New Mexico Division Representatives
Division Directors represent and advocate the issues and concerns of their specific division level as they pertain to art education in New Mexico. They are a point of contact for the New Mexico art educators specific to their division statewide, regardless of membership.
Juli Newton, Elementary Division Representative
Born and raised in Artesia, I realized I wanted to be an artist from an early age. I was inspired by my dad- a painter, and my mother who dabbled in ceramics, beading, sewing, and silkscreening. As the youngest of five, I have a mess of nieces and nephews so hanging out with kids seemed like a natural career path for me. I moved to Albuquerque and earned a Bachelor of Arts in the Fine Arts from UNM and a license to teach visual arts K-12. I missed my family, so I moved back home, started teaching, and started my own family.
I'm on my 13th year teaching and I've had the pleasure of working with Kindergarten through 9th grade. I earned my masters in Educational Literacy from Wayland Baptist University and I have a Level 3 license. I spend my days teaching art to Kinder-5th grade now, hopping around 3 different schools. This is my second year teaching elementary (where I always aspired to be) and it's been a big learning process for me but, I am reveling in all the love these little kids give back to me. Hearing them say "I want to be an artist when I grow up!" never gets old.
Contact Juli at
Pam Elam, Middle School Division Representative
Contact Michele at if you are interested.
Jill Dooner, High School Division Representative
Art Educator, Explore Academy, Albuquerque
Jill Dooner is a Level III Visual Arts teacher at Explore Academy Charter School. While working as a pastry chef with an undergraduate degree in art, she decided to go back to school for licensure to teach art, ultimately earning an MA Ed from the University of New Mexico. After spending nine years in the Rio Rancho school district, she chose to become part of of a fledgling charter school. Collaborating with eleven colleagues to create a school from a concept is a career highlight. Still at the school which is now in its fifth year, Jill serves as the department head for electives, and teaches classes in drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture, and mixed media.
Justin Makemson, Higher Education Division Representative
Assistant Professor of Art Education, UNM
Dr. Justin Makemson moved to New Mexico from Tennessee where he was the art education program coordinator and an associate professor of art at Belmont University. Prior to this tenure in higher education, Makemson taught 15 years in community art programs and the public schools of Missouri and Indiana.
Makemson received his PhD in Curriculum and Instruction Art Education from Indiana University in 2014. His research interests include student-artist identities, place-based technologies, material studies, and neuroaesthetics. Makemson was recognized as TAEA Middle Region Art Educator of the Year in 2016 and TAEA Student Chapter Sponsor of the Year in 2015. In terms of creative experience, Makemson trained in printmaking and oil painting as an undergraduate but through teaching discovered a passion for numerous other creative outlets– Branding, toy design, and game design dominate Makemson's recent creative initiatives.
OPEN, Admin/Supervisor Division Representative
Judy Miller, Retired Division Representative
Retired Art Educator, Deming
A teaching artist with 31 years of experience, Judy has taught in the private and New Mexico public school settings. As a retired Judy Miller has stayed active in the art education world, teaching high school students at Aldo Leopold Charter School in Silver City. She involves her students in their community through Mural Programs, creating multiple murals in the city.
“As an art educator, Ms. Miller made her lessons not only fun for the students, but relative to their lives and experiences as well. When the elementary arts program ended at GW Stout Elementary School in Silver city, she continued to teach for five more years,” demonstrating her dedication to the students.
As a professional, Judy took full advantage of every opportunity offered to help her deliver the highest quality Visual Art experiences for her students and support learning across the curriculum. She participated in many programs such as the NMPED Arts Immersion, Professional Development for Art Educators at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, a 12 year partnership on Arts Integration with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Arts, to name a few.
“It is because of a love of art and a strong belief that art plays a large role in the cognitive development of young children that I did this for so long. I know that it works. My hope is that my students will carry a love of art with them, a curiosity and caring for the world around them, and the encouragement to try new things and explore. They are our future. I have done the best I can do, and given the best to my students. Always.”
OPEN, Pre-Service Division Representative
Amanda Nicholson, Museum Division Representative
Museum Educator, Roswell Museum and Art Center
Amanda Nicholson is the Curator of Education at RMAC. Amanda has over 12 years of teaching experience with students ages Kindergarten through 12th grade. She has experience teaching various media including drawing, painting, printmaking, ceramics, as well as art history and art criticism. Amanda received her B.S. in Art Education from the State University of New York at New Paltz and an M.A. in Museum Studies from Syracuse University.
Contact Amanda at firstname.lastname@example.org