Featured Teacher: Steve Schetski, AP Art Instructor, Savannah Arts Academy


I am the drawing instructor at Savannah Arts Academy and teach mainly 10th and 11th grade students who major in Visual Arts. My students have participated in every contest sponsored by CelebratingArt.com for two years and received a Top Ten award with our very first submission. It’s fantastic to have a student from our school to receive another Top Ten award!

My Top Ten student, Audrey Phillips states, “Celebrating Art is always a fun competition to enter, it allows me to showcase my artwork and compete with other talented students. My piece, Electric Blue, focuses primarily on color. The colors work so well together because I used contrasting tones to accentuate the different planes of my model’s face ”. Her work symbolically reflects the brooding nature of her fellow classmate, with his hair swirling around like clouds and lighting appearing from the side of his face.

It is through good teaching strategies and practice that my students learn to become great artists. I motivate them by the simple phrase, “Just do it”. I also have a toy Yoda sitting near my desk as if to say, “Do or do not, there is no try”, which is to say to find your inner truth and trust your instincts. I also use my skills and knowledge of a practicing artist and the 28 years of teaching experience to guide my students through the process of art making. By getting my hands dirty every day with a “hands on” approach to teaching by demonstrations, informal critiques with works in progress, brainstorming ideas or concepts, and teaching the techniques and processes of using art materials instead of sitting back in my chair watching my students struggle. I am there as a mentor and my role as the art director to see the magic happen. Of course, creating a work of art is not really magical, it involves an understanding of art foundations skills, art aesthetics, composition, as well as blood, sweat, and tears.

My curriculum encourages and recognizes the value of meeting the standard of excellence by requiring all of my students to enter art competitions, for which they can also receive extra credit. They do not compete against each other to see who is the best, but rather allow the art experts to judge their work on its own merits. It’s all about improving their skills, producing quality art portfolios, receiving recognition, and for some, seeing a framed copy of their artwork hanging either in my classroom wall or outside in the “Hall of Fame.”

Steve Schetski
AP Art Instructor
Savannah Arts Academy

Audrey Phillips with her Top Ten Drawing, Electric Blue

Audrey Phillips with her Top Ten Drawing, Electric Blue


Detail of Yoda Still Life, Work in Progress

Detail of Yoda Still Life, Work in Progress


Hall of Fame, some of my AP Drawing students in the Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame, some of my AP Drawing students in the Hall of Fame


Jordan Hanna_Skeleton Drawing1

Jordan Hanna – Skeleton Drawing

Samantha Hadwin, Yoda Still Life

Samantha Hadwin – Yoda Still Life


Students with some of their works to be added to next year's Hall of Fame

Students with some of their works to be added to next year’s Hall of Fame





Featured Student Artist: Emerson Moore


DSC_9993Emerson is a Top Ten Winner in our summer 2017 national art contest for her artwork “Emerson’s Still Life“.

Hello, my name is Emerson Moore and I’m going to talk a little bit about myself. In the future I would like to be a singer, an artist, and an author and illustrator. I also want to be an art teacher. Art really runs in my family, my sister and my dad are artists. My great grandma was an artist too. I got inspired by them. Art has always been a part of me ever since I was born. I am proud that my chalk pastel, “Emerson’s Still Life“, is a top ten winner.


Featured Student Artist: Anastasiya-Stefaniya Vyazmina


art-num-42556056asAnastasiya-Stefaniya is a Top Ten Winner in our summer 2017 national art contest for her piece “Lake View“.

My name is Anastasiya-Stefaniya Vyazmina. I am a 9 years old and live in St Albert, Alberta, Canada. I was born in Ukraine and moved to Canada 4 years ago. I have been taking art classes for two years at Alberta Arts academy, Edmonton with amazing teacher Svetlana Kanyo.

The true inspiration behind my painting “Lake View ” was my family trip to Jasper National park.

My 3rd year in art school I want to express myself developing drawing techniques and trying in oil painting. I hope I can get into the top ten again next year.

Featured Student Artist: Oishee Misra


OisheeOishee is a Top Ten Winner in our summer 2017 national art contest for her artwork “House in the Woods“.

I’m Oishee and I’m currently a freshman at Monta Vista High School. I love art and I go to Mr. Armando’s every week usually on Saturdays or Fridays. I love trying out new mediums and styles of art.

I was inspired to create “House in the Woods” because it was a beautiful landscape that I really wanted to attempt to capture. It was my second oil painting, and I wanted to try out everything new I had learned from my first one into this piece.

My goals for the future are to just continue doing art because it makes me happy and helps me express myself without the constraint of words.art-num-724690891as

Featured Student Artist: Emily Ruggieri


IMG_20171022_1137376Emily is a Top Ten Winner in our Summer 2017 national art contest for her artwork “On the Right Track.”

Inspiration: These old decrepit tracks are one of my favourite places for an afternoon walk. Many of the boards are broken, some nearly falling apart, and have plants growing in the cracks. The spikes are rusted, bent and show what years of exposure to the elements can do. It is nature taking itself back.  Perhaps they are plain looking to some. However, in the fall the maples that line the sides completely transform the railway. They burst into a brilliant assortment of colours, rich reds, golden yellows and bright oranges that are not fully represented in the picture, as fall was just beginning. I hoped to show train tracks as this, as a place of colour, beauty and history, as opposed to lifeless grey veins branching through the land.art-num-1503662479465332913

Goals: In the future, I hope to continue to create and evolve my skills. I hope to pursue a career that allows me to use these skills as often as possible.

Information: I am a 13 year old who enjoys art in any form but specifically pottery and painting. My other passions lie in music, particularly piano and guitar. I also practice photography. These tracks are one of my most frequent subjects.

Featured Artist Teacher: Dexia Sophie Fu, Fu Art Studio, Manalapan, NJ


teacher FuSophie Fu is currently an art teacher affiliated to Hua Xia Chinese School, NJ. She has extensive experience in art education. After graduating from the School of Fine Arts at Nanjing Normal University in China, Mrs. Fu has been in art education field ever since.

Teacher Fu’s students range from age 5 to 18. In teacher Fu’s eye, each child is unique. Teacher Fu is a reputable art teacher who can help kids finding their own inner talent and passion in art. She inspires each kid based on their own personality and strength. A few of her past students, who are in art major and fashion design major in college now, can not say enough “thank you” for teacher Fu’s inspiration, encouragement and confidence in them.

According to teacher Fu, child art education is not only teaching different painting skills and techniques, but also a means of intellectual development. Cultivating an interest in art may facilitate children to develop and to enhance their imagination, creativity, aesthetic ability and practical skills. Below are selected art pieces of teacher Fu’s current and past students.1324

Teacher Fu’s Studio located in Manalapan, Plainsboro and West Windsor, New Jersey. She can be reach at sophiaws63@gmail.com or 908-692-1915 or wechat scan code below.


Featured Art Teacher: Elizabeth M. Ibarra


“Gilded Peacock”, Angela Espino, Top Ten Winner in summer 2017 national art contest.

My name is Elizabeth M. Ibarra. I am a professional artist who has had the privilege of working as an ASES Art Teacher for 5 successful school years at Desert Garden Elementary School. It is an honor to be a Celebrating Art Top Ten Art Teacher. The recognition each of my published art students has received is a source of pride and excitement among my students, their parents and colleagues alike. Having a Top Ten winner published in the Summer 2017 anthology is validation of the young talent in my classes and of the effort they put into crafting their remarkable works of art.

There are many factors which contribute to success in the classroom; not the least of which is the willingness of my students to actively participate in their own development as young artists. My teaching style is influenced by having been homeschooled and later attending a prestigious art school for a year. My own art education was very self-motivated. I had the support of my family; especially my parents as I embarked on my artistic journey. They signed me up for classes with professional artists during my elementary and high school years. These experiences have now come full circle as I am a professional artist, motivating my students to take their artistic abilities seriously. I feel that family participation and recognition of the work they create is vital to their early success. I submit student works in our annual district art festival, local, regional and national contests with Celebrating Art as a focus. The process of student participation in Celebrating Art directly involves their families as I request permission to enter art created by their children. The familial joy and enthusiasm involved in these contests is a motivation for my students to consider themselves artists and to take pride in crafting their works of art.

Another factor of success I have had in the classroom is working with the abilities of each student, which are as varied as their personalities. I create lesson plans which cover a lot of artistic styles and media, giving support to the needs of each of my students. Creating impressions of famous artwork and discussing art history is always engaging and fun for my students. We spend time in-between elaborate projects practicing drawing skills with nature photographs. Developing hand-eye coordination is greatly important as it gives students more confidence while approaching complex projects. In class recognition of their hard work and success is another great motivating tool. It is my goal to boost student enthusiasm for their own works and those of their classmates.

Remember that we as artists and art teachers are helping keep the arts alive in our schools. Art education is important. Best of luck to you in your art teaching endeavors.

Featured Student Artist: Angela Du


angela photoAngela is a Top Ten Winner in our summer 2017 national art contest for her piece “Sailing Boat in Sunset.”

My piece was inspired by our family vacation at Cape May, NJ. My family visits Cape May, NJ every summer. We stay on the beach front hotel and relax. We love to watch the sunrise and sunset. Sailing boat in Sunset is one of the scenes in my memory about Cape May, NJ.art-num-685274946

When I grow up, I would like to be a fashion designer. I am proud of my art piece and I am passionate in art.

Featured Art Teacher: Kate Stewart – Holt School of Fine Art


Kate Stewart 1I’ve been an art educator for six years, and the most important lesson I have had to learn is that every child is unique in how they see, hear, interpret, understand, and create. My students range in age from 7-18 and their interests and abilities are as variable as their ages. All students work at a pace that suits them best, so I do not teach to a group, but rather to an individual. I attribute my success, and the success of my students, to my ability in the classroom to adapt to and be flexible for each of them individually.

As an artist myself, I must regularly practice my craft in order to make creative and technical connections in my own work and in the classroom. I take classes and experiment with new artistic processes in order to continue educating myself. I share my new learning experiences with my students to encourage them to try new things and to always be willing to learn new concepts. I have found through my personal practice and

Kate Stewart - The Accomplices - 18x18, oil on canvas, 2017

Kate Stewart – The Accomplices…

education that problem solving in my own creative process helps me problem solve when it comes to my students’ work; and likewise, when they find a problem solution in their creations, it provides me insight for issues I may be experiencing in my own art.

The constant shift between my own painting and my time in the classroom has made me stronger both as an artist and a teacher, and I consider myself to be extraordinarily fortunate to be both a practicing artist and an art educator – two activities I love and hope to continue doing for a very long time.

Kate Stewart collaborative mural project

One of the many murals my students have done for the community. The theme of this one is Celebrating Diversity and was donated to a local nonprofit called Project 658. We have also done murals for Levine Children’s Hospital, Charlotte Lab School, and the Dilworth Artisan Station

Kate Stewart DAS mural Life in Transit

A mural which is a collaboration between my teen students and I which spans the 20 empty windows on the façade of the Dilworth Artisan Station. My students and I competed against professional artists for the winning design and our work will be featured on the building for 1 year

Kate Stewart Figure Drawing workshop with live model

Showing one of the many opportunities I offer to my students who are interested in figure drawing. Several times a year we bring in a live model for them to learn from

Kate Stewart Self portrait 12 year old

One of my students at work during a portrait workshop.

Kate Stewart still life with 12 yr student

Showing how many of my students learn new techniques in the classroom by drawing from life.


Featured Student Artist: Sheridan Lalicker


SheridanLalickerSheridan is a top ten winner from our summer 2017 national art contest for artwork “Remedy Memory“.

Hi, my name is Sheridan Lalicker and I’m an artist from Southern California. I am a student at Orange County School of the Arts in the Visual Arts Conservatory. One of my classes last year was Beginner’s Computer Graphics and our final project was a hyper-realistic digital painting. I had no idea what I wanted to paint, but I definitely wanted to challenge myself. I decide to paint something I really enjoy – hair! I was looking everywhere for images to use for the project and ended up referring to an image by a model who goes by the name “hiolivejuicee.” Not only did the image have super messy hair, but it used art-num-151016189complementary colors. It was perfect! In the future, I’d like to continue improving my art skills and exploring my style. But most importantly, I want to create art that inspires others, and myself as well. If you’d like to check out more of my art, my instagram is @pinkrubyrose