An unconventional course: AP Studio Art

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An unconventional course: AP Studio Art

Gillian Geist shows off one of her pieces that she created in the AP Studio Art class.

Gillian Geist shows off one of her pieces that she created in the AP Studio Art class.

Varun Vedula

Gillian Geist shows off one of her pieces that she created in the AP Studio Art class.

Varun Vedula

Varun Vedula

Gillian Geist shows off one of her pieces that she created in the AP Studio Art class.

Varun Vedula, Feature Editor

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AP Studio Art students took an unconventional AP test last week to assess their abilities and talents by submitting pieces of their artwork to the College Board.

Many kids at PV have taken an AP class of sorts. Whether it is a math test like AP Calculus or a study of the government through AP United States Government and Politics, there are numbers of these classes offered to students at PV.

Often lost among the many academic focused tests is the AP Studio Art class offered at PV and many other schools. This brings up the question; how can art be tested upon like a math class or government class?

When asked, art teacher Aimee Peters explained the course. “Rather than a written exam as is the case for most AP courses,” she said, “the AP Studio Art ‘test’ is a 24-piece portfolio that examines how well the student can utilize the elements of art and the principles of design.”

When AP graders assess a student’s portfolio, they take into account not only their artistic abilities but also their voice and growth through the portfolio. The class is not like a traditional AP class, for it encourages students to grow through their own creations.

An AP Studio Art student’s portfolio is submitted online, along with a written explanation of their artistic process. Additionally, 5 of their best pieces are actually mailed to the AP headquarters where they are graded.

The AP Studio art class is different from the other classes at PV. “It gives students who have taken the majority of the art classes here a way to further explore their talents and abilities, and possibly earn college credit,” Peters said. Students also get a taste of art production at the college level through this course.

“I enjoy AP Studio Art because I have the freedom and tools to work on the projects I want. It’s more personalized than any other art class I’ve taken, and I’ve grown a lot artistically because of that,” said Senior Sarah Thomas, when asked about the class.

The process of creating the portfolio for AP Studio Art has artists grow at PV in tremendous ways. Just the practice from creating so many pieces of art in such a short time improves technical skills.

“The process of creating the portfolio is an extremely daunting, then exciting, then frustrating, and finally empowering process to go through. It really tests the resiliency of the students and they are extremely proud of what they have created when they have completed it,” Peters explains.

The AP Studio Art students have completed their long and insightful journey by sending off their portfolios. Regardless of their score, the experience and knowledge gained from the course are worth all the time and effort.