The National Art Education Association (NAEA) has bestowed the distinguished title of National Art Museum Educator of the Year on Associate Professor Pat Villeneuve of The Florida State University. The prize will be formally presented in Minneapolis next month at the association’s annual conference.
While Florida State art educators and studio art instructors are no strangers to top honors in their fields, Villeneuve has become the first faculty member at the university to earn the highly competitive NAEA award that typically goes to museum practitioners. It is an especially hard-to-get accolade with such high standards that in some years it hasn’t been conferred at all.
Villeneuve serves as coordinator of the graduate program and director of the arts administration program in the Department of Art Education at Florida State, where the nationally known educator teaches graduate-level classes in art museum education as well as courses in arts administration and in development and learning theory.
“It comes as no surprise that Pat Villeneuve has been chosen as National Art Museum Educator of the Year,” said Sally McRorie, dean of the FSU College of Visual Arts, Theatre and Dance.
“Not only does Florida State boast amazing art museums that include our Museum of Fine Arts on the Tallahassee campus and the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art on the Sarasota campus, but it also offers graduate certificate programs in art museum education and more general museum studies,” McRorie said. “Add to those resources an exceptionally experienced and accomplished art educator like Professor Villeneuve, and you have the formula for true national leadership in art museum education. The National Art Education Association’s recognition of her many achievements is noteworthy and further strengthens the continuing development of our university’s great art museum education programs.”
A widely published author, Villeneuve is a past editor of the Art Education journal. She is also the editor of the recently released work, “From Periphery to Center: Art Museum Education in the 21st Century,” a collection of 33 essays by experts in the field that, according to McRorie, underscores her commitment to improving training and practice in the field. The book is only the second of its kind to be published by the NAEA (its first publication on art museum education was in 1989), and it is currently on the association’s best-seller list.
Villeneuve earned a Masters of Art degree in Art Education and a doctorate in Administration and Art Education from the University of Arizona. Before coming to Florida State in 2003, she taught at the University of Kansas and was the curator of education at its Spencer Museum of Art. She also served as a visiting professor at Arizona State University.
“I am absolutely thrilled to receive this award,” Villeneuve said. “I appreciate the support I’ve gotten from FSU, particularly through the establishment of its certificate program in art museum education. The program enables me to teach and research in my area of strength and prepares our students well for the hands-on practice of art museum education.”
Each year, the NAEA recognizes some of the nation’s top art educators with a range of honors in categories that include Villeneuve’s National Art Museum Educator of the Year award and higher education’s Art Educator of the Year title — won by Florida State University Professor Tom Anderson in 2006. The NAEA awards seek to focus professional attention on quality art education and exemplary art educators; increase public awareness of the importance of quality art education; set standards for quality art education and show how they can be achieved; provide art educators with tangible recognition of their outstanding achievements; and enhance professional opportunities for its members.
To learn more about Florida State’s Department of Art Education and its award-winning educators, visit the FSU College of Visual Arts, Theatre and Dance Web site at www.fsu.edu/~cvatd.