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James Rees is widely known for his innovative teaching style at Provo High School.

Rees, however, is also this year’s recipient of the Utah Art Education Association’s (UAEA) Lifetime Achievement Award!

“The award is really a reflection of the quality people, students, and other professionals that I work with,” he shared, “teaching art, making art, and working with leaders in our community is all about connecting.”

UAEA is an advocacy organization centered around the importance of visual arts education, and works on increasing its overall quality. They do so through professional development, collaboration, and leadership opportunities.

The organization’s annual Art in the Sun Spring Conference will be held in Hurricane, Utah from February 27th-29th. At the conference, attendees can enjoy educational workshops, an annual Share Fair, and support wonderful art vendors. Rees will receive the award at the conference.

His passion for the arts truly flourished when Rees was a student at Timpview High School. While he always loved to make images, he had two amazing art teachers who helped shape who he is today.

“They believed in me and helped me to stretch and grow as an artist and person,” he said.

Linda Peterson and Jim Campbell provided the ideal environment for personal growth, and creative exploration. Their support and example made a lasting impression on him which continues to inspire.

As an educator, Rees finds making unique and creative learning opportunities for his students one of the most satisfying objectives. He shared, “I strive to create an environment of personal growth using the arts. By helping others to connect to their own meaningful experiences and expanding their point of view within the limits of time and/or materials in the classroom.”

Even as a teacher with more than 28 years of teaching experience, Rees continues to learn. One lesson making him acutely aware of working within limits. Now, he works to find ways to use them as a catalyst for creativity.

While teaching, learning, and making art,  Rees is making Provo High School very proud!

Shauna Sprunger
  • Coordinator of Communications
  • Shauna Sprunger