Justin Makemson

Andrea Polli headshot

Justin Makemson

Associate Professor

Associate Professor, Art Education

Dr. Justin Makemson is co-coordinator of UNM’s visual art education programs, an associate professor of visual art education, and a gallery-based museum educator.

Makemson brings 25+ years experience as a teacher, mentor, researcher, designer, maker, administrator, and advocate to his work in New Mexico’s only state-recognized educator preparation program in visual art education.

Makemson is also the 2022 President of the New Mexico Art Education Association (helping to bring the 2022 NMAEA Fall Conference to the UNM campus) and has long-served on the leadership teams of both the NMAEA and TAEA professional organizations. Year-to-year he organizes the UNM Young Artists Exhibition and Awards Program (a highly-competitive program for New Mexico-based middle school and high school artists) as well as the NMAEA Member Exhibition through the University of New Mexico’s Masley Gallery of Art.

Before moving to higher education, Makemson taught 15+ years ceramics, sculpture, graphic design, drawing, painting, printmaking, stained glass, and psychology in different public schools and community art programs in Missouri and Indiana. Prior to Makemson’s tenure at the University of New Mexico, he worked as the art education program coordinator and an associate professor of art at Belmont University (Nashville, Tennessee).

Makemson received his doctorate in art education (curriculum and instruction) with a minor in learning sciences from Indiana University (Bloomington, Indiana) in 2014. His research interests include teacher resiliency, teacher-artist and student-artist identities, folklore-based creative traditions, and technologies of place. Makemson’s publications explore a range of topics including technology-mediated learning processes, the deconstruction of complex studio skills, connections between educator preparation and teacher retention, visual research methods, and the virtual augmentation of public art spaces. He regularly presents research at and participates in international, national, and state-level conferences.

Makemson’s studio efforts concentrate on glasswork, branding, toy design (specifically LEGO designs), and board games– His work has been exhibited in Albuquerque, Columbia (Missouri), Nashville, Santa Fe, Virginia Beach, and Washington D.C.