RIC Art Prof. Named 2013 Higher Art Educator of the Year

Assistant Professor of Art Education Virginia Freyermuth with her oil portrait

Assistant Professor of Art Education Virginia Freyermuth with her oil portrait

Virginia Freyermuth, assistant professor of art education, has been selected to receive the 2013 Higher Art Educator of the Year Award by the Rhode Island Art Education Association (RIAEA.)

The honor is given annually to a Rhode Island art educator for outstanding contribution to higher education, and exemplary dedication and service to art education.

“The association gives statewide recognition to art educators at all levels and is a mutually supportive group of very dedicated art educators who work to maintain an active organization to support art educators in Rhode Island,” Freyermuth said. “To receive this award from my art education colleagues in the field means a great deal to me. It is a great honor to receive this acknowledgment and affirmation.”

Freyermuth, who is in her fourth year at Rhode Island College, concentrates her teaching in developing future art leaders.

“I thoroughly enjoy working with my students at Rhode Island College,” Freyermuth said. “I find the students to be extraordinarily hard working and very committed to their goal of becoming educators and art educators. We are preparing PK-12 teachers, and it does my heart good to see new people coming into the field who are so committed to helping others and to sharing their passion to make a difference in the lives of young people.”

Freyermuth is this year’s faculty advisor for the Rhode Island College Student Chapter of the National Art Education Association. Selected students of this organization annually attend the NAEA National Convention. Freyermuth’s presentation proposal for the 2014 meeting was accepted in a juried process for the convention and she will offer a hands-on workshop, “Deep Teaching in a Technological Age,” with her research partner, Peter London.

“It’s a wonderful gift for students to attend this premiere professional development event,” she said. “People attend from all over the world, and it’s great to have our students experience this.”

Prior to joining the Rhode Island College faculty, Freyermuth taught K-12 art education in the Plymouth and Quincy, Mass., public schools and was the K-12 art coordinator of the Duxbury Public Schools in Duxbury, Mass., for 14 years. She also was an art education faculty member at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

A founding fellow of the Teacher Leadership Academy of Massachusetts, Freyermuth was awarded the “Krause Award” by the RIAEA for Best in Show in March 2013 for her painting “Portrait with Faux Fur.” She has also been named the 1994 Masssachusetts Teacher of the Year and the 1995 National Outstanding Art Teacher of the Walt Disney American Teacher Awards, among other honors for her teaching.

She also maintains a professional art studio and works in a range of media including painting, drawing, silverpoint, mixed media and digital photography, however her focus is on two-dimensional work. She is preparing for the Rhode Island College faculty art exhibition in fall 2014.

Freyermuth holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in fine arts in painting from Boston University and a doctorate in interdisciplinary studies from The Union Institute & University in Cincinnati Ohio, with a concentration in art education. She earned her K-12 teaching certificate through Suffolk University.

Freyermuth will receive her award at a ceremony at the RIAEA fall awards at the Wickford Art Association on Oct. 25.