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3-D Design
Santiago Abella
Colegio Los Nogales High School|Bogotá, Colombia, South America
Santiago Abella1.jpg
Untitled|5 x 8 x 2 in. Idea(s): Create dynamic structures that capture the effects of moving water, impression on wax. Material(s): Black card stock, beeswax, water, bucket. Process(es): Molten wax poured into folded card stock mold, mold placed over bucket being filled with cold water.
Curatorial Note: Student creates movement through abstract wax sculptures. Created rhythmic and balanced compositions.
“Fascinated by the idea of capturing movement, I focused on one medium, so most of my work was done melting wax and creating systems for it to solidify. I created these systems to achieve three objectives: capture movement, suggest movement, and capture the effects of movement.”
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The AP Art and Design course supports inquiry-based personalized learning in the sustained investigation portfolio component. What strategies helped you find an investigation idea?
When seeking inspiration for my portfolio, I was caught off guard by the lack of ideas, but as I searched for something meaningful that engaged my curiosity, I had the opportunity to visit the Palm Springs Art Museum. While I made my way through the maze of stairs, ramps, and hallways, I came across a long-standing exhibit that showcased mesmerizing glasswork by Masahiro Asaka, Galia Amsel, and other glass artists. These sculptures quickly became guiding stones for my investigation as they challenged previous ideas I had about the elements and principles employed in 3-D Art design. Large and small volumes of glass stood in perfect equilibrium to give way for harmonious compositions, seemingly fragile curves made clear cuts between negative and positive space, and continuous lines danced in dynamic elegance to form rhythmic structures. In other words, I became fixated on the different ways of suggesting movement in 3-D design. And so, actively consuming art became my prime strategy to find an investigable idea; by studying the work of other artists from a technical standpoint, I found a wealth of complex questions and proposals that gave new life to my artistic endeavor.
Santiago Abella
Leer en español
En el componente de “sustained investigation” el curso AP de arte y diseño apoya un aprendizaje personalizado y basado en la investigación. ¿Qué estrategias te ayudaron a encontrar una idea para investigar?
Buscando inspiración para mi portafolio, fui sorprendido por la falta de ideas, pero mientras buscaba algo significativo que atrajera mi curiosidad, tuve la oportunidad de visitar el museo de arte de Palm Springs.
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Teacher Statement

William Cruz
From the beginning of this class, I try to make all my students aware that any research topic is valid. The most important thing is that whatever it is, it must have a personal approach, that is, it must arise from the interests of each one. We start by proposing three possible topics and working around them, then choose just one.
Write and Reflect
For each of the topics proposed by them, I ask them to do several things: automatic writing for several minutes (from the initial concept without thinking or looking for coherence or structure in what they write, for ideas to flow naturally), to make conceptual maps and to look for definitions of key or interesting concepts. These maps and texts must be analyzed to find common points, and key and interesting ideas from which they can take advantage. All this will serve to nurture the creation of images.
Skill development Throughout the year, we do several exercises to explore materials and processes, my intention is to push and encourage them to take risks and explore mark-making. Another project that I think contributes a lot in this sense is what I call “do it his way": from a given list of artists, they choose the ones that most appeal to them to develop their own project, using the particular style of that specific artist.
Evaluation From the beginning of each unit, I share with my students a rubric that will not only be an evaluation tool but will serve as a guide for creation. Its components are: research, content, technique, composition, creativity, and final work (each component has descriptors that illustrate what they must do to meet the standard that the component indicates). These rubrics are used during the critique, self-assessment, and co-assessment processes. It is important to emphasize that something key in this class are the critiques, in which all students participate based on given parameters. Having to talk about their artwork and that of others and listening to what others have to say about theirs greatly enriches the work of each of them.
Santiago Something special about Santiago's work in this class was that he never cared or was particularly interested in grading. What always moved him was his interest in experimenting, creating, and, above all, learning. This helped him not to be afraid of doing something. I can say that experimentation is the basis of his project.
Support It is noteworthy the support it has, not only this class, but the arts in general at Los Nogales school. We have a specialized building and all the materials we need. In addition to this, we receive all the support we need to develop the programs that, from the head of the department, we consider useful to support the artistic development of all our students.
Advice If I had to give one piece of advice to other AP Art and Design teachers, it would be to do everything possible to help each student develop their own voice. That is, to provide the necessary experiences to enrich and make visible those ideas, interests, and particularities that each student has.
Leer en español
Estrategias Desde el inicio de esta clase, intento hacer conscientes a todos mis alumnos de que cualquier tema de investigación es válido. Lo más importante es que, sea como sea, debe tener un enfoque personal, es decir, debe surgir de los intereses de cada uno. Comenzamos proponiendo tres temas posibles y trabajando en torno a ellos para luego elegimos solo uno.
Santiago Abella