Each year, the Studio Artists Program provides visual arts education to over 4,500 students, and supports the careers of 6 professional artists. The program is a partnership between Tempe Elementary District #3 and the City of Tempe, and is funded by State Farm from 2016-2021. The program developed out of a need to provide students with an opportunity to experience professional quality arts, and also provide work and studio space for local artists. The Studio Artists Program provides art instruction for 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students and teachers within the Tempe Elementary School District, in hands-on workshops that focus on their assigned artist’s area of expertise. Each artist visits the classrooms spending four hours with 4th and 5th graders, and three hours with 3rd graders per workshop.
The Studio Artists Program aims to inspire students to achieve more in the arts as they pursue their education and life. Artists introduce students and teachers to creative and relevant arts principles and activities. This unique partnership offers students an opportunity to expand their understanding of the arts and interact with a professional artist from our community.
"My students loved seeing her real work! They didn't realize that artists made the art around the city, they never really thought an adult did art!"
- Quote from a Tempe Elementary School Teacher after a workshop with Lauren Lee
"My students really adored the artist. They loved the activities and were eager to take them home to show their parents."
- Quote from a Tempe Elementary School Teacher after a workshop with SuchStylez
3rd Grade Workshops
Color Box Workshop
Teacher: Sue Norton Scott
The Color Box Workshop is designed to enrich the third grade curriculum by giving students the opportunity to explore color, texture, and balance in art. While creating a personal “color box” out of a pizza box, students will learn about and apply the following concepts: primary and secondary colors; tints and shades; neutral colors, bilateral symmetry, implied and real textures. The workshop includes: an introduction to Mrs. Norton-Scott’s art, reading the book, “Swatch: The Girl Who Loved Color,” actively participating in two media presentations, painting and gluing textures in an original bilateral symmetrical design on their color box, and journaling in their personal “Art Journal.”
Teacher: Kandice Kardell
Students learn about mixed media art, various printmaking techniques, and artists' books. Students use additive and subtractive methods to create layered monoprints of pattern and texture, and later transform their work into an artist's book. Students begin session one by creating texture rubbings on four pieces of printing paper, and conclude with making several Gelli monoprints on their opposite sides. In the second session, students learn about artists’ books, paper folding for bookmaking, and an additional printing process. At the end of this session, students create their own star book with prints from session one, including book covers illustrated with graphite tape transfers.
4th Grade Workshops
Art Journal Pouch Workshop
Teacher: Melanie Sainz
Students explore the art of Native peoples of the Americas and the functional storage objects that they create. This workshop inspires students to create a personal pouch designed to hold their art journals. Students begin by measuring and preparing their pouch panels, then brainstorm to develop their design based upon the symmetry of the medicine wheel symbol of the Lakota people. They are encouraged to include basic visual art elements: line, shape, value, and texture. Upon completion of the design, the pouch panels are sewn together using a needle and thread to form a seam using the running stitch. Students are encourage to use their new design and construction skills to create additional objects such as book marks and more!
Transforming Junk to Treasure Workshop
Teacher: Shari Keith
In the first session, students analyze the attributes of a collection of small found objects with respect to the elements of art and select and arrange items to create a personal artifact. In the second session, students use the shape of a found object for exploring composition and the use of color and pattern as elements of design. In the third session, students generate designs using translations, rotations and reflections and experiment with using the texture of found objects as “stamps” for printing.
5th Grade Workshops
Street Art Font Workshop
We will be exploring a brief history of the Street Art movement and the involvement of custom fonts that are associated with this art genre. Each student will use their imagination and creativity to customize a word of their choice. Color fill composition and graphic options will be taught to add dynamics to their fonts. The final workshop day will conclude with each student applying all lessons learned and creating the name of their school using Street Art fonts.
Classic Cartoon Character Workshop
Teacher: Champ Styles
A fun workshop focusing on character development through piece by piece cartooning in the "vintage" fashion.
"The activities really engaged the children"
Sue Norton-Scott creates mixed media art that asks people to think differently about contemporary topics. Norton-Scott grew up in upstate New York, but she wasn’t cut out to live in cold climates. After graduating from Crane School of Music in Potsdam, NY, the young teacher moved cross country and planted roots in Chandler, Arizona. Now, thirty-some years later, she is retired from the Mesa Public Schools and lets her creative side flourish. Her surrealistic, 3-dimensional art has been displayed in New York City, Chicago, and Sacramento; as well as in the Mesa Contemporary Arts Gallery and Herberger Art Gallery in Phoenix. In addition to presenting workshops in third grade classrooms in the Tempe Elementary Schools, she teaches Art History and a variety of other Humanities classes online through Rio Salado College. Artist Website
"My students just came alive with engagement and excitement... I especially liked the connection to out mathematic curriculum!"
Shari Keith (B.F.A., M.A.Ed.) calls herself the "Junk Lady" because she collects junk, decorates her house with junk, wears only clothing that is recycled, and creates art using things that other people throw away. A former gifted education teacher, Keith is currently working as a teaching artist who shares with her students a passion for the artistic and environmental benefits of creating with junk. Artist Website
"Melanie's personality and preparedness, and the historical information she brought to the table was fabulous!"
Melanie Sainz is a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin. She is an exhibiting artist, professional teaching artist, and Director of Little Eagle Arts Foundation, an incubator for new and emerging Native American artists. As an art educator she specializes in traditional Native American folk art forms as well as contemporary mixed media, two and three-dimensional collage, and assemblage. Her art is featured at the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian and has received awards from a variety of art museums and festivals: The Heard Museum (Phoenix, AZ), the Eiteljorg Museum (Indianapolis, IN), Southern Highland Craft Guild (Ashville, NC) and Shirotopia (Himeji, Japan). Melanie received a certificate in Minority Business from UW-Madison and her BFA and post-graduate degrees in Art Education from Arizona State University. She held the title of Miss Indian America (MIA) XXVI in 1980, the first and only MIA recipient chosen east of the Mississippi River.
"SuchStyles was patient and energetic. He showed enthusiasm and knowledge of his craft."
SuchStyles is a Phoenix local that initiated his craft during his youth. His Street Art career officially began in the early 80’s therefore his involvement in spray paint applications for artistic uses has been 32 full years, placing Such at the helm of Phoenix Arizona’s Street Art scene. His underground endeavors caught attention to galleries, museums and private collectors. His work has been on display at the Phoenix Art Museum, The Arizona Latin Arts and Cultural Center, The Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, Mesa’s Contemporary Arts Museum, The Arizona Historical Museum, The Scottsdale Museum of modern Art, and various Arizona galleries. Several of his pieces can be found in permanent collections, including the ASU Art Museum. Other diverse projects include creating graphics for Fox Sports that were televised during the Super Bowl XXII Show, and a live bill boarding campaign for Coca-Cola’s “Fuze” drink and Red Bull. You can also find his documentation in the latest publication “History of American Graffiti” as Arizona’s initial Street Artist. Artist Highlight
Kandice Kardell is a mixed-media visual artist who works with mainly fiber, printing, and alternative photographic processes. Although her work can take its shape on canvas or paper, as three-dimensional sculpture or artists’ books, the layered and textural quality to her work remains consistent. Having lived internationally for many years, the intense experiences and relationships she forged have undoubtedly informed her visual work. A proud 6th generation Arizonan, she returned home in 2017 and is happily creating in the desert once again.
The son of Such Styles, Champ Styles has been in the graffiti art scene all of his life. The majority of his handiwork being conducted with the spray can, Champ combines both graffiti elements and vintage cartoons to create unique and vivid pieces on what would otherwise be derelict walls. He has pieces throughout the nation as well as a few museums such as The MIM and Mesa Contemporary Art center. Often times found painting alongside his father, Champ also solos throughout the valley in community programs and events for the youth.