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Janet
Lee

William P Clements High School|Sugar Land, TX
TEACHER: Kelly Chen
Drawing
My work investigates the relationship between my surroundings and my mental health.
pink figure in doorway of pink house; eye in sky
American Dream|13 x 16 in.
Material(s): gouache, prismacolor pencils, crayon, bristol paper Process(es): Layered prismacolor and gouache multiple times to achieve a fleshy texture

Student
statement

Student headshot
Janet Lee
This piece is titled “American Dream”, which obviously refers to the quaint suburban house with its white picket fence and greener than grass lawn.

In relation to my sustained investigation, this one sits somewhere in the middle- I’m transitioning from the indoors to outside of the house. To me, the house is a particularly distasteful thought pattern. It’s cancerous and endless and makes everything look annoyingly ugly. I think it’s important for the contorted baby (me) to step out of that and see things with clearer eyes.
sketchbook drawings showing process to final
American Dream, Process Work|13 x 16 in.
Material(s): graphite, prismacolor pencils Process(es): Developed the initial figure and house into a nightmare scene by adding elements of horror
Teacher
statement
Kelly Chen
I encourage students to choose a concept related to their personal background, life experience, or something they are truly passionate about in order to help them stay motivated.
At the beginning of the school year, I have students start with a pre-planning process by researching different artists, creating a mindmap, experimenting with materials, and gathering source images for their portfolios. I encourage students to choose a concept related to their personal background, life experience, or something they are truly passionate about in order to help them stay motivated. It is a journey of self-discovery as well as creating artworks that are personal and meaningful to them. While the students are taking ownership of their own learnings, we as teachers should be facilitators to guide them throughout the whole journey.
In Janet’s portfolio, her inquiry was about investigating the relationship between her surroundings and mental health. She wanted to capture the internal psychological struggles and fears by incorporating surrealistic compositions in illustrated style.
Each of her artwork shows a narrative story of self-image in various creatures situated in different settings and environments. Some images suggest a lack of security while some suggest the feeling of lost self-control; the series of artworks represent how she was trapped inside her mind but eventually broke the pattern of the negative thoughts and found peace with herself.
I encourage my students to take risks, stay out of their comfort zones, embrace changes and experiment with different processes and materials. Janet was able to find her ideal medium by experimenting with colored pencils on top of gouache paints. The materials were used effectively and purposefully selected in order to create the illustrated style she wanted for her sustained investigation. Janet’s enthusiasm for art, remarkable skill levels, being a creative thinker, risk-taker, and problem solver can be seen evidently from the works she created in her portfolio.
Janet Lee
Principal
statement
David Yaffie

Janet’s self-portraits reflect a student who had the freedom to explore her skills and to connect them to her personal journey.
Janet’s self-portraits reflect a student who had the freedom to explore her skills and to connect them to her personal journey. Clements strives to be a school in which students engage in modern and relevant learning experiences. I believe Janet’s AP portfolio demonstrates she enjoyed that type of environment. Her work is personal, emotional, complex, and beautiful (even if it is disturbing to some viewers). I am proud of Janet for being bold enough to explore her inner world and to display her struggles and triumphs via her unique artistic talent.
Clements High School has a long history of producing outstanding visual arts students. Exceptional teachers nurture and support student work by teaching the fundamentals of art while building students’ confidence levels by encouraging exploration and risk-taking. They accomplish this within a safe arena bolstered by high expectations. Janet Lee is a Clements art student whose skills steadily grew in our dynamic art program. Janet’s work and her description of her evolution as an artist exemplifies the healthy school culture in which she prospered.