Russell counselor studies art in DC



RUSSELL School counselor Jennifer Perry had a unique chance to study historic art 400 miles away this summer.

Perry, who works at Russell High, was one of 53 educators from 20 states to attend the National Gallery of Art Teacher Institute on Art of the Renaissance in Washington, D.C. The six-day seminar last month emphasized the social and cultural context of Renaissance art in Italy and Northern European countries between the 14th and 16th centuries.

“I was the only counselor, but I found it just incredibly enlightening from a learning standpoint,” said Perry.

Perry explained her interest for attending the seminar, saying she has always been intrigued by art, but never felt she was skilled enough to take it on as a profession.

She said she was initially skeptical about going since she felt she would be around others more educated on the subject. However, she soon found out she was able to bring her own perspective to the group.

During her week in Washington, she said the educators discussed how to incorporate the art and culture of the Renaissance into the classroom from the preschool level all the way up to high school. She already has a few ideas of how she can implement her newfound knowledge into her counseling lessons, including showing students the impact their social media presence can have.

Perry explained artists in the Renaissance were more than likely the spokesmen for powerful families, making their art the resource of how people now perceive them. She compared it to social media, saying students can be judged from what they post.

“It’s just an interesting juxtaposition with the students how they represent their school in what they put out on social media, whether they intend to or not and how they represent themselves,” she said. “So there were some unique ways that I can put that within the counseling paradigm.”

Perry reflected on her experience, saying while it was intense, it was also valuable.

“We had teachers from all over the country, so I was learning from them, and when you go for a week like this it gives you an opportunity to be reflective, which is hard to do during the school year,” she said.

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