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Mya Shekitka

FLOYD E KELLAM HIGH SCHOOL|Virginia Beach, VA
Teacher: Laura Peters
drawing
Laptop. computer with woman looking at viewer; clo
Lost in Time|8 x 10 in.
Idea(s): A surreal interpretation of the way prolonged isolation affects the perception of time and self. Material(s): Plexiglass, acrylic paint, watercolor, sharpie, watercolor paper Process(es): Painted girl on plexiglass, painted computer, painted background on paper, glued paper to plexiglass

Student
statement

This artwork in particular reflects the way I perceived the passage of time while in isolation.
Student Headshot
Mya Shekitka
This year, my sustained investigation circulated around the effects of long-term isolation on my mental health and well-being, specifically as a result of COVID-19. This artwork in particular reflects the way I perceived the passage of time while in isolation. For many students in the US, myself included, school during quarantine consisted of virtual classes, completed entirely on a computer and without the company of others. Without the ability to attend school in person, every day began to feel the same to me. I couldn’t visit my friends or participate in nearly as many activities as I could during a normal school year. It felt as though my daily schedule was to wake up, go to school, and then go back to bed. I would often question what achievements I had made in the past year. I began to worry that I would waste an entire year of my life without completing anything significant. For this reason, I wanted to depict my daily life through my own eyes. My entire school day occurred on my laptop, which is why I made it and myself the focal point of the piece. This piece was created on plexiglass to create an almost 3-D effect. On the backside of the glass, I painted an aged portrait of myself, starting with the linework and then working backward to add the highlights, shadows, base colors, and finally the black background. Next, on the front of the glass, I painted the frame of the laptop.
The final step was to paint the background of the piece, which was created using ink pens and watercolor on paper, which I then glued to the side of the plexiglass containing my self-portrait. I often work in multimedia, however, this process was new to me. I had wanted to experiment with a combination of mediums and processes that were somewhat unfamiliar. I often struggle with drawing prompts and ideas when creating a new art piece, so I decided to think about what I related to most. I feel as though depicting my emotions in a surreal, literal form comes most naturally to me. My art teacher was incredibly supportive of me and the other students in my class, especially during this difficult time. She made virtual classes engaging by allowing us to bounce ideas off each other, and made in-person classes productive and fun by helping us experiment with new mediums and ideas. She also helped us work on pieces we were stuck on by encouraging class critiques. My advice to other AP Art students would be to encourage them to experiment as much as possible. You’ll never know what mediums will work best for you until you try them out. Don’t be afraid to get creative with art styles, mediums, and prompts. In doing so, your art will be the most authentic representation of you it can be.
Monochrome woman painted on plexiglass
Untitled | NA Material(s): plexiglass, acrylic paint Process(es): Built up values of girl working backwards on plexiglass, painted computer overlay on opposite side
sketch for artwork
Sketch
Teacher
statement
Laura Peters
I push for my students to experiment with a variety of materials and techniques while brainstorming for their sustained investigations. Mya always thinks outside the box and dives in to create amazing works of art. We would have mini class critiques that really helped the students look at their work in a different perspective and explore new ideas. Her sketchbook with all her brainstorming and experimented was a beautiful work of art alone. Mya’s sustained investigation focused on the prolonged effects of isolation during COVID. The portrait is Mya as an aged woman with several clocks and calendars in the background having the feeling that everyday felt the same and time didn’t matter. She painted the portrait on the backside of plexiglass, the laptop on the front to give the feeling of depth. The clocks and calendars were drawn on a separate sheet of paper with a watercolor wash added.
However, Maya had another vision when she started her piece. She was going to have her hands typing on the keyboard then, soon realized there was no room to add the hands. She originally wanted to have one clock in the background showing time is frozen, then after many discussions, she decided to add several different clocks and calendars in the background. She struggled with finding the right medium to connect the watercolor paper with the clocks to the plexiglass without leaving a hazy effect. After experimenting with several materials, she used mod podge to connect the paper to the backside of the plexiglass to finish her work. I try to emphasize to all my students that practice, mistakes, experimentation, critical thinking, and revision are what make a finished work of art.
sketchbook planning page
Sketchbook planning
Principal
statement
Ryan C. Schubart, Ph.D.
In my tenure as the proud principal of Kellam High School, I have quickly come to appreciate the talented teachers and students associated with our AP Art Program. Mya’s work has been displayed throughout our city and can be described as extraordinary and an inspiration to others. Through her commitment, creativity, and critical thinking, she has separated herself into the upper echelon of young artists. While she should be commended for her talent and hard work, praise is also in order for our talented and dedicated art teachers at Kellam High School who provide guidance, mentorship, and are able to help our young artists realize their full potential.
Digital Signature
Mya Shekitka