Lesley Wellman, Curator of Education and Assistant Director, has recently completed four years of service as the director-elect and then director of the Museum Division of the National Art Education Association (NAEA). Founded in 1947, the NAEA is the leading professional membership organization exclusively for visual arts educators. Its over 22,000 members include elementary, middle, and high school visual arts educators, college and university professors, researchers and scholars, teaching artists, administrators and supervisors, and art museum educators, as well as more than 45,000 students who are members of the National Art Honor Society or are university students preparing to be art educators.
Deborah Reeve, NAEA executive director and former deputy executive director of the National Association of Elementary School Principals, wrote about Lesley's contributions: "During her tenure as the Museum Education Director on the National Art Education Association Board of Directors, Lesley Wellman established new practices and made valuable connections between art educators working in our nation's art museums and those working in schools, school districts, state departments of education, and colleges and universities. She is a transformative leader who has consistently contributed visionary thought and experience that has informed key discussions and helped lead outcomes that have prepared NAEA for ever greater stature in today's world. Her integrity, wisdom, and wit are valued by colleagues who rely upon her rigor and purpose-driven leadership."
Anne Manning, Lesley's successor as director (and a former Hood education staff member), wrote: "Lesley's commitment to NAEA's mission to advance visual arts education to fulfill human potential and promote global understanding made her an exceptional and passionate leader." The Hood Museum of Art would not be the excellent and pathbreaking museum it is without Lesley's many contributions over the past two decades. She has been instrumental in making the Hood one of the top college and university art museums in the country.