CHS assistant principal for instruction and history teacher Christy Kessler, was selected as one of only 53 participants of the 2017 National Gallery of Art Teacher Institute on Art of the Renaissance held in Washington, D.C., in July of 2017. The six-day seminar brought together teachers of art, English, history, math, and related subjects from 20 different states. The program emphasized the social and cultural context of Renaissance art in Italy and Northern European countries between the 14th and 16th centuries. The term Renaissance, meaning “rebirth,” refers to the humanistic revival of classical culture and learning with its underlying belief in the creative potential of humankind. Participants studied works by leading Renaissance artists as represented in the Gallery’s permanent collection, including the painters Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, and Titian. Participants learned about the development of oil-painting techniques, the role of prints in disseminating new ideas, using works of art as primary resources in classroom instruction, incorporating art into interdisciplinary teaching, and strengthening students' visual literacy.
Through lectures, gallery talks, and hands-on activities, participants analyzed Renaissance artworks and focused on interdisciplinary teaching strategies. Activities were designed to meet teachers' personal and professional enrichment needs. A demonstration of Venetian painting techniques and a site visit to a printmaker’s studio at Georgetown University rounded out the Institute’s course of study.
Generous support for the Teacher Institute was provided by the Park Foundation, the William Randolph Hearst Foundation, the Sara Shallenberger Brown Fund, the PaineWebber Endowment, and the Annetta J. and Robert M. Coffelt Sr. and Robert M. Coffelt Jr. Endowed Fellowship.