NAEA Monthly Mentor
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Annie Burbidge Ream
Curator of Education
School Programs and Statewide Outreach
Department of Education and Engagement
Utah Museum of Fine Arts
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.
Annie’s goal is to illuminate what can be learned by making a connection between an object and your own experience through several programs including pARTners, the Traveling Museum Project, a Land art initiative, as well as the care and management of the UMFA’s Education Collection that holds over 2,000 authentic, global art objects. “Art is for everyone,” is Annie’s philosophy. “The 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. 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 addition to administering several programs, Annie enjoys teaching in the classroom utilizing UMFA objects and resources to create hands-on, question-based experiences for teachers and students. She continues to design curriculum for docents, teachers, and students, focused on experiential learning, the development of visual literacy, and cultivating critical thinking, creativity and curiosity. “Art can change our lives, it can help us solve problems;” she explains, “art helps us see the world differently and make connections to people, times, places, and cultures.”
Annie is an alumni of the University of Utah with a background in Art History and a love for American Art after 1960, especially Land art, and can be found exploring sites across the West. She is passionate about her work. “I am so lucky to work in a field that encourages creativity and celebrates complexity, different perspectives, and personal transformation.”