The AP Studio Art concentrations are collages based on any type of artwork surrounding the many topics.
Topics vary from student to student. Students invest a lot of time discussing with the fine arts teacher Cristina Sagesse, working to find a topic interesting to them. They then go in depth to their subject.
Sagesse said, “We go from the subject into a theme or concept about the subject. For example, if a person wants to do portraits as a subject, then you would be thinking, ‘Oh, are these portraits about revealing yourself or are these portraits about youthful innocence? What is your point of view?’”
In the concentration section of their portfolio, students are challenged to make art that expresses their own ideas about a particular subject.
Junior Ford Johnson said, “[My portfolio] is called ‘A Rivers Runs Through It.’ It’s basically documenting the LA river. I am investigating the intersection of people in homeless camps with the new direction LA is taking in developing the River for recreational use.”
Next, the student develops his topic through photography, painting, drawing or design. The students then collaborate with their teacher in class to develop their work. Through a great amount of conceptual thinking, trial and error and editing, AP students build a cohesive and compelling body of work that is submitted in May to the College Board for grading and possible college credit. The submission of the portfolios is like an AP test: The portfolios are graded on a scale of 1-5.
Saggese said, “We really develop a process in which through mentoring, the students work to create art that expresses a unique point of view. In this process, each student is involved in designing his artistic direction and then in planning out the steps needed to bring his ideas to fruition. ”
Although the main goal of creating a portfolio of artwork is for the AP test, AP students also enter many art competitions.
Saggese said, “We enter a lot of contests, and the contest season is just starting. We are proud of our work. It is very good. We pick our best work and sent it off to regional and international competitions.”