East Ridge holds first-ever AP Art ExhibitEast Ridge High School held its first-ever AP Art Exhibit on May 30.
By: Amber Kispert-Smith, Woodbury Bulletin
Art was on display last week during the first-ever East Ridge High School Advanced Placement (AP) Art Exhibit.
The art show was held Wednesday, May 30, in the school’s cafeteria.
“It’s such a culminating event and celebration of so much creativity and work,” East Ridge AP art teacher Bess Coy said. “It’s just like a big finale.”
A total of 11 students had nearly 100 pieces of art on display during the exhibit.
“I’m excited to finally show the progress I’ve made and my work to a variety of people and not just the high school students I see every day,” East Ridge senior Alex McKenzie said.
Most of the work on display at the exhibit was two-dimension artwork including drawing, painting, photography, graphics and mixed media. However, a few pieces were three-dimension sculptures.
“They’re learning how to professionally present their works – it gives them a leg up in confidence,” Coy said. “It’s one thing to create stuff, but to be able to verbalize what you make, that’s what people need.”
This year also marks the first year that East Ridge has offered AP art.
“For me art is more than visual communication, it’s visual literacy,” Coy said. “It’s understanding what we see and understanding why things are designed a certain way.”
East Ridge’s AP art course is a full-year class. Next year’s class will have 18 students.
The first semester of the class has students working deeply with advanced art techniques such as paper making, print making and advanced collage making.
Coy said students can work in whatever medium they choose.
Additionally, Coy said, the first semester helps students move away from replicating others’ artwork and creating their own.
“It focuses on getting more student voice with originality,” she said. “They’re working beyond just being replicators of other people’s styles and they’re learning advanced techniques to find their own style – they’re putting voice to their own works.”
The second trimester of the AP art course tasks students with creating 12 works of art all based around the same theme.
Coy said she’s had students base artwork around lyrics or simply a color.
“They’re setting their own parameters,” Coy said.
The final trimester sees students working tirelessly to create their “quality works” to be included in their portfolio.
“They are like little wow factors,” Coy said.
The student portfolios are then submitted to AP Central, where their portfolios are judged on originality, the content and message and the technical quality.
If students earn high marks in all those areas, they can earn college credit.
McKenzie said he decided to enroll in AP art because he intends to go to art school next year and hopes to one day work as an animator for Walt Disney Studios.
“I’ve pretty much been into art my entire life since before I could walk or talk,” he said. “I think a lot of it was that I watched so many Disney movies – I’ve been drawing the Disney characters since kindergarten.”
East Ridge junior Ann Treesa Joy said she was turned onto art by her mother, but it was never a career path until she took AP art.
Joy said she hopes to go into architecture.
“My mother is what got me initially interested in art and from there it went on from interest to passion to ‘I want to do something with art in my future,’” she said. “I didn’t have that plan initially, but now that I’m here it definitely prompted me to go into art in the future.”