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.


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.


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.






Art Students Work Like Artists

21 11 2017

Reflecting on my own personal method of creating art, I started brainstorming on how to create my Artist Proposal to help my students navigate the ChoiceArt studio.  This helped me to create the work flow first and then the form was born.  I created it to help my students be independent in the studio.   I anchored the whole work flow with a Google form that I named the Artist Proposal.

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When I created the form; I hit all the essentials I needed for recognizing the individual student and identifying the artists intentions.  The form functions as a guide to layout and describe the students art concept, Theme, Artistic Targets, and to attach the Sway link code.  The Sway link supports the selected concept with research, evidence of growth and experimentation (skill-building techniques), and written reflections with photographs/videos of the process.  This year, I included my standard based assessment rubric, so my students will be able to measure what they are establishing and how much effort is required to achieve the level they wish to accomplish for the proposal.


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I have several areas where the questions are marked with required and accumulate points for completion.Screen Shot 2017-11-20 at 6.38.06 PM.png

My Artist Proposal includes several questions that my students need to answer before submitting their proposal.  The questions ask the “Why” they are making the project. What materials are you going to need? How is this project going to help you grow and develop? What was your inspiration? Why is this your focus at this time and how long do you feel this will take to complete?


I recommend you create an Artist Proposal that your students can understand and complete independently. 

I created mine to support the environment and culture, I have created in my studio.  Often my student’s create a Sway link first and then complete the Artist Proposal. My students have a clearer understanding of what they are striving to achieve, because they have already collected research, prepared sketches, and have a connection to the “why” for creating the piece.

My Google Form with the Artist Proposal then gathers the data I need to support them with materials,  I can set-up work spaces and storage spaces,  I gather additional support like research, exemplars, and skill building exercises.  The data collected from the form also shows where my students are functioning throughout the semester.  I can see when they are developing and or working for mastery.  I can see what Themes are the most popular and what materials I need to stock up on.  In addition to the Google form, I can show my students growth with their individual Sway links and written reflections.  The class presentations are the bonus content that I leverage to help my students build confidence and level up their skills and voice.


My assessment forms are also Google forms and student’s answer questions reflecting on their accomplishments.  The data collected from these additional forms help support the culture I am creating with ChoiceArt in my studio.  I am supporting the creating and thinking.  The end product is a bonus and the quality remains high because the students are engaged in the process and have a clear understanding of how to be successful.

I hope this blog post on the Artist Proposal is helpful.  I have a week to relax and then it’s on to this year’s Arts Reveal Night.  I have eight wonderful female artists lined up to present their work.  The group ranges from experienced to only one quarter of studio experience.  I know they have evolved so much but it’s time for them to step out and show the rest of our community.

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Busy times…

13 11 2017

Arts Reveal Night 2017smWow!

I have been so busy and I just wrapped up on the Arkansas State Art Conference.  I presented two sessions, I assembled three sessions which included ChoiceArt educators meeting up to greet each other, offer grade division specific sessions, and to get the ChoiceArt educators signed up for a shared folder for content.  I also presented on Design Thinking on a topic that I feel many art teachers found direct application for their classrooms from the session experience.

Getting back to my life at home, I took time to make a few magnolia leaf wreaths and bake some sour dough bread from a starter.  This always relaxes me and I need it because I will be hosting a NAEA webinar on the ChoiceArt Studio.  I am very excited to present and show how teaching Choice can be implemented in a classroom.   On my school agenda; I am hosting a recycle fashion workshop, a parent coffee about the Visual Arts program, and launching into our next Arts Reveal Night.  Presenting is important for so many reasons.

Just as attending conferences for our own development and learning so is presenting.  During my presentation at the AR conference, I stressed the importance in sharing and presenting what and how we do our practice.  I know it is more work and it is scary but we need to move past this if we want to get better.  We can only become better at what we do by sharing how we do it and reaching out to each other.  Art educators are notorious at being extraverts when it is necessary but then retreating to our safe spaces when we can.  I do this all the time.

I am perfectly comfortable with my students and working with them brings me so much joy.  I am not the most comfortable in front of a large group, writing and publishing my thoughts, and basically always pushing out my thoughts.  I am a very cerebral person and I process my ideas for some time until I am comfortable with it before letting it out.  I am getting better at it and I keep pushing on through it.

I make my students present for this same reason.  You know yourself better and why you do what you do, when you have to tell someone about it.  Artists do love to share their accomplishments with like-minded people.  Standing in front of a crowd and explaining your ideas or process is much harder.  But I want my students to do it because it will make them stronger and much more confident.  I know this because it has worked for me.  I believe in modeling what I ask my students to do and then supporting them to do it to.

I was sitting next to Dennis Inhulsen an accomplished art educator and school principal and now, the NAEA Chief Learning Officer. At the conference luncheon, we chatted about the Arts Standards that he helped to write.  He admitted that he was never a great writer but he got better by being put in the position to have to do it.    Now, he represents the NAEA all around the country and presents to educators the importance of the Art Standards.  Presenting is one of the new standards that is emphasized in my studio.  I also balance presenting with writing/reflecting on the process.  It is essential for student growth and confidence.

I walked away from my sessions and I hoped that I clearly expressed the importance of connecting with other art educators and sharing what they are doing in their own teaching practice.  I feel my role as the Co-President of the ChoiceArt Interest Group is to encourage individual voices to gain volume and confidence.  It’s not my own voice that always needs to come forward.  I want other educators who are working through how to teach with offering more Choice to their students to share.  The teaching theory of ChoiceArt embraces individuality and voices.  We help our students find their passion and elevate their voice….We need to do it for ourselves too.

Join an organization, sign-up for an interest group, write a blog, participate in a forum, post content you created and share it….just do it!

Please join the NAEA Webinar on November 15 @7-8PM EST when Nikki Kalcevic and I present Teaching the Visual Arts Through Choice. NAEA Virtual Art Educators WebinarScreen Shot 2017-11-12 at 8.24.29 PM.pngScreen Shot 2017-11-12 at 8.24.17 PM.png


Summer Pace Begins

29 05 2017

And just like that I’m still here…


This year has been a doozey and one for people who can endure many challenges, changes, and growth.  As I complete my year in review that lists all of the activities, conferences, awards, contests, exhibits, etc. I am fully aware of the stretch that I laid out for me as an art educator to accomplish.  I do believe in setting goals and to push forward in spite of obstacles.   

2016-2017 Year in Review 

Joy Schultz

Upper School Visual Arts Program

Award: Stephens Award for Academic Excellence -City Education Trust 2017

Celebrate 10th Year at Episcopal Collegiate School

Co-President NAEA Choice Based Interest Group 2016- present

Arkansas Regional Director 2015-2017

Accepted into The Ultimaker Pioneer Program- 3D Printer Innovation

Arkansas Art Educators Visual Arts Art Educators Gallery Show-2016

Episcopal Collegiate Art Teacher Gallery Show- 2016

Arkansas Art Educators Convention-2016

  • Choice Based Art Studio Implementation and High School Discussions

NAEA Convention presentations- NYC  2017

  • Choice Based Interest Business Meeting
  • Shark Tank Experience in the Art Studio for Stronger

       Student-Centered Experiences

Arts Reveal Night- Ten Artists Presented

Chibitronics – Dr. Jie Qi Artist Workshop for paper circuitry US and MS art studio classes and the Design Lab

ART CLUB Activities and Events

Watermelon Festival- face painting

Peace Rocks Project

Painted Piano Project- Mayor of Little Rock for the City of Little Rock

Homes for Haiti- Workshop at Clinton Library and the Christmas Mission Market Sale

Empty Bowls- Arkansas Food Bank-  Art Club Project

  • Hosted Girl Scout Workshop 35 bowls donated & $510.00 raised

Paves the Way Thea Foundation- Chalk Art Mural K-12 Art Club

Art Competitions and Exhibits

Thea Visual Arts and Fashion Scholarship Competition-

Curbside Couture Runway Show- First Place Winner $500.00

Central Regional Art Show-

Arkansas State Art Show-

Young Arkansas Young Artist Show-

Fine Arts Showcase- March 13th

Governor’s Mansion Art Exhibition- Governor’s Choice Award $100.00

2017 Governor’s Young Art Competition and Exhibit at the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion. submission “Open Strings” was awarded the “Judge’s Award” in the Governor’s 2017 Young Artist Competition.

Governor’s School Visual Arts Student

Student Art Scholarship Awards: SCAD

 Congressional Art Show Competition: Six Participants

  Laying the Foundation

 “Imagine the Inclusive School of the Future” art exhibit, on view September 1-30, 2017 at the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site Visitor Center.  The outstanding quality of the work and the historical significance of the 60thcommemoration, the Central High Visitor Center would like to invite your student to donate the artwork to the National Park Service as part of the Little Rock Central High School 60th commemoration archive.

Senior Art Show- First one ever at Laman Main Branch Library 12 students

Established the beginning of the Student Art Collection: 4 works selected

Alumni Art Show- Jan 2018 -option to purchase pieces for Art Collection

AYAA State Awards: Multiple Award Winners


School Arts Magazine April 2017

Picasso Sea Book- 2016

This year I completed my tenth year at my current school.  This is the longest I have ever stayed in one place.  I am fortunate to be able to navigate through my curriculum changes with confidence.  I have autonomy in how to build the best program to meet the interests of my students.  I keep up with the National Standards and I feel I keep up with education journals to help guide my practice.  This next year, I am going to add a new course.  I believe the course I have created will meet a population of students who are underserved among the traditional media and the course will support the fast-paced content creators who are already contributing but need more guidance.  As I work this summer on collecting content to use as exemplars and articles to help guide my young creators, I am also redesigning a section of my crowded art classroom space.  I have written my grants and have my professional development ready to tackle this summer. I will work through to brush up and learn new platforms in addition to reading books, playing with the Morphi app, and finally spending time creating my own content.  I like being prepared and I am looking forward to working with my clever and talented students to break new barriers. 


I am drafting my NAEA proposal and I am getting feedback from my online PLN.  It’s new territory for most but I do like having input on my thoughts to make sure my information is clear to everyone. 

This summer I will be traveling to Paris and will be able to view places and art that I have up to this point only viewed in books and the internet.  It will be a great way to celebrate the past ten years.   Next is to spend some time back in Wisconsin, hopefully doing some plein-air painting. Then I get to participate in a SCADYear summer workshop with two talented students learning about new design and technology to elevate my program.

My summer calendar is filling up fast but I am determined to keep pushing the boundaries and maintaining an exciting program.


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:  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.

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