In 1997, 10,012 students took the AP Studio Art test. Thirty years later, that number has more than quadrupled. Thousands of 3D and 2D artwork made through mediums such as graphic design, painting, and photography are presented to AP graders.
In 1997, 10,012 students took the AP Studio Art test. Thirty years later, that number has more than quadrupled. Thousands of 3D and 2D artwork made through mediums such as graphic design, painting, and photography are presented to AP graders. As the submission date looms over students, the visual art faculty are teaching students to perfect a type of work that depends on concentration, composition, and execution: portraits.
In the student center, portraits of teachers and students are put on display. Kylie Sacapano, a junior, has done an excellent piece on Mrs. Roche, the AP Language & Composition teacher. Many students have been amazed at Kylie’s depiction of Mrs. Roche, complimenting the exact detail of the eyes, upper body, and neck of the portrait. “I worked on this [the portrait] from November 30 through December 12,” said Kylie. When asked about the difficulties she faced during the short time she had to complete the piece, she replied by saying that the hair had to be the most difficult part. “It’s hard to create texture in hair to make it realistic,” said Kylie.
Along with Kylie’s work, Gabby Orbitz did a wonderful representation of Ms. Ocon, one of the Biology teachers. “I thought the drawing was really well done,” said Ms. Ocon. Gabby experienced the same difficulty of bringing depth and texture into the hair and the skin color. “I think trying to find a color that fits skin tone perfectly is hard,” said Gabby.
These portraits will most likely be submitted to the AP center for grading. For these artists, the main question on their minds is “how will the judges grade the piece?” According to the College Board rubric, there will be two graders who judge based on unity, variety, scale, contrast, etc. “I like art and all, but I really don't like how the judges grade our stuff. It's so subjective and the description on the grading rubric makes it really hard for me to get a good score,” said a student who wishes to not be named. The student isn’t alone. Out of 20 Maranatha students surveyed, all 20 agreed that art is too subjective to be graded.
Though art is considered subjective, the art students at Maranatha are talented beyond comprehension. Objectively that is.