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Jessica McCann

Fox Chapel Area High School|Pittsburgh, PA
Teacher: Joan Marangoni
3-D Art and Design
Metal cut-out butterfly wings held in mouth.
Consumption|2.75 x 5.25 x .5 in. Idea(s): The inner battle/struggle to not be consumed by self-hatred and fear, but to be free from my anxiety Material(s): Nickel sheet metal and wire Process(es): Wearable mouthpiece created by piercing nickel sheet and soldering nickel wire with butterfly wings.
Metal butterfly wings emerging from girl's mouth
Consumption, View 2
Student Headshot
Jessica McCann

Student
statement

Throughout my body of work, I continuously explore: In what ways can I communicate how stress/anxiety impact me regarding my mental and physical health while having ADHD and depression?
Through a labour intensive metal fabrication process and with the intentional choice of nickel and aluminum, my body of work creates an intimate dialogue between the wearer and the art. Each piece is physically and conceptually restrictive, communicating the feeling of suffocation and entrapment, while at the same time, incorporating the beauty and fragility found in butterflies. The movement of the butterflies emphasizes the desire to escape from unwanted feelings. The background in each image can communicate a specific connotation. For example, images with a dark/black background give a negative connotation whereas images with a light/white background give a positive connotation. "Consumption" communicates the feeling of restriction and suffocation.
It conveys the inner battle/struggle to not be consumed by overwhelming emotions, self hatred, fear, and societal pressures, but to be free from my anxiety. "Freedom", "Power", and "Strength" start to move closer towards the ultimate goal of freedom from my anxiety. My jewelry works serve to bring awareness to society about mental health disorders and its impact on those affected. I strive to help others who are experiencing anxiety and/or depression to become empowered to express themselves and to know that they are not alone in this battle.
I am extremely thankful for my art teacher, Mrs. Marangoni, because she has taught me so many important and valuable life lessons that I can carry with me for the rest of my life as well as artistic principles and techniques that I apply to my art. I am most appreciative of her unconditional support. She has guided me throughout my four years in high school, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without her. Additionally, she inspired me to pursue a career in art education.
My jewelry works serve to bring awareness to society about mental health disorders and its impact on those affected. I strive to help others who are experiencing anxiety and/or depression to become empowered to express themselves and to know that they are not alone in this battle.
necklace of butterfly shapes surrounding neck
Freedom | 29 x 29.5 x 3.5 in.
Material(s): Aluminum sheet metal Process(es): Used Adobe Illustrator for vector CNC machine to pierce aluminum sheet, filed, sanded, and formed
Teacher
statement
Joan Marangoni
Girl wearing metal necklace mimicking high collar
Power, View 1|11 x 13.5 x 5 in.
Material(s): Aluminum sheet metal Process(es): Used Adobe Illustrator for vector, CNC machine to pierce aluminum sheet, filed, sanded, and formed
Back view of metal necklace mimicking high collar
Power, View 2
I first encourage students to explore media that they have not used in the past while completing work. I look for ways to coach them individually on this journey in skill development so that they can make a decision in media choice for their final AP body of work. I then have them move into an investigative/research phase to look at artists, museums and to explore the AP college board site and submissions from the past. We focus on sketchbook development last with collection of data, exploration of materials, notetaking and gathering as they explore topic of interest. They are to create 2 small works based on 2 possible areas of discovery knowing that it may change. I encourage them to push the one of most interest as far as possible in thinking with aid through group discussion/association. As the students begin the body of work, there needs to be deep conversation and processing of where they are, what they want to say and how they can best convey that.
Taking notes as students gather information and visual documents in research and practice as well as notes of the path of thought along the way help to clarify the growth and mindset behind the artistic process and aid the writing process in the end. Artists’ do not all follow one rote path to the creative process so allowing each student to go the path they need as you encourage and engage them in deep conversation can make a huge impact on the body of artwork they are able to create. The importance in teaching AP is to be alongside them in the journey to ask questions and challenge yet provide the freedom for them to push each piece or thought further until it has been exhausted so they can move to the next phase of discovery.
Jing has taught me to be aware of the many phases of learning and to identify that with each student even though it is a vulnerable position for both student and instructor. I have taught Jing/Jessica for 4 years and she has consistently shown a thirst in knowledge for the field of visual art. She has reminded me the honesty of being intimidated, self-doubt, fear, avoidance, reflection and the power of creative attack and exploration. The role of teacher and of student are one in the same with age being the only true difference. We are both teacher and student forging through the self -discovery and visual storytelling by way of making art because our need to do so compels us.
Girl wearing silver necklace of butterfly cutouts
Strength, View 1|11 x 9.5 x 8 in.
Material(s): Aluminum sheet metal Process(es): Used Adobe Illustrator for vector, CNC machine to pierce aluminum sheet, filed, sanded, and formed
Girl wearing silver necklace of butterfly cutouts
Strength, View 2
digital signature
Jessica McCann