Karen Kozojet Ching

In the Mixed-Media Expressions Artist Residency Program, middle school students expand their visual language and view the familiar from a different perspective by discovering innovative techniques to alter and embellish substrates and surfaces. The possibilities are endless to transform re-purposed materials into a medium for self-expression.

Students collaborate to create mixed-media artwork that merges text, collage, painting, and drawing.  They explore the work of contemporary mixed-media artists Elliott Hundley and Shepard Fairey.  Students communicate their thoughts about transformations, relationships, boundaries or roles, by incorporating a personal message, poem, or narrative into an original multi-layered artwork.  Mixed-Media Expressions offers students an innovative approach to express themselves and convey a message about their role in the world.

The Fine Arts Teacher has the option for students to work as a team to design, contribute to and create a large collaborative piece for their school.

Mixed-Media Expressions
Arts Discipline
Visual Arts
Cross Curricular Connections
Language Arts, English, Science
Artist Statement

Karen Kozojet Ching is a professional visual artist with over 15 years of experience working in mixed media.  Since 2009, she has been designing innovative art curriculum and instructing youth and adult students.  Her courses encourage self-expression and the development of creative problem solving skills through experimentation and exploration.  Ms. Ching has taught private and group classes, Visual Arts Summer Camp, homeschool students, SACC teachers and outreach programs in Fairfax and Prince William County elementary and middle schools.  She also has a passionate interest in the STEAM movement.   

The quest for originality is at the forefront of her artistic journey.  Mixed media is the innovative approach she uses to capture the essence of her inspirations.  Ms. Ching enhances her artwork and evolving style by combining a variety of visual mediums, materials and techniques.  She has immersed herself in the creative process during the past six years as a full-time studio, exhibiting, and teaching artist at the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, Virginia.  Her paintings can be seen in juried exhibitions and private collection throughout the Washington, DC metropolitan region.

As a residency artist, Ms. Ching challenges middle school students to experiment with innovative materials and techniques.  Through the creative process, students are inspired to develop their own innovative approaches while creating a mixed-media artwork that expresses their thoughts about transformation, relationships, boundaries or roles.

Artist Residency Goals
  1. Foster personal growth through experimentation, critical thinking and creative problem solving.
  2. Combine image and text to communicate a personal thought on a contemporary issue of concern.
  3. Practice calculated risk taking and forward thinking in art making.
  4. Design and assemble altered materials in innovative ways.
  5. Develop a personal style through the application of different approaches.
  6. Make cross-curricular connections with language arts by incorporation a written message in original artwork.
  7. Make cross-curricular connections with science through experimentation with materials used in creating an original mixed media artwork.
Artist Residency Culminating Activity

To celebrate the completion of their artwork and the residency, students will share their artwork in the classroom or with the entire school community in an exhibition and opening reception.

Expected Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  • Use experimentation and innovation to repurpose non-traditional materials for an intended purpose.
  • Consider and select appropriate subject matter to convey a personal opinion related to the theme (transformations, relationships, boundaries or roles).
  • Develop and apply innovative approaches to overcome challenges and convey a broadened perspective in final artwork.
  • Work together effectively to share and accept responsibility, compromise respectfully reconcile diverse ideas, and accomplish a common goal.  
Residency Schedule

The Mixed Media Expressions Artist Residency Program is planned for 12 sessions of 45 minutes to 90 minutes in length

The number of classroom sessions and the time per session can be modified and still accomplish the residency objectives.  The Resident Artist plans to work with the Fine Arts Teacher to realign the lessons based on the specific school’s needs and schedule. 

Material and Supply Needs

Standard material and supplies provided by the school:

Please let the Resident Artist know if these will not be available.

  • Large format-large sheets of grey mounting boards or flat, recycled cardboard or mat board used for background surface   Approximately 24x36
  • Papers - white, variety of thickness and type
  • Paints - acrylic, watercolor, tempera
  • Brushes - variety
  • Drawing tools - graphite, colored pencils, sharpies, pens, crayons, sharpies, oil pastels
  • Paper towels
  • Collage Medium - type of glue
  • Students’ Found Objects - Ephemera - their own movie tickets, receipts, flyers, text from magazines
  • Shallow pans for marbling
  • Containers with sealable lids for marbling


Specialized materials and supplies provided by the Resident Artist:

  • Newspapers, comics, dictionary, maps, music notes
  • Threads - yarn, embroidery floss
  • Non-traditional materials for making marks - plastic forks & knives, wooden pencils, corks, sponges, wooden skewers for marbling
  • Stencils/Stamps  letters
  • Text - words from magazines
  • Collage medium - Liquitex Gloss Medium, Golden Soft/Medium Gel (if no glue provided by school)
  • Paraffin Wax - to use as resist
  • Vegetable oil for marbling
  • Food coloring for marbling
  • Plastic disposable gloves for marbling
Equipment and Technology Needs

Standard equipment and technology needs provided by the school:
Please let the Resident Artist know if these will not be available.

  • Projector to show internet video and mixed-media web pages from my MacBook


Specialized equipment and technology needs provided by the Resident Artist:  

  • MacBook, adapter, and cord to connect to school provided projector
Space Requirements

This residency can take place in a classroom space with tables for teams to work together, tables to paint larger pieces, and drying racks or space available for pieces to dry.  Facilities for changing water and cleanup are necessary.  On-site storage for the Resident Artist’s materials would be appreciated.

Role of the Fine Arts Teacher in the Residency

For the Mixed Media Expressions Residency Program, the Fine Arts Teacher, in collaboration with the Resident Artist, will select the desired focus for the residency.  The following are suggested options for consideration and can be expanded upon:

  • Classroom discussions and examples can be applied to transformations, relationships, boundaries or roles.
  • The language arts component can be a media message, poem or narrative associated with the selected content.
  • The artworks can be created in one of the following forms:
    • Small groups of 3-5 students work as a team to design, contribute to and create a large collaborative piece.  
    • Each student creates an individual artwork and also contributes to the design and creation of a larger collaborative piece.
    • Each student creates an individual artwork only.


The Fine Arts Teacher is also asked to collaborate with the Resident Artist to support and enhance the program on an ongoing basis throughout the residency, including but not limited to the following:

  • Suggestions for student groupings,
  • Opening and closing activities or teaching techniques that the students are familiar with and have been successful for the teacher,
  • Providing feedback/input/encouragement into the writing, editing, or creative processes planned as part of the classroom activities, and
  • Adaptations for students with special needs.
Download Unit Plan
8611 Meadow Edge Terrace, Fairfax Station, 22039, VA
(703) 593-3554