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Program Summary

ArtForce provided ten high school students from Indiana and Tennessee with a unique opportunity to hone their artistic and teaching skills through a three-week fine arts apprenticeship. Through daily instruction from an experienced Arts for Learning teaching artist combined with multiple workshops from nine visiting artists, ArtForce students were given the opportunity to refine their artistic abilities.


In addition, ArtForce participants learned how to create and carry out an art lesson plan. Participants instructed younger students on an art lesson of their choosing over a two-day period. ArtForce students received feedback and made changes to their lessons before teaching a different group of students on the second day.


The final day of the apprenticeship concluded with a culminating exhibit for the public. The exhibit showcased multiple pieces of artwork created by the participants during the program. Upon completion of this program, ArtForce participants gathered multiple pieces of artwork to add to their portfolios, improved a variety of skills, learned how to plan and implement an art lesson plan, and gained an artistic and pedagogical experience that will enhance their resumes and future experiences.


Summer Fine Arts Apprenticeship

Grades 10-12

June 15 - July 2, 2015

Case Written By:

Taylor Fengya

Summer Program Assistant, 2015

Butler University, B.S. Arts Administration

Graduating in December 2015

Our Partnerships

Ivy Tech Community College in partnership with Arts for Learning created a unique experience for high school students interested in the fine arts. Participants in this program not only developed artistic and teaching skills, but were able to see what it was like to learn in a college setting. Furthermore, ArtForce partnered with Camp AYS at John Strange Elementary. ArtForce participants taught their lesson plans to AYS participants ranging from Pre-K to 5th grade. This partnership formed a unique bond between the elementary and high school students.


The Creative Team

ArtForce 2015 instructor and teaching artist Jude Odell instructed ArtForce students in the clay medium and offered assistance and expertise in the creation of the students’ art lesson plans. Additionally, ArtForce provided students with workshops from nine visiting artists: Jon Bryson (animation), Jingo de la Rosa (comic book art), Shannon Linker (Arts Council), Bernadette Ostrozovich (drawing), Stephanie Robertson (fabric art), Garret Uyeno (sumi-e), Michelle Wood (illustration), and Amy Bishopp and Rose Ann Wilson (child development).

Program Objectives

  • To increase participants' understanding of visual arts techniques.

  • To increase participants' understanding of basic concepts in teaching.

  • To build the participants' skills in public speaking, program design, branding, and time management.

Program Design

ArtForce is designed to provide participants with a unique focus every week for three weeks. Week 1 focused on Creation in which participants created a body of work for their portfolios and were introduced to multiple art techniques and styles demonstrated by various teaching artists. Week 2 targeted Education by instructing participants on child development, lesson planning, and classroom management. Week 3 focused on Teaching in which ArtForce participants implemented their newly created art lesson plans to Camp AYS students, received feedback, and made improvements to their lessons.

The Creative & Learning Process

ArtForce students began the apprenticeship on Monday, June 15, with the final exhibit taking place on Thursday, July 2. Participants came to Ivy Tech Community College Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. for instruction from Jude Odell, as well as workshops from visiting artists throughout the day. Students learned about the clay process and gained skills in creative and original thinking and forming good work habits, among other skills. On Mondays, ArtForce participants observed special performances from Arts for Learning teaching artists during lunch.


At the start of the program, students were provided with an assortment of art supplies ranging from high quality colored pencils to pads of paper and paint. Upon receiving these supplies, this made the high school students feel as if they were true artists which helped them to take pride in their artwork. Students created multiple sculptures, drawings, sumi-e pieces, and wrote personal artist statements which were displayed to the public at the exhibit opening on July 2.

As part of the teaching component to the program, ArtForce students explored the process of lesson planning, beginning with idea formation and ending with the lesson’s implementation. Participants observed three teaching artists implement art lessons to Camp AYS participants at John Strange Elementary, and were given the task of evaluating the artists. By doing this, participants were exposed to different teaching approaches which assisted in creating their own lessons.

After creating their lesson plans, ArtForce participants went to John Strange Elementary to implement them on Monday and Tuesday of Week 3 of the program. Participants were given two opportunities to teach their lessons, which allowed them to receive feedback and make changes for the following day.



Overall, the ten ArtForce participants displayed improvement in their art, 21st century, and teaching skills upon completion of the apprenticeship. This data was collected from three separate rubrics. The art and 21st century skills rubrics were completed by teaching artist and ArtForce 2015 instructor Jude Odell. The teaching skills rubrics were completed by Camp AYS staff members who observed the ArtForce participants as they implemented their art lesson plans at John Strange Elementary. These three rubrics showed an overall increase in scores among a variety of standards.


Meaningful Student Learning

We can conclude that this three-week fine arts apprenticeship had a positive impact on the ten ArtForce participants. On average, each participants’ scores as collected from the three rubrics increased by one point from the initial score to the final score. Many students increased their scores by two points, for example starting at a 2, “Approaching Standard,” and ending at a 4, “Exceeds Standard.” This fact can be observed across all three rubrics.  


Apart from an increase in scores, ArtForce participants were impacted on a much deeper and more personal level. Almost all of the participants came on the first day of the program not knowing anyone in the group. They were very quiet and shy at first. By the end of the program, their personalities and relationships between one another had transformed into a very close bond. No participant left the program without having undergone some sort of personal transformation.

After the completion of ArtForce, it is certain that offering multiple artistic mediums throughout the program was beneficial to all participants. The students each had a medium in which they were most comfortable or that came most naturally to them. It was effective to offer multiple techniques and artistic approaches in order for the students to become well-rounded artists.


Additionally, it was observed that not all students were as interested in the teaching component as they were the artistic component. However, each participant improved their pedagogical skills as a result of the teaching skills rubrics and observations made by the ArtForce instructor.


Closing Thought

Next year, we will strive to offer an even larger variety of visiting artist workshops to ensure that participants receive the most versatile fine arts experience. Perhaps we will add other art forms such as dance, music, or theatre to the program. By making these additions, we will enhance the experience for ArtForce participants and increase the program’s reach to more high school students interested in pursuing the fine arts as a career.