A call for another art class brought the implementation of an independent AP Studio Art at the beginning of the school year. Eight students are currently enrolled: Matia Schwartz, Reid Ledgerwood, Emma Heikkinen, Devon Mann, Rachel Brewer, Kaya Osborne, and Holden Griskey-Watson. Each student is specializing in different mediums in their own time. Independent art study is different from other classes, of course — Brewer describes it as “self-driven,” because, “unlike the other classes, we design all of the art projects.” AP Studio Art, which teacher Corey Wiscomb has taught in the past within the classroom, has a curriculum which lets students design all the art projects. In independent study, though, students have no structured time in which to work on their art at school. Some students, like Brewer and Osborne, do their art during free periods in Wiscomb’s classroom. Schwartz elaborates on the complexities of an independent art study: “This art class is different from others in the responsibility it requires. The AP class already asks for two pieces of artwork each quarter and an art history section each semester. To do it all on your own is sometimes difficult, as you have to budget your time on top of homework from six other classes. It also encourages us to work outside of school, but in my opinion, this makes us work far more than we would if we had an hour or less a day. Overall, it’s been very enjoyable and this year I have gotten in all my art assignments on time, opposed to when I took the class last year.”
Schwartz is focusing on painting and drawing, Ledgerwood is working in industrial design in CAD format, Heikkinen is specializing in 3-D portraits, Mann is focusing on painting on canvas, and Brewer is aiming her attention on printmaking, painting, and textile design.
Each student has taken Wiscomb’s art classes before; AP Studio is a culmination of the previous skills learned. “I’m basically Picasso,” joked Mann, “I’ve taken Art 4 Life. And now I’m here. I’m one of the elite. My whole life has been an art lesson, man.”
Since this class is a cumulative skills class, every student enrolled already has a niche forming. Ledgerwood has a very clear niche: industrial design in Computer Aided Design, a specific path. Similarly, Heikkinen has only been focusing on paper 3-D portraits and the development of a certain pattern. Mann, in the past, has largely focused on paint on canvas, and this year is no different. Schwartz has been exploring different mediums and forms of conveying artwork. As a photographer and painter, Schwartz captures images and moves them to the canvas through paint. She describes her art as “realistic in most senses. I attempt to make my paintings or drawings as close to the original picture I took as I can. Sometimes I will do abstract artworks, but it is much more rare. I enjoy painting and drawing the most and recently have been enjoying watercolors quite a bit.” Brewer has an expansive range of mediums, describing her artwork as “very colorful and stylized. I work in lots of different mediums.” This year, she’s “currently doing a series of acrylic paintings.” Mann focused more on the emotional aspect of her work when describing her own artwork, “I think my art is more abstract — bold colors. It’s all me trying to capture emotion and concepts of beauty.”