AP Studio Art Talents Culminate in 15-Piece Portfolios


Kate Hayashi

Junior Esther Moon explores the topic of material wealth and its value in society using a printmaking piece with gold acrylic paint embellishments.

One student’s fingers are covered with pastel dust as she sketches an outline of a winery for her exploration of human interactions with nature. Another student, headphones tucked in her ears, glances up and down from the iPad in front of her as she dabs paint on the cheeks of a dark-skinned man.   

Two months from the submission deadline for the AP Studio Art exam, students are in the middle of creating their 12th of 15 pieces for a portfolio that investigates a self-selected theme. 

The exam does not take place on a single day; rather, the students submit digital photos of their artwork within the year. 

“I think what I love about teaching [AP Studio Art] is seeing each student’s individual voice come out,” AP Studio Art teacher Kearci Moir said. “For some students, their strength might lie in understanding composition really well…some might have a really good handle on color.”

Some students choose to stick with a familiar medium to focus on effectively exhibiting their style without the difficulty of learning a new technique, according to Moir. Others opt to place emphasis on their medium, sometimes using unorthodox tools or methods, or focus on the significance of the theme itself.

“One of the unique characteristics of my art process is that I am trying to stay away from concepts that are being used by others,” senior Karen Fan said. “For example, the environment and mental health, I feel it’s being overdone.”

Ultimately, the class allows students to rein in their unique talents, however diverse, to create a cohesive portfolio to present to their AP graders. 

“It’s really interesting to see how each student has their own strengths within artmaking and are able to bring their piece to life through just their own creative abilities,” Moir said.