STMA’s Arts Outreach Programs

For more information about our arts outreach programs or to schedule a visit to STMA, please contact our Arts Outreach Assistant at 706-342-7557 or send an email to

STMA Teacher Packet (grades 4-8) – Not available yet

The Art$mart Project

The Art$mart Project is the overarching arts education outreach project that focuses, in part, on the goal of “making art make money,” and is made up of three education modules: A Day @ STMA field trip & art experience at the Museum, Creative Teens Earning Green (CTEG) at the Crossroads Alternative School, and College Connections which features ongoing creative collaboration between the museum and seniors from area colleges and universities.

The common threads running through these 3 modules are all inspired by the work and career of Steffen Thomas: 1) unique artistic vision; 2) strong work ethic; 3) the belief in oneself & a drive to succeed; 4) the ability to market one’s art & make a living; 5) to have a positive impact on society.

These threads are woven together to form the fabric of The Art$mart Project, in which students learn the many ways their creative endeavors enrich their own lives and the lives of others, and which can possibly be pursued to the degree of becoming a professional in a creative field. The project began in September of 2014 and involved over 825 students at that time; it has grown to reach over 1,400 participants in the 2017-2018 school year. Various foundations and donors support the Ar$mart Project including GA Power – A Southern Company, CR Bard Foundation, Georgia Council for the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta – Morgan Fund, and the Conrads Family Fund.

A Day @ STMA

Led by our staff, trained docents, visiting artists and STMA Board Members, approximately 1,400 students from several counties surrounding Morgan County will visit the Museum in the 2017-2018 school year for an informative and fun field trip tour of the Museum and a make-and-take art project. Students are given a brief history of the artist, Steffen Thomas, and a short Q&A about museum etiquette. Students are then divided into small groups and are taken on a 30-minute tour of the museum galleries by trained docents. Throughout the tour, docents place special emphasis on the particular artistic technique that students would use as inspiration for their make-and-take art project following the tour. The art project is completed in the Museum’s main gallery where students are surrounded by Steffen Thomas artwork, and the project always uses Steffen Thomas art as inspiration.

A Day @ STMA is a unique program that provides school children from rural NE and Middle Georgia an opportunity to visit a fine art museum and learn about a master artist. For some of these children, this is the only time they will visit a fine art museum. For more information or to schedule your school for A Day @ STMA, call 706-342-7557 and ask to speak to the Arts Outreach Assistant or email


Creative Teens Earning Green (CTEG) is the first and longest-running module of our three-pronged Art$mart Arts Outreach Program for students in Middle and Northeast Georgia. Since 2002, STMA has funded and delivered weekly arts programming throughout the academic year for at-risk students at the Morgan County Crossroads Alternative School. At no cost to the students or the school, STMA-trained teachers deliver the only arts education offered at the Crossroads School, with more than 50 middle and high school students participating each year.

Steffen Thomas’ 70-year-long history of earth stewardship and creative re-sourcing and re-cycling of art materials is central to the CTEG curriculum. Such an innovative and relevant approach is an essential part of classes that include pottery, painting, sculpture, collage, mosaics, and graphic design. Each year, a visiting mentor artist works with the Crossroads students to introduce a new medium. An additional component of the program is a year-long service project and community partnership where the teachers and students design, create and install a large-scale public art piece to be donated to a nonprofit within the community. These donated creations feature re-used “art supplies” such as scrap metal, broken pottery, discarded lumber and plastic, and even roadside litter. Past installations include a mixed-media mural for the Morgan County Senior Center, a welded metal sculpture presented to the Morgan County Humane Society, a tile mosaic donated to the Georgia Safari Conservation Park, and a kinetic outdoor sculpture designed for the garden of the local food bank. The public project for the 2017-2018 school year will be donated to Farmview Market, a farm-to-table Georgia-grown retail market/community education center.

In the 2017-2018 school year, STMA, through the Crossroads program, partnered with Farmview Market in Morgan County for the public art created by the students.  Working collaboratively, the CTEG students created a large wall weaving depicting a pastoral scene that was donated to Farmview and is permanently displayed in their main building.  For this school year (2018-2019), the partnering organization is the Morgan County Detention Center.

In the 2016-2017 school year, the students at Crossroads worked in clay, learned mosaic skills, created masterpieces with shaving cream and food coloring, and painted solar systems with spray paints.. This year, our mentor artist was Dottie Kurtz. Kurtz is a Madison, GA based mosaic artist and member of the Madison’s Artist Guild (MAG). Kurtz worked with the students in the fall semester making small individual mosaics, teaching them the skills they would need to make a large mosaic destined for the Georgia Safari Conservation Park in the spring semester.

This 2015-2016 school year, the Crossroads students explored new mediums and created works including origami, collage, sculpture, drawing, painting, & graphic design. In addition to their weekly individual art projects, under the guidance of STMA instructors Elizabeth Collins and Chuck Haynes, a special emphasis was made this semester on two collaborative art projects. First, students worked together to create a mixed media sculpture piece to be displayed at the A-Flat student exhibition (A Funky Little Art Thing) shown the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center. During the second half of the semester, the students worked on a second collaborative sculpture which is now permanently displayed at The Caring Place, a local food bank located in Madison, Georgia. The students helped to unveil the sculpture at their end of the year celebration, held this year at the Caring Place, where they received certificates and cash awards for their accomplishments.

For the 2014-15 school year, the students at Crossroads School created numerous works including pottery, drawing, painting, fish prints, sculpture, collage, & graphic design. In addition to these weekly projects, students worked on a Group Assignment under the guidance of an Artist Mentor & their two STMA art teachers, Elizabeth Collins and Chuck Hanes. Students worked with local sculptor Blue Chilton to create a sculpture made from recycled metal for the Humane Society of Morgan County’s new visitation garden.

In February, students visited Blue’s studio, where they were introduced to his work & process, many of which included welded animal sculptures. Students worked in small groups on three sections of their sculpture throughout the semester at Crossroads that would later be welded together: A dog, a mouse, & a cat that ate a bird. The project’s three group leaders returned to Blue’s studio, where they learned to weld. Students helped install the sculpture & attended the unveiling at the end of the semester Awards Ceremony, where they received certificates & cash awards. Throughout the year, students sold artwork in the Museum gift shop and the Madison Arts Guild Gallery (MAGallery), & many participated in local art festivals & markets. STMA bought this year’s Purchase Award made by Brandon Reda, which sold in the museum’s gift shop!

Spring 2015 CTEG Purchase Award by Brandon Reda

We thank all our sponsors as well as staff and volunteers that helped make this year a success!

CTEG is supported in part by generous support and grants from the Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta – Morgan Fund; Conrads Family Fund; CR Bard Foundation; DreamTeam Technologies, Inc; The Georgia Council for the Arts; Georgia Power Foundation; HouseSmart; Morgan County Citizen; Smith Communications, Inc.; Weyerhaeuser Company Foundation.


MAY 2016: Student Awards Reception and Collaborative Sculpture Unveiling at the Caring Place


DECEMBER 2015: Student Awards Reception at MAGallery

NOVEMBER 2015: Guest Artist Garry Adams & Aluminum Can Creations!

OCTOBER 2015: Clay pieces & ornaments (to be exhibited for sale at MAGallery)

SEPTEMBER 2015: CTEG goes INSIDE OUT in downtown Madison

AUGUST 2015: Leaf Painting/Printing

Spring Semester 2015

Students at the end of the semester awards ceremony in front of their sculpture at the Morgan Humane Society

Two of the group project leaders, Austin Turner (left) and Brenden Portwood (right) in front of their sculpture. Anthony Williamson, also a group project leader, was not able to make it to the reception.

Collaborative sculpture installed at the Morgan Humane Society

APRIL 2015: STMA receives featured article in Morgan Citizen for Crossroads project:

STMA project with Crossroads featured in the Morgan Citizen in April 2015

FEBRUARY – APRIL 2015 Classes!

Crossroads Program Director Greg Thompson with group project leaders Anthony Williamson (left), Austin Turner (center) and Brenden Portwood (right) at Blue Chilton’s studio

Students welding as Greg Thompson (left) looks on

Student sculptures prior to being welded together

College Connections