Artists compile portfolios for college credit

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Melissa Mayo

Will Browning shows off his award-winning artwork.

The art department received an overhaul this year: not only with a new teacher, but an entirely new curriculum. Rather than art 4, the class became, simply, AP art. As an AP course, the students involved now meet new standards. the biggest new implementation is the senior portfolio.

“The biggest benefit [of the senior portfolio] is getting feedback from college instructors to see if my art is expanding as a future professional,” junior Will Browning said.

Although Browning does not plan on a major in art, he feels that it will be a benefit to him in his personal future.

“I plan on being a doctor,” Browning said. “But I feel like art will be a good outlet.”

Browning is certainly not the only person who believes that art is a good outlet in life. Senior Hunter Phillips, who is also in AP art agrees wholeheartedly.

“I really like art,” Phillips said. “I like putting things into my own perspective and drawing them how I like.”

Phillips is also participating in the senior portfolio project, giving him a much bigger opportunity to put things in his own perspective. The portfolio is, essentially, a collection of artworks by one particular artist. The collection is sent to college professors and high-school art instructors to be looked over reviewed. It also has the benefit of giving the artist college credit.

“I figured I wanted to get some college credits,” Phillips. “So I can start my college a bit early.”

Phillips also plans on a different career path from art; however, he plans on minoring in it through college with a major in criminal justice.

While the portfolio gives seniors a head start for college credit, it does not come easily to many of the students. They have to work harder, and complete assignments in greater quantity and difficulty, which is possibly the reason not all AP art students took the challenge this year.

The portfolio consists of 24 separate images: 12 must be concentration pieces — images with a common theme selected by the artist– and 12 must be breadth pieces — images that cover a long span of time to show the artist’s growth. Six of the 12 concentration images can also be details — a zoomed image of one particular area of the whole picture. In addition, there is also a category of “quality,” the artist’s best and favorite pieces from his or her collection. None of the pieces can be copied from someone else’s work in any way.

“They want to see your own voice in the artwork,” AP art instructor Melissa Mayo said.

While not every AP art student is doing the senior portfolio, Mayo believes it is beneficial to each member in many different ways.

“They get to see their growth throughout the year,” Mayo said. “Everything has to come together in the end.”

Next year Mayo hopes to receive more money through fundraisers to help pay for the submission of more portfolios. Despite the challenges that come with the assignment, she expects more students to take on the challenge and submit their own portfolios.