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Director Statement

Rebecca A. Stone-Danahy, Director of AP Art and Design, College Board
Director of AP Art and Design Headshot
Rebecca A. Stone-Danahy
The AP Art and Design courses address the following learning outcomes: the ability to (1) conduct a sustained investigation through practice, experimentation, and revision, guided by questions; (2) skillfully synthesize materials, processes, and ideas; and (3) articulate, in writing, information about one’s work.
The 2021 AP Art and Design Digital Exhibit features the hopes, fears, and interests of high school students from around the world. The portfolio redesign released in 2020 places students in the center of the art education curriculum and teacher pedagogical practices. This shift has resulted in capturing student voices responding to real-world events. With increased technology and access to social media and internet content, students can research global issues in real-time. As a result, and perhaps more than ever before, students are grappling with daunting, complex problems. However, optimism prevails! The student responses are sophisticated, and it is refreshing to see original visual solutions and innovative content presented back to the viewer. Students are indeed practicing, experimenting, revising, and guiding their thinking and art-making as they pursue answers to questions and synthesize their materials, processes, and ideas. The opportunity in AP Art and Design for students to seek knowledge provides a discourse with self and others, which we see reflected in the student, teacher, and school administrator statements featured in the exhibit. Bloom's Taxonomy lists creating as the highest form of cognitive processing. It is a misnomer to consider the 'struggling artist' as one in financial despair. Rather, the mental acuity to understand self and the surrounding world and communicate back through images is no small feat. Through the 2021 AP Art and Design Digital Exhibit, we travel with students as they question meanings, seek ideas, interpret findings, and give visual explanations to their discoveries. If the purpose of an inquiry is to transform knowledge, we see direct evidence of this through the emergent, contemporary works presented. High school students are revealing, critiquing, and transforming themselves. They are creating visual answers to personal questions, and when we get to know their stories, we travel with them. Their future is our future, and the AP Art and Design students are talking to us; are we listening?

Chief Reader Statement

Dale Clifford, Dean of Academic Services, SCAD/Atlanta
What a fantastic exhibition of works of art and design! I am genuinely impressed by the level of talent on display. Faced with another year of external challenges, students from all over the world responded brilliantly by pursuing ideas that were meaningful to them. Their unique perspectives reflected in their images and words are refreshing and insightful and collectively contribute to a compelling exhibition that celebrates diverse voices.
I am very proud of every student for their creativity, innovation, perseverance, and dedication. Congratulations to the students and their teachers on creating such beautiful, thought-provoking work. And congratulations to their friends and families for their support during this past academic year. The featured student works in the 2021 AP Art and Design Digital Exhibit will delight and inspire viewers throughout this year and beyond.
Chief Reader headshot

Curatorial Statement

Hillary Hogue, Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, Jacksonville, FL Michael x. Ryan, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
It was inspiring to see the range of ideas, methods, and materials presented during the 2021 portfolio exam, especially during this past year of uncertainty. Through AP Art and Design, our young artists are leading the way to a new vision of problem-solving, innovation, and new hopes for future generations. While curating this exhibition, we found it essential to think of each individual, their vision, and their extreme effort and commitment to their work. As a result, this exhibition represents a collective of notable works reflecting our expanding global culture to inform educators and future students.
The AP Art and Design Digital Exhibition serves as a guide for art educators and shares high school visual art students' hopes, fears, interests, and stories. In assembling this exhibition, we celebrated each student's approach to creativity, innovation, critical thinking through inquiry, process and practice, and excellence in skill. We want to thank all students, faculty, and College Board for their essential role in this effort. The AP Art and Design course has the power to make the world a better place, and we look forward to seeing how each of the participants of the 2021 AP Art and Design Digital Exhibit will impact the world.

Past Exhibits

The 2019-2020 AP Art and Design Digital Exhibit
The 2018-2019 AP Studio Art Exhibit
The 2017-2018 AP Studio Art Exhibit
The 2016-2017 AP Studio Art Exhibit