CHHS art teacher among 40 selected for Power of Art Conference
Published 2:15 pm Monday, March 21, 2016
By EMILY SPARACINO / Staff Writer
CHELSEA – Chelsea High School art instructor Max Newton wants all of his students to feel included in his classroom, regardless of their learning differences and abilities.
Newton will have the opportunity to delve into teaching strategies to accommodate students with physical or cognitive learning differences through art-based curriculum at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation and the Lab School of Washington’s Power of Art Conference 2016 in Washington, D.C., on April 21-23.
As one of only 40 art teaching professionals from across the country selected to attend the conference, Newton will be able to engage in hands-on workshops introducing different learning strategies, hear from arts education leaders and view art collections in the D.C. area, including the National Gallery of Art.
“It was a pretty involved process,” Newton said of applying for the conference. “I was pleased to be accepted.”
Newton will learn how to incorporate modifications in his teaching approach and to “focus on using art as a bridge to the regular classroom.”
Conference participants will spend a day at the Lab School of Washington observing the faculty and how they approach instruction.
The school was founded by Sally L. Smith, who befriended Robert Rauschenberg at an annual gala, where Rauschenberg was an award recipient. The two formed a continuing partnership that resulted in the conference held today.
According to its website, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation “fosters the legacy of Rauschenberg’s life, work and philosophy that art can change the world” and “supports artists, initiatives and institutions that embody the same fearlessness, innovation and multidisciplinary approach that Rauschenberg exemplified in both his art and philanthropic endeavors.”
“Robert Rauschenberg is someone who all art teachers know exactly who he is,” Newton said. “(He was) a pioneer in bridging the gap between abstract expressionism and pop art.”
Newton said he hopes to return with new strategies to use in extending a sense of inclusion to all students with learning differences in various classroom activities.
“You want to try to fully integrate them in the process,” he said. “It’s going to be a fun trip.”