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Pair of local women honored at art educators conference

Amanda Nicholson, Roswell Museum and Art Center’s curator of education. (Submitted Photo)

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The Roswell Museum and Art Center’s curator of education, Amanda Nicholson, has been honored as the state’s Museum Art Educator of the Year by the New Mexico Art Education Association.

Jessica Parham, Roswell High School art teacher. (Submitted Photo)

The NMAEA also recognized Roswell High School art teacher Jessica Parham as High School Art Educator of the Year during the organization’s statewide conference in Roswell.

During the Nov. 3-5 conference — hosted by the Roswell Museum and Art Center and the Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art — Nicholson and Parham, who serves on the RMAC Board of Trustees, were among numerous award recipients from throughout the state.

Working with RMAC’s many and varied resources and assets, Nicholson has “created a cohesive environment for multi-sensory experiences that are rich and inspiring for multiple audiences,” according to the awards program provided to participants of the conference.

The program also notes Nicholson’s “highest priorities” in her work at the museum are the expansion of school tours, creation of innovative programming for young children and parents, establishment of community events, and development of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) education initiatives.

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With a strong dedication to community service, Parham works to instill that same priority in her students, according to the awards program, which notes her efforts such as having students paint a mural in a downtown park and making the most of an old building by creating art pieces from objects found inside and holding a benefit art sale in the building.

She also has her students display and sell their works alongside professional artists at an annual public art sale and coordinates a free art program at RMAC for children.

NMAEA President Jennifer Furman, who is a Roswell resident, thanked all those at RMAC and the Anderson Museum, as well as the many volunteers who made the conference a success. Furman said she was “incredibly proud of how everyone in Roswell stepped up for this conference.”

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