Joel Kurtz majored in sculpture at Massachusetts College of Art (with an emphasis in glass) and minored in performance art through the Studio for Interrelated Media. As a SIM student he produced and directed performance works as well as performed in movement based performance art pieces.
Joel was the first Mass Art student to take advantage of a newly formed exchange program developed between Mass Art and West Surrey College of Art in Farnham, England. He spent a semester abroad incorporating anthropomorphic archetypes into his sculpture and studying the evolution of Christian iconography from the 11th to the 14th centuries.
During his time in England he was exposed to the work of Finnish sculptor Timo Sarpaneva. This led him to apply for a grant for continued research into Timo’s work and a year later he was awarded the Donis Dondis Travel Fellowship that allowed him to travel to Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany.
His passion for art and education is reflected in his nine-year tenure as a high school sculpture teacher. He used multi-media extensively within his curriculum to illustrate art history, highlight artistic concepts, demonstrate safe working procedures and provide instruction in sculptural techniques. He chaired the Visual and Performing Arts Department and served on district-wide committees that addressed issues of technology in curriculum, grading and assessment and diversity. He was selected to serve on a WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges) accreditation committee that reviewed and accredited a charter school in Roseville, California.
In June of 2008, Joel left his position as a sculpture teacher in order to pursue training in video production and editing at Berkeley City College with the goal of combining his passions for art, education and digital media. This was followed by a production internship at KQED TV, San Francisco, working on cultural segments for the program
“This Week in Northern California”.
Joel has produced and directed, “Buying Time: A Portrait of the Artist Nikki Schrager”, a documentary short, “Longing for the Background”, a piece that documents an installation by kinetic sculptor Therese Lahaie at Chandra Cerrito Contemporary, and “Using Multi-media in the 21st Century Classroom”, a work that promotes a series of workshops led by Dr. Joanie Gillespie.
In 2009 he founded Codex Films with the aim of producing educational and instructional films.