Monthly Mentor

Annie Burbidge Ream (October)
Serving as Curator of Education at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Annie Burbidge Ream oversees the administration of school programs and statewide outreach that serves over 21,000 students and 1,700 teachers annually across the state of Utah. Annie joined the UMFA staff in 2008 as tour coordinator before moving into school outreach in 2010. After several years of traveling and teaching visual arts across the state, she began to re-envision UMFA school programs to emphasize the importance of museums as a community space for everyone. And if you can’t come to the museum, Annie will bring the museum to you! From urban to the most rural corners of Utah, Annie facilitates museum-in-residency programs to schools and communities providing access to underserved populations that frequently have limited visual arts experiences. Click "Go" to read her full bio.



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« It’s Youth Art Month! | Main | Visual Culture - Part 2 »

March 04, 2013

Visual Culture

The second path I want to journey down is my passion for Visual Culture and how that ties into our classrooms.

Let’s kick off with a little about my passion for Visual Culture. It was probably always lurking in the background, but it came to light with beginning to pin down a topic for my MA thesis at the University of Northern Iowa in 2008. Christopher Schulte* was there pushing me to dig deep into what drove me, to find a passion for a topic. I shared a story with him about a recent article I had read titled “50 Works of Art You Should See Before You Die” and a television commercial I had seen while watching football with my family of boys. The middle of the commercial for Sprint® featuring Peyton Manning (then quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts) flashed a few second likeness to M. C. Escher’s “Relativity.” I immediately caught the likeness, but no one else did. With the wonders of DVR, I backed the commercial up and asked my three boys (husband and two sons, ages 14 and 8 at the time) if they recognized any likeness of a work of art in the commercial. They didn’t. I grabbed the laptop and pulled up Escher’s work and they could then recognize the likeness. (Go ahead, search youtube for the “Manning’s Mind” commercial. You know you want to.)

This made me wonder if I was teaching my students to recognize the subtleties in today’s world where famous works of art were being infused all around us. The moment clicked. I had found my passion … Visual Culture.

*Now Dr. Christopher Schulte is an Assistant Professor at Lamar Dodd School of Art, University of Georgia after receiving his doctorate at Penn State University. Dr. Schulte is also a 2013 Elliot Eisner Doctoral Research Award in Art Education Runner-Up.

—Ronda Sternhagen   


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