Sister Nette Forné Thomas

Visual Artist
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A graduate of Montclair State University with a B.A., M.A., and administrative and supervisory certification, Sister Nette Forné Thomas was employed by the Newark Board of Education as an art educator and administrator for thirty six years. Her experiences in a comprehensive high school and a renowned magnet high school (Arts High School) have been successful on many levels.

She became a cooperating teacher for a student teacher at the onset of her third year of teaching. Throughout the succeeding years she was solicited to perform this service for ten other student teachers. Other educational responsibilities included appointments to Textbook Evaluation Committees, the Art Curriculum Committee, the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, and a supporting member of the State Education Department’s Alternate Route Certification Program. She has been a presenter at many educational conferences, such as the Art Educators of New Jersey’s conferences on Computers in Art, Increasing Ethnic Arts Awareness, and Educational Technology, and the Infusion of Multicultural/Multiethnic Instruction in the Art Program.

Other educational professional experiences included revising the curriculum guide for Arts High School, working with the Educational Testing Service in Princeton NJ as a scorer for the Praxis Series in Art exam for prospective art educators.

Thomas was in the second group of art educators awarded the Geraldine R. Dodge Visual Artist/Educator Initiative Fellowships of $7,000, which have been given for the past 14 years to artists who teach in New Jersey’s public schools in order to support them in their roles as both artists and educators. Her artwork and her writing were selected for publication in A Passion for Teaching, which was edited Sarah Levine and Scott McVay, the former director of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation.

Her art has been exhibited widely, in major African American shows, on college campuses and in regional museums. These include the Studio Museum of Harlem, the “Emerging and Established ” exhibit at the Newark Museum, the Women Artist Series at Douglas College, as well as exhibits at Trenton State College, New Jersey City University, Seton Hall University and Rutgers University.

Since retiring in 2000, Thomas has served on the Board of Directors at City Without Walls Gallery, The 1978 Maplewood Arts Center, The George Segal Gallery at Montclair State University and Pen + Brush, where she previously was the Assistant Treasurer and First Vice President.

Sister Nette Forné Thomas became an honorary member of Gamma Xi Phi at the 2013 National Convention in Newark, New Jersey.