AP Art provides a safe place for aspiring artists


Allison Skelcy

While some classrooms have 36 desks arranged in neat, tidy rows and students are expected to sit and listen, read or take notes, this is not the case in D126, Mrs. Jessica Huvaere’s Advanced Placement (AP) art classroom. Instead, students are perched on worn-down, hand-painted stools, listening to music while drawing a self-portrait with oil pastels or working on a graphic design project, creating a CD cover.

Senior Ben Catlin elects to spend his time sketching in gray scales.

“I really feel like AP art allows me to work on the things that I want to do,” Catlin said. “I like the fact that our assignments are more broad, so there’s more room for creativity.”

The goal of AP art is for students to develop an art portfolio that demonstrates their expertise in whatever medium they choose. AP scores are determined based on this submitted body of work, instead of a traditional exam.

Senior Sam Shah explains the process.

“For the AP exam we have to make a concentration,” Shah said. “I’m currently floating through ideas on what I want my concentration to be. I usually work with different 3D mediums.”

Not all AP art students aspire to be artists, but many hope to enter career fields that allow for originality and creativity.

“It takes a lot of time, and thought to create a piece of art,” Shah said. “In whatever I do with any career I will need to have an idea and spend time to follow through with it. I want to go into advertising, which uses art and design to create a good ad.”

AP art is an outlet for like-minded students. Many find solace in the company of other budding artists.

“You are surrounded by so many different artists with lots of talent, which helps improve your art and ideas,” Catlin said.

Mrs. Huvaere agrees with Catlin that the AP art classroom environment is beneficial to students.

“I really feel that this class allows the students to explore every realm of their artistic personality,” Mrs. Huvaere said. “It really helps them grow both as a person and artists.”