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Ava Nordman
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AP 2-D
Marquette High School|Chesterfield, Missouri
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Dimensions: 14” x 18"|Idea(s): Captures the scene's mundanity and chaos. A cluttered background contrasts with tedious tasks.​|Material(s): Gouache, acrylic paint, colored pencil, and paint pen on masonite board.|Process(es): Sketched from observation, with bases of gouache and colored pencil details overlap.|Curatorial Note: Strong painting of a creative environment alone with oneself.​

Student statement

A person is sitting, tangled in a mess of wires, gadgets, and microphones. This doesn't look mundane to most, but to this friend, it was just another everyday task. I tried to portray this by keeping a monotonous color scheme and a blank look on the figure’s face while still utilizing small pops of color to bring life and movement to the piece. I also put lots of emphasis on the details of the painting, making sure every single element was included. No matter how dull and plain something may seem, I promise that beauty can be found within it.
This piece is a part of my sustained investigation that follows themes of mundanity and repetitiveness. Throughout my portfolio, I focused on capturing the quiet beauty I see in dull, unsuspecting moments. My first few pieces were truly mundane, including one of a sleepy figure brushing their teeth and one where someone was quietly reading a book. In a later work, I painted a little girl climbing a huge fallen tree. To the average person, this would be out of the ordinary, adventurous, and fun, but to a young kid, it’s just another day. As the year progressed, I wanted the artwork's subject to incorporate ordinary and daily moments that perhaps not everyone would see as boring.
Throughout the making of my AP Art and Design Portfolio, my teacher, Ms. Wilson, was a big supporter. She pushed me to think independently and make my own ideas, but always helped me when needed. As a younger kid, creating art was my favorite activity, but as I grew older, perfectionism and anxiety made art seem more overwhelming than fun. Having Ms. Wilson as a teacher shaped me as an artist and inspired me to regain confidence in my art.
Sustained lnvestigation. Dimensions:14” x 18”|Materials: Gouache and pencil on masonite panel.|Process(es): Sketched from observation, bases done with gouache.

tEACHER statement

Melissa Wilson
Each spring, I meet with the AP Art and Design students enrolled for the upcoming school year, introducing them to the concept of a sustained investigation. While many students struggle to develop the focus of their inquiry-based learning, Ava Nordman dove in wholeheartedly. They chose to center their sustained investigation on mundane tasks and the subtle beauty that can be found in them. Ava is comfortable expressing themselves creatively through various mediums and artistic styles. Since I have known them, Ava has shown profound technical ability in both 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional mediums.
The AP Art and Design students at Marquette are fortunate to have the full support of the visual art faculty. Each member of the visual art staff provides supplemental guidance and instruction in their respective mediums to our AP Art and Design students. This collaborative approach allows our students access to materials and studios beyond those readily available in the AP Art and Design classroom.
I focused on capturing the quiet beauty I see in dull, unsuspecting moments.
Ava Nordman