Mary Ann Rosenberg Weems, Albuquerque, N.M., received the Award of Distinction during William Woods University’s Alumni Weekend, April 23-25.
The Award of Distinction was created to honor an alumna who has achieved national or international fame in her chosen field. Weems graduated from William Woods with a bachelor of science degree in 1970 and has since spent her life devoted to art.
While at WWU, Weems was named to Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities, and she was a member of the Panhellenic Council, Alpha Phi and Alpha Chi National Honorary Society’s top 3 percent of juniors and seniors.
After graduating from the Woods, Weems taught art in the public schools for two years. She then dedicated herself to being a professional artist until 1981. She displayed her work at the New Mexico Arts and Crafts Fair, the Rio Grande Arts and Crafts Fair and held numerous showings throughout the southwest.
In 1981, she opened Weems Galleries and Framing in Albuquerque. Pamela Michaelis, publisher of the “Collectors Guide,” claimed that Weems “almost single-handedly made people in Albuquerque feel that art is accessible and you don’t have to be a bazillionaire or understand art to love it.”
Since opening, she has expanded her current building, and has opened a second location in Old Town. More than 200 artisans and craftsmen trust Weems with their creations.
Her gallery has been featured in the Albuquerque Journal, Albuquerque Tribune, New Mexico
Business Journal, Albuquerque Monthly and New Mexico Business Weekly, and on the covers of
Accent on Albuquerque, Albuquerque Woman Magazine, A-B-Q Arts and Albuquerque the Magazine.
In 2006, 2007 and 2008 Albuquerque Magazine voted her gallery its “best art gallery” and “best art blow out.” She has also been named to Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Women, Who’s Who in the West, received the Chamber of Commerce Chairman’s Award for Excellence and was named one of the top 10 smart, savvy, successful women in business by Albuquerque Women’s Magazine.
In 2007, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson proclaimed Nov. 9-11 as “Weems International Artfest Days.”
In addition to her galleries, Weems is the owner and creator of Weems International Artfest, which features more than 250 artists and craftsmen from around the world annually at the New Mexico State Fair Grounds.
In 2001, Weems was recognized by Rep. Heather Wilson and the New Mexico House of Representatives for her achievements in making art more accessible for children and for her vision of the Weems Artfest. They recognized her again in 2008 for her lifelong dedication to the arts.
The Weems International Artfest in a non-for-profit organization and all proceeds benefit organizations such as Civitan International, Albuquerque Public School Elementary Fine Arts Program, Animal Humane Association of New Mexico, Enchantment Great Pyrenees Club and Rescue, Great Dane Rescue of the Southwest, New Mexico Animal Friends, the Wildlife Center, Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary, Hawks Aloft, Public Academy for Performing Arts, Nancy Floyd Haworth Breast Cancer Foundation and the Golden Apple and Jewish Family Services.
Weems says she has had “the most interesting life through her galleries and artfests.”
She has two children, Elizabeth and Brian, and one grandchild, Parker Allen.