Hood Museums Lesley Wellman Named 2012 National Museum Art Educator of the Year

Lesley Wellman, Hood Foundation Curator of Education at the Hood Museum of Art, was selected by the National Art Education Association (NAEA) as the 2012 National Museum Art Educator of the Year. This award recognizes the exemplary contributions, service, and achievements of one outstanding NAEA member annually at the national level within their division. The award was presented in March at the NAEA national convention in New York.

At the Hood Museum of Art since 1990, Lesley puts best practice first regarding audiences, interpretation, evaluation, and collaboration. An awareness of audience and multiple ways of accessing and learning from objects has long been the cornerstone of the museum’s teaching mission. Along with her education colleagues early in the 1990s, Lesley examined a number of alternatives before developing the Hood’s Learning to Look method for teaching audiences to interpret art, privileging strategies designed to engage the learner more deeply in object-related critical thinking, research, and interpretation.

Lesley served as director-elect and then director of the Museum Division of NAEA from 2007 to 2011. She has always been committed to mentoring her education colleagues at the Hood, and they have continuously presented the museum’s work on panels at NAEA conferences on such subjects as family programs, docent and education professional interactions and collaborations, and art and medicine, among others. In addition, one of the museum’s longstanding docents has been elected president of the National Docent Symposium Council. Lesley’s recognition as 2012 National Museum Art Educator of the Year recognizes that the leadership, vision, and talent that she puts into her work at the Hood Museum of Art extends to a deep dedication to the field of museum education at the national level.
Responding to news of the award, Lesley commented: “I feel deeply honored to receive this award, particularly because the nomination and evaluation of candidates is done by peers from art museums across the country. This recognition is very meaningful to me. The deepest honor, however, is to get to do work that I love on a daily basis. If I can help create opportunities for museum visitors to engage with and learn about art, and the world of ideas, experiences, and emotions it represents, and if I can help people understand the relevance and value of art in our lives, then I feel that I have provided something of value.”

Hood Museum of Art
Dartmouth College
Hanover, NH 03755
[email protected]

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