Viewing work at the Albuquerque stop of the Art.Write.Now.Tour

Guests viewing the work on display at the Albuquerque stop of the Art.Write.Now.Tour

The Scholastic Awards national office is dedicated to growing affiliates across the country, including the Southwest! Here’s the latest on the New Mexico Region and its new art award program!

As we’ve reported, the Art.Write.Now.Tour, the national student exhibit of selected Gold Medal winners, just finished its run at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, which brought about awareness and generated excitement for the program. Two students from New Mexico who currently have their work in the Tour represented their home state. School field trips were coordinated to view the exhibit, and some school commitments had been made to participate in the program as an art course requirement.

A New Affiliate for New Mexico!

Although several affiliates in New Mexico have been with the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards for many years, New Mexico is just beginning its statewide program for the first time. Already the response has been powerful!

The region is supported by the New Mexico Art Education Association (NMAEA) with a grant from the Albert I Pierce Foundation, as well as additional support from the National Hispanic Cultural Center (NHCC) and the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center (IPCC) through their educational outreach programs. It is administered by Michelle Lemons, current past-president and awards chair for NMAEA, and co-chaired by secondary art teachers Joseph Paul Baca and Nikki Turman, who are also members of the NMAEA Board of Directors.

“Launching the program has been a three-year research and development endeavor. But now that we have begun, we are really picking up traction. It is very exciting to be able to work with such a great team to make this program a reality for our students,” states Lemons.

Part of that research and development included hosting the national Region-at-Large adjudication last year, which not only helped train the NM Scholastic team on the jury process, but also funded the attendance fee for both co-chairs to attend the national affiliate training in New York City at Scholastic headquarters this past June.

The first annual student exhibit will be held at Warehouse 508 in Albuquerque on February 7 and the closing recognition ceremony will be held on March 22, 2014.

New Scholarship Opportunities!

Miranda Zeigler, Outreach Ambassador from the Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design (RMCAD), travels throughout the region showing teachers and students how to photograph student work on a budget and how to submit work digitally on regional affiliate websites.

While she encourages other post-secondary institutions to participate in the program, she has helped set the bar by providing the first scholarship for NM Scholastic winners from RMCAD including:

  • $5,000 Undergraduate RMCAD scholarship for a NM Gold Portfolio Winner
  •  Pre-College Summer 2014 Program Tuition Scholarship for a NM Gold Digital Arts or Photography Winner
  •  Additional support for the recognition reception

Other scholarship donations are pending confirmation, as are awards from local art societies and museums. The NAACP-NM will also be participating through their Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) program.

“What is wonderful about affiliation with Scholastic Art Awards is that now New Mexico students, such as those from ACT-SO that previously participated in the Scholastics Region At Large division, can be included in our smaller competition pool, making their chances for recognition that much greater,” says Turman.

How do they do it?

Michelle Lemons shares some of this region’s Best Practices:

  • Find Type A personalities among art educators (not easy!) who can play well with others, volunteer the time, strategize the timelines and meet deadlines in a task master fashion.
  • Host regional meetings to develop strong budget projections and task organization with national representatives. Touch base regularly and be prepared to take the time to make it right before launching.
  • Attend neighboring states’ education conferences to network with colleagues, share ideas, and trouble shoot potential pitfalls.
  • Partner with established educational outreach programs and higher learning institutions in the community to facilitate awareness and participation of the program.
  • Present Scholastic Art Workshops at the New Mexico Art Education Association Fall Conference to promote and educate teachers on the process and offer resources.

See more at:

More from the Albuquerque Art.Write.Now.Tour stop

More from the Albuquerque Art.Write.Now.Tour stop

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