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Maddie Mills-Craig, Editor in Chief

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Since middle school, senior Grace Roembke has had a passion for art. She’s found herself loving every art class that she’s taken. For this reason, she decided to join the two year AP studio art class. Roembke also took the class in hopes that it would challenge her to improve her artistic skills.

“To see how other people have pushed themselves kind of gives me ideas on how to push myself with my own work. I think being in this class with all the talent, everyone kind of pushes each other. There’s good feedback from everyone,” Roembke said.

 

Unlike most AP classes, in AP studio art, students do not take an AP exam. Instead they must produce a total of 24 college-level pieces and submit it to College Board their senior year. Although it’s highly encouraged for students to take it as a two-year course, beginning in their junior year, it is available to incoming seniors.

 

“The difference is juniors don’t feel that pressure quite yet. Sometimes I’d have seniors show two pieces at critiques and juniors only have to show one because they have more time. The beauty is that a lot of my seniors this year took it as a junior and so they’re actually good. They may have to make a few more pieces this semester, but they got the bulk of their portfolios done,” AP art teacher Nichole Cooper said.

 

The class is run in a manner where juniors and seniors are working on the same things even though they’re on different levels of completion of their portfolios. The first semester is breadth and the second semester focuses on concentration. By the end of senior year, students should have completed 12 pieces for breadth and 12 pieces for their concentration. According to Cooper, breadth is basically like showing a body of your work that represents your ability to use a variety of subject matters while concentration has to have a unified concept or idea throughout the portfolio.

 

“Compared to other AP classes, it’s a lot of projects. It’s a project-based class. We do project after project after project. We get a list of prompts to do [first semester] and second semester you have a specific concentration of projects with the same idea and focus to do. Our first project was appropriations where you take a famous piece of art and change it up. Our second one was elements and principle of art. It was very open, and you just get to experiment,” senior Karina Powell said.

 

For Roembke’s concentration theme, she chose “little hidden beauties in life.” She believes there’s beauty in everyday life, in the kind of things that get taken for granted.  

 

“My art is never really planned out. It’s just kind of things that I stumble across. I have one drawing of water drops on a leaf that I didn’t really plan, it just was there and I thought it was pretty so I took a picture and that’s what I used,” Roembke said.

 

One aspect of each student’s concentration portfolio is that it’s completely tailored to them. While Roembke chose hidden beauties in life, Powell chose fears and phobias as her concentration due to her interest in psychology. Powell plans on majoring in art and pursuing it as a career after college.

 

“I wanted my concentration to cause a reaction out of people, and when people look at my pieces, I want them to feel uneasy or I want them to feel fear. It’s because you want art to get a reaction out of people. If it’s not getting a reaction out of people then were you really successful?” Powell said.

 

Although the official submission deadline for portfolios is May 10, students can start submitting pieces as early as mid to late January. There are three different types of portfolios students can choose: 2D, 3D and Drawing. Because 3D requires only 3D pieces and Drawing limits artist to just painting and drawing, most students choose 2D as their portfolio medium due to the fact that students can submit paintings, drawings, photography and digital art. Because the class submits art pieces rather than taking a test for three hours, it can be perceived as less difficult than a normal AP class.

 

“It’s difficult in a different way. It’s difficult because, in a way, it’s labor intensive. You’re producing large amounts of artwork. These students are constantly making art during class [and] outside of class. They have due dates every two weeks. All of the work that they make has to be a high level art work that you would create in a college course. Even though you’re not cramming for an exam or studying concepts and things like that, you’re working hard. I’d say for every hour in class, maybe two or three hours outside of class,” Cooper said.

 

Although a portfolio requires 24 pieces, not all 24 pieces have to be created in the class. Students are welcome to use past pieces as long as it is at the college level and fits their portfolio medium. For Roembke, she constantly does art in school and outside of it. She has her own side art business, which she runs through Instagram and showcases in Jockamo’s.

 

“I for sure want to keep it as a hobby and keep making money off of it; but really, I just enjoy it. I do pet drawings and different commissions for people through my Instagram account. I did a piece of the Noblesville courthouse and that’s up at a dentist office in Noblesville. Jockamos put up the art on the walls and you can sell it. If people in the business see it, they can buy it off the walls and then I can go back in and talk to the boss and he gives me the money from the painting. I think I’ve sold all of them except for one or two,” Roembke said.

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