by Brandon Biagini
10 May 2018
Junior Megan Tegtmeyer’s acrylic media piece “Global Warming” took 2nd Place at this year’s AP Studio Art show. “[I’ve been involved with fine arts] ever since elementary school. One of my next pieces I’m going to incorporate one of my pieces I made when I was in third grade to represent that things get better with time,” Tegtmeyer said. Photo by Brandon Biagini.
Sketches of firearms in backpacks and crime scenes to your right as you enter into East’s LRC. Just down the hall, the images of Syrian refugees with shock and fear in their eyes. Sculptures that range from mythical dark creatures to an ice cream cone topped with a melting earth. Artwork from dozens of artists lined the walls and pop-up displays, as many collections followed a theme or issue important to that artist. A culmination of a year’s worth of hard work, the annual AP art show May 3rd shined a light on and awarded student artists in AP art classes.
Throughout the year, students are tasked with creating various types of artwork within their respective medium. Junior Megan Tegtmeyer kept a theme of a controversial topic that is very important to her reflective in her pieces, earning herself a second place award for 3D art: global climate change.
“I am inspired by things that are controversial. I want people to try and look into what I was thinking when creating pieces… I like people not just looking at the surface and think about what’s actually going into a piece,” Tegtmeyer said.
All over the displays were opinions being shared by artists who were passionate about these subjects through their work. For senior Olivia Craine, the focus was of a controversial and complicated topic as well.
“My concentration was on refugees and the homelessness and displacement that affects families that live [in the Middle East],” Craine said. “I feel like art should be about something controversial, that way it will make people think.”
The concentration of each artist varies. For some at the show, the focus and meaning behind their art was personal to them.
“My personal inspiration in creating art is self-expression. One of the greatest things about being alive is telling your story and how you feel. I think art is an excellent way to do that,” senior Isaac Dail said, who received an honorable mention for 2D art.
Bringing light to issues important to them, or simply being recognized for the work that has gone into a years worth of artwork was very important to the students in AP classes.
“It means so much to me [to be recognized] because this is a whole years worth of pieces that I have been working on,” junior Emma Bales said. “To see that my artwork has gotten such a good placing and that others think it is good means a lot because it was all worth something.”
Senior Isaac Dail stands proudly with his art completed over the course of his year in AP Studio Art. “Next year I’m committed to go to the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. I want to convert some of my technical skills into a more applicable job. There [are] more jobs for graphic design,” Dail said. Photo by Brandon Biagini.
“My personal inspiration in creating art is self-expression. One of the greatest things about being alive is telling your story and how you feel. I think art is an excellent way to do that.”
— senior Isaac Dail
Senior Reese Rousseau, who did not only win second place during the AP art show for second place for 2D art, but has received two Scholastic Art and Writing gold medals and getting his artwork displayed across the country because of these awards, was also thankful for the turnout and visitors at the art show.
“Seeing people both in and out of the art world giving my pieces recognition and acclaim is a confidence booster,” Rousseau said. “I’m hoping that fine arts will be a part of my life forever.”
Each artist had put in endless hours thinking, planning, and creating the art necessary for the art show to be a success.
“[I’ve had] a lot of sleepless nights. It takes a lot of effort, especially when a regular art class only creates six pieces a semester, and we make 12,” Craine said.
Megan Tegtmeyer has also put in an immense amount of work to have all of her artwork completed before the years end.
“Every weekend I usually stay up until four in the morning on Saturdays trying to finish everything. That is why I always have bags under my eyes,” Tegtmeyer said.
Fine Arts Department Chair Heather Stanich emphasized the difficult task accompanied with creating in an AP art class as compared to projects in normal curricular classes.
“[Visual arts] is a lot of creative problem solving. There is no right answer in this class. It’s a different concept coming from a math class or a language class where it is right or wrong. There are some techniques and skills. [But AP students] have to come up with their own concepts, they have to come up with their own ideas, and they have to be able to tell a story within their selected medium,” Stanich said. “I can’t tell them what is the right answer, so they have to come up with these things on their own. It’s definitely the highest level of learning because it is taking those skills and having them apply it to [their artwork].”
Brandon Biagini is a staff writer for Oswego East High School’s online news magazine the HOWL