Art Professor Earns TAEA Award
Jan. 26, 2021
SHSU Media Contact: Wes Hamilton
Story by: Katy Belanger
Edie Wells, clinical professor in the Art Department at Sam Houston State University, received the Texas Art Education Association (TAEA) Outstanding Educator of the Year Higher Education Division Award for her dedication and advocacy to art education.
Wells was nominated by Mikhaela Boyles, a student in the Department of Art and a pre-service teacher. Wells says being nominated in the first place is the biggest reward.
“For a student to recognize my efforts to help them find their voice, realize their potential, and prepare them for a successful future while also offering them a safe harbor where they have a mentor who loves, values, and respects them, means I got something right,” Wells said.
Boyles nominated Wells for how she goes above and beyond for her students and the Art Education Program.
“She truly has a heart of gold where people care about her as much as she cares about us,” Boyles said. “I feel very fortunate to have met her because she inspires me to be the best, caring, and energetic art teacher and human being I could be.”
Wells says language is the most valuable aspect of teaching art and she finds the most joy in helping students find their voice.
“I want students to explore ideas fearlessly, learn to ask good questions, and develop as thinkers and engaged citizens,” Wells said. “By the time our students graduate, they recognize that they hold the power to make the world a better, more creative place through their own art and activism, but also by encouraging and nurturing the next generation of artists' voices.”
Through her membership with TAEA, Wells can present her scholarly work, offer professional development for innovative methods in both teaching and artistic pursuits, and network with like-minded professionals at a state and national level.
“The irony here is that I belong to TAEA to help me be a better instructor and role model for my students, but the influence and mentorship by TAEA members who lead by example is what helped shape me into the educator they deemed worthy of this honor,” Wells said.
Wells has traveled across the world to explore and teach art, and she is proud to share her experience with the students of SHSU.
“We don’t get multiple dream jobs too often in life,” Wells said. “I recognize that I am fortunate to have found an incredible creative community and rewarding work in the Department of Art, where I encourage and help grow young artists, collaborate with colleagues from other parts of campus, help develop the next art education leaders, and even spend some time in my own studio.”
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