunities.

 

On the second day of school I focused on warm-up experiences and the kinetic body drawing was a huge hit.  After two days of hands-on experiences; I introduced the process to submit artist proposals and how to document the research and their artistic journey.  One blip I discovered was the platform I was using for student documentation had changed some of the navigation and uploading tools.  It became too many steps for a smooth process for my students.  So I spent the night vetting out a new platform to introduce to my students as a replacement.  I don’t need to tell you how stressful it was making a switch mid-gear.  Luckily, I found Sway.com and it is perfect to meet my needs as the educator and my students find it user friendly.  They love it.  The platform is a Microsoft platform that connects to my student’s school email account and it also has a nice smart phone app.  The value added is the quality of the appearance and the design layout options are really nice.  Each student can modify and design the look of the documentation on Sway to match the style of the work or student’s personality.  I also appreciate the curated resources that populates on the link for each Sway when my students use key words for the document.  Before I would curate information I collected on our class Haiku page to use as a starting point for my student’s research.   Sway having this feature is an added benefit to using this platform.  Students can still upload documents, websites, YouTube videos, and add written comments for each slide.  The only piece missing is the ability for me to comment directly on the Sway so we will need to do more one-on-one discussions to have full communication about their process.  This isn’t really a negative but it was a convenience to comment on each of the student’s links from home each evening so my students could read and have a record of what was said about the submissions.  The sharing options are similar to the prior platform so each Sway can be visible when the artist chooses to open sharing beyond the artist proposal form.

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This year I am going to add QR codes to help share all the research/process my artist creates.  We will continue with the Arts Reveal Night presentations but we will be adding QR code links to each of our displays.  I will be requiring students to write artist statements and titles on each piece.  On the artist statement students will add a QR code to share what they want viewers to see and learn about their work.  The Sway link can be copied into a QR code creator and saved for future use.  I can also see using this QR code for attaching to scholarships, resumes, and art competitions.

Busy week setting up my students to understand the proposal and submission process then leads into how to collect and design an artist proposal and keep it original.  I have several videos I share about Remixing and best practices to follow when appropriating ideas to create original works.   I support my young artists with Artistic Targets and Themes.  I read the artist proposals and review the skills each artists wants to explore.  My next step is to plan workshops to scaffold the learning of each artist.  I hosted several individual and small group workshop sessions.  This next week I will review with everyone how to push the compositional layout to get the most unique and well composed compositions.   This week I felt as if I was keeping a whirling storm under control.  Loads of energy and excitement to submit their Artist Proposals with the new Sway platform.  I had an evening with my student’s parents for our Open House and the excitement was echoed by the parents.  I have to say, having my students share what they are doing with their parents is a big deal.  Teens don’t often let their parents in, so when they do, you know you struck a chord.

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We had our first big school social at a Watermelon Supper and my art club kids showed up in force to help spread school spirit with face painting.  The energy will carry me into next week for our Club Fair when my student leaders will present all the club’s activities.  We already have a Girl Scout Troop Empty Bowls workshop to plan and a Saturday Chalk Art drawing day to celebrate the arts.  Our theme is “Celebrating our HeART”.

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One more little bit of exciting news is that I was asked to submit an article on the Kinetic Body warm-up drawing inspired by Heather Hansen’s “Emptied Gestures” for the School Arts Magazine.  I have been reading that magazine since I started teaching so it is an honor to publish an article about my artists in the magazine.  I will keep you posted when it is published.

Have a great start to your new school year.

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Serving Your Local Organization- Do the Walk

15 11 2015

DSC_0021We just wrapped on the Arkansas Art Educators 2015 Art Convention.  I volunteered to present two sessions and to also step into a Regional Directors position.  Yup!  It’s official I am full.  I have my hands full at my school all day and the addition of all the other organizations I run, advise, host, do…I am nuts.  So what’s the big deal to load on more?!  

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Okay- yes prepping for a sub for two days and preparing two sessions was a challenge.  Stepping into a position and finding my footing along the way was stretching me but I think I survived.  My sessions did not go without their hiccups with poor Wi-Fi issues but overall not too bad.  I hope some of the teachers who attended my sessions gleaned some new ideas.  I was excited to meet with the region I have been assigned to lead, about what we can do to continue to connect throughout the rest of the year.  I proposed a few art coffee meet-ups to have face-to-face discussions and encourage professional development.  It seemed to be well received.  I guess we will find out when we have our first meet up.

I was honored at a reception this year for the Secondary Art Educator of the Year and as much as I felt it was an honor I wasn’t prepared for the emotion that spilled out of me in the moment.  I was so humbled and appreciative of the selection from the other art educators.  They get it…they understand what we do as art educators all day.  We are passionate people who are driven by a calling that we cannot control.  All week as I was preparing my sub plans and my session materials, I was thinking of my undergrad college art education professor.  Dr. Ernella Hunzinker, she would have loved to see me get this award.  Her eyes would have lit up, her smile would have stretched across her face, and she would be beaming.  She believed in me before I believed in myself.  I grew under her support.  She was a tough professor and students either loved her or disliked her.  I loved her.  I truly admired her ability to meet her demands as an art education professor in a male dominated field and manage her disabilities as MS took control of her body.  She never complained and pushed herself to get it all done despite the physical challenges.

Dr. Hunzinker came to my first district art show at my first full time teaching position.  She found a bench in the hallway and admired the display I had hung of my students work.  She sat there and waited for me to find a break from a group of parents and students to visit with her for a few moments.  I wasn’t expecting her.  I turned around and I saw her.  I was so happy she came and I was excited for her to see me in action.  I was her prodigy and she was my mentor.  I sat next to her on the bench in the hallway surrounded with my first years student work and she held my hand.  I looked at her and she had tears welling up in her eyes.  She said, “I knew you would be this great.  I knew you could do it.  I am so proud of you.  You will be great.”  I was a little surprised by her tears but not her words.  I could sense her pride in me.  We hugged and she stepped out the side door and was driven away.  Not long after I received news that her MS had limited her mobility and she retired from teaching.  Not long after she passed away.  My mentor was gone.  To this day I hold that last meeting in my mind.  This memory flooded my mind when I reached the podium to receive the Secondary Art Award.  I was overcome with her memory.  I could see her face again in my mind.  Dr. Hunzinker would have been in the front row.  

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So I do the walk and the talk to help elevate art education in her honor. She would want it that way. Represent and elevate others to carry on long after you are gone. This is the legacy she would want me to leave behind.

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I encourage you to step up and serve your art organization and help elevate art education in your area and then I challenge you to spread it on up to the National Level.





Recycle Fashion Runway Show Success

14 04 2015

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Sixteen art students ventured into another season of striving to create couture outfits from recycled and repurposed materials into wearable garments. We started in September and it concluded in on April 12th at the Clinton Presidential Center. It was a long journey with many bumps in the road.

If you are an artist you understand that what you conceive as an idea may not actually be the end result. Since we are not doing this as a studio art course and it’s only volunteers who participate. It limits the amount of time we have available to do the creating. Balancing all of our academics and athletic responsibilities is a challenge on it’s own. Then you add up the hours to be successful at this project and you understand why some students do not participate. This project takes guts.

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I start collecting and storing materials all year long for the possibility that the materials may be chosen to be used on a garment. I encourage people in my school community to bring in anything they might feel we could use for the designs. I have strong community support and I nurture it often. So I end up with loads of very interesting stuff.

My students will collect a lot of their own materials too, especially if they have a strong vision for the concept. This project is not for anyone who is particular about being super neat but it will require organization.

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The projects start either from an inspired sketch or by the actual materials. Our garments are created to fit the student models that have decided to be a big part of the process. Our models are not just hangers that wear our garments on the runway. Our models help with the construction, offer opinions, and dedicate hours of time to be available to constantly make adjustments to the design. The pieces are more like sculptures that move and fit like garments.

Pointers for the art teacher or students:

  • My advice to new students is to work on looking at what you like in fashion. I created a Pinterest Board for inspiration and I encourage my students to create their own inspiration board or have a sketchbook.
  • Second bit of advise is to rummage through the materials we already have in the studio for the project and figure out ways to reimage the materials in new ways.
  • Ask these questions: Can it be painted, cut up, weaved, braided, and or layered.
  • Ask questions on what can be changed? Color is an element to make a decision about, shapes are also a decision, dimensions in relation to the size of the model, what will move well and be comfortable?
  • I emphasize changing the materials so it looks like wearable beautiful garments. I want the viewers to see the garment and then wonder what is it made of not the other way around. It should surprise the viewer with how it is made and what it is made of.

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This year I sat relatively invisible in the crowd and listened to the people in the audience as my students walked the runway. I heard people say “I’d wear that!” “Wow!”, “Episcopal Students pieces are always so good”. I am bursting with pride when people say wonderful things when they have no idea I am their teacher.

The show was a success because we had created dynamic and exciting garments. I was successful because I was able to get this group through another season of the recycle fashion show. It is a season and it is a long one with many hours outside of my regular school hours. I have had amazing talks with the students at our Saturday workshops. I learned so much about them. We laugh, we goof off, and we get to know one another. We build a level of trust and I love it. It is one of the most important elements of being successful with students. Building a community around positive and active ways to create art and make a difference in their lives. The art part will be the extra.

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This year we are graduating three seniors. One of the seniors has been with me since the very first year of our venture in recycled fashion. The beginning was all new for me. I had a steep learning curve but it was fun because we were all doing it together. She has participated every year creating wonderful designs and encouraged others to get involved and take the risk. Although she may not have gotten the big prize, she has proven herself to all of us over and over. I am so very proud of her and I will miss having her in my studio.

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I will also be losing my right hand for Homes for Haiti and our runway backdrop designer for the past two years. She is our cheerleader, a model, and always offers assistance.

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Our last senior has only been doing the show for one year and she did a great job. She did not give up and she created a fun and inspired design and it was one of the favorites of my art teacher friends.

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Lucky for me, I get to repeat again next year with a bunch of experienced and creative juniors. “Look out! We are coming hard next year.”

We not only had 16 students involved in the runway show but I had a bunch of student volunteers at the fashion bazaar selling our Homes for Haiti. We have been creating our pins, magnets, and ornament since the devastating earthquake in Haiti and five years later, $65,000 later we are still going strong. On this night we raised $80.00 at the runway show.

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This event is a great opportunity to showcase what “art in action”, can do in helping young people realize new talents, take risks at being original, and to help students find ways to make the world a better place.

Reimagining materials that would fill up our landfills and creating an amazing event that hundreds people come to see. The room was filled to capacity with viewers lining all the walls, standing up to see what all the students created.

As an art educator witnessing this was awe-inspiring. If only more individuals, who make the decisions about cutting the arts, could realize the power of art.

The transformative power art does for a community is amazing.

I always get sentimental with my students when they leave the studio. It is not so easy when you work hard for many hours through frustrations, problems, disappointments, and successes. We get attached. I know my students have had a great time and have fond memories from all the activities we have done. All the beautiful art is all gravy to me.





It all happened one stormy night

29 04 2014

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Curbside Couture 2014 is an event we work all year to prepare to showcase our recycled fashion designs.  This is a labor of love for all of my students and for me.  The work to create the garments take almost the entire school year.  We work on weekends and after school.   Students explore all kinds of materials, gather supplies, and go through the process of trial and error.  We work as a group, pushing one another’s ideas, and challenging each other to create more original designs.

The models are an integral part of the experience and benefit from the experience as well.  The garments are created to fit a specific model and the designer is sensitive to the models body type and preferences of length, shape, etc.  The designer creates a whole concept for the design with hair, make up, shoes, the walk, everything.

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We are reviving the craft of sewing and adults in the students lives are supportive by providing sewing machines, helpful tips, and keeping eye out for recycled materials.  Everyone in my school collected requested materials for the students.  The support is amazing.  The day started with rehearsal at 2:00PM after a night at Prom, so I had a few tired students, but everyone was ready for rehearsal.  The excitement slowly was building all day.  Unfortunately the weather was predicting severe weather so it added a little drama to the day and night.  After we practiced on the runway and got gift bags from the show sponsors we set off for our school art studio.  I planned ahead to provide a meal between the rehearsal and the runway show.  We use the few hours inbetween the show and rehearsal, to work on hair and make-up. Plus a few pep talks and runway walk instructions.  I arrived at school and my parents had everything ready.  We had sandwiches, fruit, chips and dip, soda, water, and chocolates.  I already set up mirrors on easels for easy make-up application and plenty of outlets for curling irons.

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We had to head back to the Great Hall in the Clinton Presidential Library to get our garments on for the show.  This is always a hectic time for everyone.  Wardrobe malfunctions do happen so I have hot glue, pins, duct tape, and I am ready to do damage control.  This year with 23 garments to get ready for the runway in a short amount of time it required I enlist a parent.  Lucky for me I have a parent who is also an art teacher to help me out.  This was great….for the first time I had twice the amount of hands.  What a relief.

My students all lined up and looked great.  I looked at all of them smiling, fidgeting, and ready.  I did not really see the whole group in one place at the same time before.  It was impressive.  So many expressions of design and beautiful happy children.  I swear I could have cried but no time for that we have a runway to do.

Off they go and I sit among the designers in our seats for the show.  I designed two special garments for two of my students who wanted to participate.  One female and one male.  I was so happy they liked what I created for them and they were so excited to participate.

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The show started and within a few minutes the emergency sirens went off and we had to empty the Great Hall for the basement.  Over 350 guests and all the students- Yikes!  It went smoothly and everyone was calm.  Within 30 minutes the show began again.  The short 30 minutes seems to fuel my students who were previously nervous, into determined models.   The students owned the runway walking with confidence and pride in the outfits they wore.  My designers beamed and soaked up the applause.

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Only five awards were given for the designers and my students won four!  I am so proud of them.

The following designers were awarded cash awards: Colin Clemmons received  The Singer Creativity Award $250.00, Celeste Jennings 4rd $200.00, Lily Warren 3rd $300.00,  and Jade Pfeifer 1st $500.00.  Riley Blair the runway backdrop artist received a gift bag and praise.

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It was over too quickly and seemed to be only a dream.  

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