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AP 2-D
Pace High School|Milton, Florida
Sasha
Suey-Stoler
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Dimensions: 24” x 41”|Materials: Took a poster board and cut out and layered poster board on tears, fingers, and blood. Acrylic and pastels|Process(es): Painful hangnail ripping on the hand of an ER nurse specializing in hands and nails with a popout look.

Student statement

My Sustained Investigation project was called “Nightmares of a Health Care Worker.” My pieces relate to exaggerated situations a healthcare worker may witness or go through during their career. I was interested in creating exaggerated human life experiences. When speaking with my mom, we started to talk about situations she witnessed in healthcare. Initially, I didn’t have another story but an idea of drawing exaggerated situations in dreams (like teeth falling out). Once we talked about different real-life, interesting situations, I wanted to portray a nurse’s nightmare.
I asked healthcare professionals questions to improve my portfolio and researched diseases, procedures, equipment, and healthcare facility settings. There are endless healthcare stories that can be portrayed as nightmares. Depending on the story, I would decide whether to use acrylic or go about it digitally. This was the first time I used digital media for my artwork. The whole project is a contemporary illustration. Ms. Tracey, my art teacher, supported my work 100%, but she did ask if I was mentally OK (LOL). She ensured I was on-task with project work and kept me on track. She always gave me updates on different opportunities to showcase my art. She is honestly a great art teacher. I have never had any support from any art teacher, and I want to thank Ms. Tracey for her support and help.
My advice to other AP Art and Design students is to focus on your art and not think about it as a competition. Stay true to your art style and vision.
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Dimensions: 12 x 24”|Material(s): 2 12x12 canvases combined with glue and smoothed out with Spackle. Painted with acrylic paint|Curatorial Note: Powerful, well-designed Popish imagery that relates to our current experience.

Teacher statement

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Kathleen Tracey
Skill Development
In my Advanced Placement Art and Design program, we wait to jump into our Sustained Investigation. I started the year with experimentation of media and techniques. I call it warmups to get the creativity flowing. Students also observe work from Contemporary and Old Masters and any notable artists I can find. We discuss media, materials, processes, and inquiry planning during this time. We look at work from past AP Art and Design students. We look at what worked and what did not. I have taught AP Art and Design for the past 16 years and use those years of knowledge to push my students to create personal work. The key to a well-rounded, Sustained Investigation is for students to find their voice and be passionate about what they are creating. The student must take ownership of their work to be successful. This journey to find their voice takes time, practice, revision, and experimentation; that is how I start the year. I give them the chance to explore, learn, and grow.
After much contemplation, I have my students begin with a list of ten Sustained Investigation ideas. They create this list in their sketchbook. Then, I have them describe two pieces for each idea; if they cannot produce two, that idea gets cut from the list. The students continue this weeding down until they have a few ideas. The sketchbook is used to create thumbnail sketches of the narrowed-down ideas. I have found this process to work. Sometimes, they have an excellent idea for one piece but then flounder for the rest. For their Sustained Investigation to be successful, they need to produce at least ten innovative ideas for creation.
I have my students create ten solid pieces for the Sustained Investigation, and then they use the other five slots for revision, planning, practice, and experimentation documentation. I stress the importance of revision. I have them photograph work in process and at completion. For revision, I stress a do-over: taking a piece that did not work as intended and then redoing it to improve. Students photograph the first and second attempts. They place these next to each other in the digital portfolio. This helps the reader see the revision.
Evaluation
I use both formative and summative assessments. Students participate in various critiques, including peer critiques, throughout the year. Peer critiques are a fantastic way for students to get feedback and share ideas. Critiques are held halfway through a project and one on each due date. My students are used to this process since they have had me as a teacher for multiple years. A detailed rubric is used to grade each piece of art. A rubric helps to guide them and allows me to provide individual feedback. I have personal grading conversations with each student. We sit down and discuss their work. This private time with each student is valuable. We discuss what is working, what needs to be completed if they are struggling, time management, and other relevant issues.
Advice
The best advice I can give to other AP Art and Design teachers is to make sure that students are creating pieces they connect to; they need to find their voice. The second piece of advice is to have strict due dates. A deadline is hard for students, but they need to have them, or they will be stressed and struggling at the end of the year. This structure will also help keep you organized and on task as the teacher.
Sasha
Sasha is the kind of art student you hope to have. She has always been very gifted, but she also listens to critiques and feedback and works hard in and out of school. She is a designer and illustrator with a vision and has already developed her style. Sasha has found her voice, and her work is compelling. She always puts forward her best work and will problem-solve until she gets her artwork the way she wants it portrayed. She has been involved in our local art scene for a few years and puts her work in local galleries. She has been hired to paint murals in Pensacola and has already begun selling her work. I am excited to see where her gift and work ethic take her!
Sasha Suey-Stoler
I was interested in exaggerating a nurse's nightmare.