Teacher, William Penn Charter SchoolLisa Katharina Messer is approaching her seventh year as a teacher, and in that time, has taken her elementary students to places not often viewed through the lens of fine art. Her students examine spatial and intrapersonal intelligences through the works of Vincent van Gogh, as well as ornithology through the paintings of John James Audubon. “There are infinite historical and cultural connections between artists that can be introduced to students of all ages,” she notes. Currently teaching kindergarten at William Penn Charter School with her co-teacher Natasha Pronga, Lisa has previously taught elementary classes through fourth grade at The Miquon School, Germantown Friends School and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. In all, a passion for the connections found in art is evident. From a very young age Lisa’s mother introduced her to the arts and instilled an appreciation for painting, sculpture, calligraphy and weaving. Having grown up in New York City there were many opportunities to visit museums and galleries. “From the time I was little my Mom would take me to exhibits at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim and the Museum of Modern Art. I have fond memories of sitting in front of Monet’s Water Lilies at the old Met for long periods of time.” Her passion for the arts has led her to travels abroad in Paris, Munich, Florence, and Rome. “Visiting Arles and Saint Remy to see the fields, the olive trees and the streets that van Gogh painted was an experience I will never forget.”
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