Collaborative chalk mural brings us together.

18 09 2017
DSC_0464Paves 2017 Unity

“We have to get messy to make it beautiful.” – Art Educator Joy Schultz

We have been participating in a local city chalk art celebration for several years.  It supports a local organization which support students with funding and scholarships to continue to go to college or to supply arts educators much needed supplies.  The Thea Foundation was created by two parents who lost a talented artist daughter named Thea.  Her legacy lives on every day in the hearts and minds of young artists and dedicated arts educators.

I love participating in this event because it’s our first public art collab.  It starts with the first art club meeting when we decide a theme and brainstorm visual imagery to support the theme.  I let my student art club directors take the lead and I support them by moving the idea along.  I am lucky to have a well-trained and dedicated student leader, Junior Celia, for year two.  She was trained by her older sister who ran the art club before her for two years.  I strive to have the current leader mentor another future leader as the second year begins.  This helps maintain consistency and a lot less training on the spot from year to year.  The student leaders, Celia and Sophomore Bella, feel much more in control of the group and step-up in wonderful unique ways, with their own ambitions, to help the art club be engaged in the school and greater community.

Our theme this year was “Unity” and we had all of our members draw up many variations on the theme but we had lots of images that overlapped.  I needed someone to pull all the concepts together to help tell our story and support the theme.  Junior Madison was excited to contribute to the project but would not be able to attend the actual chalk mural event so she volunteered to pour over all the students ideas to create a cohesive design.

We combined our ideas with the lower school and middle school students to create one large design.  It was a hot sunny day and we had some students arrive early but needed to leave midway to attend other responsibilities so our students needed to work together to finish the final design.

We had students stop and evaluate the mural while it was evolving and they checked in on one another to see if they needed help.  The communication was between the art students of all ages was supportive and helpful.  The other two art educators and I made sure students took water breaks and sat in the shade for a breather.  I love that we had photographers pop by and ask to take photos of our students at work.  You could see the pride each student had in the mural.  We overheard comments about all the different world flags we added and the wonderful hot air balloons created by our youngest artists.  I love all of it but I was mostly struck by the students at the end that suggested that they hold hands around the globe for a group photo.  Right then and there, I realized they truly understood the purpose of the mural and the meaning of our theme.  “Unity/United”.  I could have not been more proud.

Paves the Way 2017 Unity

“Unity” Chalk Mural created by Episcopal Collegiate School art club students 1-12 grades – Art Educator Joy Schultz

 

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The Opening Matters

20 08 2017

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We all want to start on the right foot.  We want our students to feel confident in enrolling in the art course, the students want to know they can be successful and gain new skills.  In a Choice/TAB studio class it is important that students grasp what is student agency.  What is required of them to be successful in the studio?  I started this past week with a collaboration project and also an icebreaker piece.  I build in assessment tools for me to gauge what the confidence level, skill set, and interest is in the course.  I believe in launching into using all the terminology and techniques needed to establish the expectations for the work. For some of my students, I might as well be speaking a different language, but I assure my students they will pick up the information quickly.

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Here are my goals for the first week of class:

#1 Create a safe environment and work on a collaboration to help set the tone and share procedures.

#2 Set the expectations about original works and how to achieve independence and skill building evidence.

#3 How to document and research effectively for success.

#4 What is success in a Choice Based Studio? How are you assessed?

#5 Know the WHY in creating.

I am in the middle of setting the standard for creating original works and how to document progress, plus demonstrate skill building.  We are still using Sway.com to document and I am requiring more written reflections within the portfolio documentation.  Artist Proposals with Artistic Targets will help the artists set goals for the concepts they choose to create and Themes will also guide the concept shape.  I created student based assessments to help each artist decide to what degree they would like to develop their levels of content on the Sway link.  I am striving to support my student artists to be as independent in their process as possible so I can spend my time scaffolding their learning to level up their skills.

IMG_1624I have curated content on my student learning management platform to support the development of each project. Because my courses have multi-level students, in the studio at the same time, I also utilize studio mentors.  I find this to be very empowering for everyone.  It is exciting to see students engage in helping others achieve an individual voice in their art work.  We are off to a solid foundation and I cannot wait to share what we are creating.

This week we are dedicating student works for our school permanent collection with a wonderful reception.  I’m excited we are beginning to collect works from our talented artists for the history of our school.  This year we are going to make a call out to alumni artists to participate in an art show in the winter.  The school will then select a few for purchase to add to our school art collection.  Hoping to capture a few current works from our talented alumni.

Good luck on your start of the school year.  Enjoy the eclipse!

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Spring Time Fun

14 04 2017

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I really love seeing all the evolutions by students create from the choices they make in the art studio.  Offering choice through themes and artistic targets allows my students the opportunity to select areas of interest, materials to explore, and levels of inquiry.  I have witnessed students repeating the motif, materials, or theme to dig deeper and improve skills.  When the lesson was teacher directed, my students did very little connected thinking from one piece to the other, and often didn’t get another opportunity to explore the media a second time.  Now, I have students perfecting designs, experimenting, and pushing all kinds of possibilities.

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I’m loving how independently my students find their supplies and move forward on their art work.  My students ask very good questions about the work such as “why are you doing that?, “why are you using that?”, “what does this mean?”.  My students expect the artist to know why you are creating, what is the purpose, and is it original.

I am excited about the possibilities of seeing my youngest students evolve within the choice based art program.  I have seen an increase in application of their knowledge that they researched to achieve goals they set for themselves to complete an artistic target.  In one semester the growth in student independence and initiative has grown.  The confidence to speak to the class about their ideas and possible creative solutions is gaining strength.  I’ve noticed an ease in which my students now preform tasks in the studio that required so much direction and set up; to a simple rhythm in the space.  In other academic areas my colleagues have noticed the cross-over and blending of our curricular areas merging them closer together.  This merger is being promoted not by me but my students.  My students are experiencing, seeing, and talking about the connections.  The importance in offering choice and self-directed learning is beginning to take hold.

Ben Triggered

The school year is quickly coming to a close and it will be time to celebrate all of our accomplishments.  We have done very well this year, claiming many awards, scholarships, and accolades.  I am most content in seeing my students happily working independently, caught up in deep thought, and working through a task they designed.  I love that several of my students have embraced an entrepreneural spirit, when thinking about their art.  They have taken to setting up websites and controlling their own social media brand showcasing their style of art.  I could not be more excited for the possibilities of this new found digital platform control, mixed with an ambition, expressing their voice, sharing their ideas/passions,  balanced with a creative drive…..there is not stopping them.  Art can change the world to be so much better.

I believe it.





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: https://chibitronics.com/learn/  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:

http://papercuriosities.media.mit.edu/

https://www.adafruit.com/

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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