Utah Museum of Fine Arts (UMFA) Educator Wins State and National Awards

Salt Lake City – Annie Burbidge Ream, assistant curator of education and public school programs at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts (UMFA), has won two major awards from the state and national art education associations.

Annie Burbidge Ream

Annie Burbidge Ream

In February Burbidge Ream was named 2016 Utah Museum Educator of the Year by the Utah Art Education Association (UAEA). This weekend she will be awarded the 2016 Pacific Region Museum Education Art Educator Award from the National Art Education Association (NAEA).

“Annie is one of the anchors of our talented team of educators—dedicated, highly creative and deeply passionate about making art matter in the lives of everyone she encounters,” says Jorge Rojas, UMFA director of education and engagement. “She is very deserving of these two honors.”

Burbidge Ream, a Utah native, joined the UMFA in 2008 as tour coordinator before moving into school outreach in 2010. After a few years of traveling and teaching across the state, she began to re-envision the program to emphasize the importance of museums as community spaces for everyone. In her current role Burbidge Ream oversees outreach programs for schools and communities that bring arts education annually to nearly 150 schools and more than 21,000 students in every corner of the state. These programs help students and teachers make connections between objects and their own lived experience, and they give underserved populations some of their only opportunities to experience the visual arts.

“Art is for everyone” is her philosophy. “This idea that art is a luxury—that you have to know something to enjoy it, or you have to be in the club—I don’t believe that,” says Burbidge Ream. “Your first experience walking up to a work of art is so powerful. I really want students to use art to learn about themselves and the world they live in.”

In 2014 she developed an innovative new program, the Traveling Museum Project, which installs temporary exhibitions in schools and community spaces throughout Utah using objects from the UMFA’s Education Collection. In the classroom she uses UMFA objects and resources to create hands-on, question-based experiences for students and teachers. She also designs curriculum for docents, teachers and students aimed at developing visual literacy and cultivating critical thinking, creativity and curiosity.

Burbidge Ream is especially passionate about Land art and recently began helping AP art history teachers around the state integrate Land art curriculum into their classrooms.

James Barton, who teaches AP art history at Bingham High School, says Burbidge Ream’s tireless effort to provide resources, experiences and opportunities has made him a better teacher and created indelible experiences for his students. Her work “not only enriches my students’ understanding of the objects we study and of art generally, but it increases their quality of life, giving them more opportunity to pass AP tests and to succeed in college.”

Burbidge Ream grew up in Cottonwood Heights and graduated from Brighton High School and the University of Utah.

The UAEA advocates for and increases the quality of visual arts education through professional development, collaboration and leadership opportunities. The NAEA is the leading professional membership organization exclusively for visual arts educators.

For more information call (801) 581-7332 or visit www.umfa.utah.edu