With a wide-ranging passion for the arts recognized in Archer girls, a new course has been added this year in the visual department: AP Studio Art. It is a higher-level class for students who are experienced and willing to learn advanced techniques in art.
AP Art is taught by new member of the Archer faculty: Emily Silver, an artist who teaches a similar course at Santa Monica College. Silver says, “I am so excited to be teaching this course. I was pleasantly surprised and inspired by my students immediately. I feel lucky to have such talent in my classroom each day.”
Along with being a course “based on the students creating a fully enriched and developed portfolio” and helping to “ignite critical and creative problem solving,” AP Art is the only national visual arts College Board program that allows students to earn advanced placement and/or college credit in high school.
The class of high school students will spend the year working on a portfolio— half the year used to show “their different skills and creative abilities,” while the other focuses on picking a theme and creating 12 pieces of art. Silver says, “It gives them the chance to think about creating a body of artwork.”
So far, the portfolio contains art pieces such as an illustration of a photograph of “something they pass by everyday and possibly have never noticed.”
They are currently working on an assignment titled “a hairy situation” in which they create a self-portrait “where their hair becomes symbolic of other things in their lives.” The purpose of this piece is to experiment “with ideas of surrealism and how things outside of our faces can define a self-portrait.”
Over the summer, the students were required to complete three pieces of their choosing from a list of several options. Tracy Poverstein, Archer Arts Department Chair, says, “We were impressed by the amount of work they had done, they were extremely motivated. I think they’ll do quite well with their AP portfolio—they’re ready for the challenge ”
One class member says, “I feel like I’m learning a lot… I’m being pushed out of what I usually do, which is something I wouldn’t have without this higher level art class. I am really enjoying it.”
Students’ determination in this class goes hand in hand with Archer’s mission of ambitious learning for girls, Silver says: “I find myself lucky being able to work with young, driven, and focused girls on how to be the best they can be… I believe they are capable of anything and extremely passionate in their ideas and artwork.”
As the year continues and workload increases, the passion in the students of AP Art is sure to keep them going strong. From what we have seen and heard, they are determined hard workers, and Silver agrees: “They are truly awesome.”