DEBORAH MILLS WALL. THE BALANCING OF THE ARTIST-TEACHER DUAL IDENTITY IN K-12 PUBLIC SCHOOL VISUAL ART EDUCATORS(Under the direction of Dr. Rebecca Shore) The purpose of this narrative qualitative study was to explore how artist-teachers perceive themselves, their strategies for maintaining a balance of the artist-teacher dual identity and their perceived benefits for students. This study included eight participants with a minimum of five years of teaching art in a K-12 public school who considered themselves an artist-teacher. The analyzed data resulted in the following findings: K-12 artist-teachers perceive themselves as having a dual identity of both an art educator and practicing artist, that early artmaking experiences and past art teachers were influential in their identity formation and that in addition to teaching, personal artmaking is needed for their job satisfaction and life fulfillment. Findings also include: K-12 artist-teachers maintain the balance of their dual identity by having a designated place for art making, prioritizing and scheduling time for their art practice and connecting with other creative individuals or groups for accountability and collaboration. Additionally, this study’s findings demonstrates that K-12 artist-teachers perceive their dual identity benefitting students by infusing excitement and energy from their own artistic practice into their teaching, building strong connections through shared experiences and explorations, and readily integrating and introducing students to diverse and relevant contemporary artists. Implications include increased professional development for art educators in opportunities for collaboration, knowledge of new media and techniques and methods for integration of diverse and contemporary artists. Additional implications include increased training for preservice art educators on attaining and sustaining the balance of the artist-teacher identity .