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Happy Holidays from the New Mexico Art Education Association!

Between wrapping up conference items, returning to all the university work I neglected in preparing for the conference, the end of a long and tough semester, and a few weeks of unexpected illnesses, I apologize for the (very) delayed nature of my final blog posting as the 2022 NMAEA President. I hope you find some quiet moments and cherished time shared with loved ones over the next week or so... right before we start up everything all over again in January 2023.

We celebrated (and we DID celebrate) the 50th Anniversary of the New Mexico Art Education Association in 2022, and truly I could not be more honored to have served as your president and to have worked with such a fantastic leadership team this past year. I summarized several of the amazing accomplishments of the organization and our fantastic members in my comments at the fall conference in the notes in the conference program; I hope you've had a chance to reflect on and consider all of the good work NMAEA is doing in the state of New Mexico... I leave this post with nothing but appreciation for (and admiration of) our community of artist-educators.

Over 200 conference presenters, participants, and student volunteers joined in the celebration at the 2022 Fall Conference on the campus of the University of New Mexico; Michelle Sanchez St. Andre and Liz Olive put together a fantastic program (and worked tirelessly to do so), and additional thanks to Lisa Gillett, Kemely Gomez, Christine Martinez, and Steve Heil for all the hard work they individually committed to the conference. Membership voted in Michelle Lemons (President), Belinda Hardin (Treasurer), Liz Olive (Membership Director), and Corey Pickett (Divisions Director) for the 2023 leadership team; Richard Schwartz (Higher Education Representative) and Tricia Griffin (YAM Chairperson) have stepped forward to fill two of our open council positions. We still have openings in several key leadership positions– Even if you cannot commit to a leadership role, please consider serving on as a working committee member in one of our areas of need, e.g. diversity, equity, and inclusion; professional awards; advocacy; etc. 2023 might not be a 50th Anniversary year, but it's still going to be exciting... and starting out with the 2023 Scholastic Art Awards!

I wish Michelle Lemons and the new leadership team the best of luck in moving the organization forward, and thank past-president Steve Heil for being such an invaluable resource/support to me as I tried (sometimes successfully and sometimes not) to continue the good work of administrations and leadership teams past.

Thank you. It has been an honor...

Justin Makemson

2022 NMAEA President

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