Foster teacher to study Renaissance painting in Europe

Apr 08, 2016 | Community Relations
Melanie Coffee

Most teachers spend their summers honing their skills, preparing themselves for a new school year.

Foster High School teacher Melanie Coffee is no different. Except she will do some of her teacher development in Florence, Italy.

The Fund for Teachers named Coffee a 2016 Fellow and awarded her almost $5,000 to learn Renaissance masters' painting and preservation skills through an egg tempera painting workshop at the Centro Italiano Firenze in Florence.

The workshop helps teachers increase student awareness of the connection between chemistry, math and the arts.  

Coffee was chosen out of thousands of applicants.

“This medium is well suited for all ages, is economical and creates beautiful long-lasting paintings that stand the test of time,” Coffee said. “We will be visiting museums in Rome, Florence, Venice and Paris to view and study the works of Renaissance masters.”

Coffee said the bulk of the time will be spent in Florence attending art classes at the Centro Italiano Firenze campus. Among the things she will learn are how to make egg tempera paint using historical pigments, how to prepare panels and canvases, the process of gilding and the painting techniques used by the masters. 
Coffee said she’d be blogging about her trip and then blogging as she applies what she has learned in her Foster classroom. 

Former Foster art teacher Kim Henry is also making the trip and the duo hopes to collaborate with their students in Katy and Lamar schools to create a unique display piece in the style of the Renaissance masters.

“Fund for Teachers is a wonderful program,” she said “and we are honored to have been selected out of thousands of applicants from across the nation. The funds awarded enable us to have this opportunity that otherwise would not be possible on a teacher's budget!”