Hours: Weekdays 10-6. Weekends 11-5.

Caroline Schmitz

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Caroline Schmitz

In the studio - currently by appointment only.
Hours subject to change. To ensure artist availability, please email.

Growing up on a farm north of Shelby, Iowa, I appreciate the homesteaded land and love of the earth, family and faith. My Bachelor of Science in Art Education was earned at Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa. My Masters of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction was later achieved at University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Ne.

Art Education has been my life’s profession. I am a retired Omaha Public Schools art teacher with great years at Burke High School, South High School and Morton Middle School. The classes I taught were pottery, applied design, painting and drawing.

To work with youth and creativity is rewarding and inspiring! Prior to OPS, I taught elementary art in Iowa, Hawaii and California.

At University of Nebraska Omaha, I was adjunct and part-time faculty in art education in the College of Fine Arts for many years. Serving as a supervisor of art student teachers in the Omaha metro and southwest Iowa, it was a joy to observe the vitality of art education in our schools and community. Also during these teaching years, I was a co-presenter at national art education conferences and earned Educator of the Year awards.

In 2003, my studio mate, Carole DeBuse, suggested we share this space to create art and become part of the Hot Shops community. What a joy this has been to be here in Studio 106 since 2003!


As a young girl, I would watch my mother hand paint beautiful flowers on china. The china dishes were fired many times to create the depth of color. And my father would let me dig in the slough to discover soil and clay to play in. Thus, I believe my love of creating and decorating on clay was rooted in those years!

My work in clay includes sculptural, inspirational and decorative pieces. The sawdust barrel fired clay pieces I create is an interesting process that is centuries old in several cultures. My burnished clay vessel is nestled into an outdoor barrel with sawdust, straw, wood and dry dung. It is set on fire and will burn and smolder for 24 hours. It is a surprise to unpack the vessels from the ashes to see the grey and black ‘smoke clouds’ created by carbonization.

My art also incorporates the figure or face in many forms. In clay, I enjoy manipulating it into masks and sculptures. In drawing the face or figure, I prefer chalk pastels to blend for effects. I often connect the face to symbols in nature's life cycle and/or religious inspirations or experiences. And importantly, I hope the viewer can find personal connection to my artwork.

Working in fibers and fabric was also inspired from childhood. All my elementary and high school clothes were made by my mother and I! Weaving, macrame, coiled basketry, handmade books, fabric dyeing are processes I really enjoy. Quilting fabric for wall hangings and wearable garments has been recently very enjoyable to do. Often I use my clay pieces with fibers and fabric.

Having a studio at the Hot Shops Art Center has been so rewarding. It truly is a family of artists who help each other in so many ways - such as borrowing tools, having thought provoking conversations, participating in exhibitions to name just a few perks! To be a part of this comradely of artist friends here is a blessing!





Contact Information

Studio 106