AP art students push to finish portfolios by May 6 deadline

AP art students push to finish portfolios by May 6 deadline

DARE TO DREAM: Nicole Araya ’16’s painting for the Justin Carr Dare to Dream auction shows a surrealist landscape of Antelope Canyon in Arizona. Araya submitted the piece for her portfolio. Printed with permission of Marianne Hall

As the May 6 national deadline nears, Advanced Placement Studio Art students are working to complete portfolios that will demonstrate their breadth, concentration and quality as artists.

While students in Advanced Drawing and Painting III need to finish only five pieces, students in AP Studio Art need to finish 24 pieces for their digital portfolios.

TAKE A LAP: Samantha Ho ’16, who considers swimming part of her identity, painted Alex Grande ’16 swimming in the pool. Printed with permission of Marianne Hall.
TAKE A LAP: Samantha Ho ’16, who considers swimming part of her identity, painted Alex Grande ’16 swimming in the pool. Printed with permission of Marianne Hall.

The breadth section requires 12 pieces using various mediums that show the artist’s ability to work in different styles. The concentration section requires 12 pieces that are related to one theme. The quality section demands that students submit five pieces from the other sections.

“For me, the most difficult part about completing a portfolio like this is coming up with a central theme and sticking with it,” Samantha Ho ’16 said.

Although none of the students are completely done, most artists have few pieces left to complete, visual arts teacher Marianne Hall said.

“Most everybody is putting on finishing touches. I have never had students not complete the deadline,” Hall said. “It’s built into the nature of a Harvard-Westlake student. They might finish in a flurry at the end or three weeks in advance, but they always finish.”

The artists are all taking three to six other AP classes, which adds to the pressure.

“I decided to take seven APs this year in large part to get a good amount of college credit so I can take the classes I really want to and avoid large lectures,” Cameron Cabo ’16 said.

He is also involved in soccer and other clubs in school.
“Having to create these pieces in addition to Harvard-Westlake’s workload was at times difficult, even given that art can act as a break and a creative outlet,” Cabo said.

To help with the work, Hall recommended students work on portfolios in the summer.

MIRROR, MIRROR: Cameron Cabo ’16’s self-portrait shows him looking down at a mirror. The piece was made right after early college decisions came out to capture his feelings of uncertainty. Printed with permission of Marianne Hall.
MIRROR, MIRROR: Cameron Cabo ’16’s self-portrait shows him looking down at a mirror. The piece was made right after early college decisions came out to capture his feelings of uncertainty. Printed with permission of Marianne Hall.

“I did a few pieces for my concentration very late into the summer,” Cabo said. “Ms. Hall said that it would be advantageous to have a foot up given how rigorous the timeline is, and she was right. Admittedly, I wish I had better crystallized my concentration earlier on in the process and had completed more works in the summer.”

Hall feels the class shows students how to manage their time, and emphasizes enjoyment in the process.

“I’ve kind of always wanted to take AP Studio Art since I had heard about it,” Cabo said. “To me, it was like the pinnacle of all the work I had put into my art over my high school life, and I still think that it is that.”

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