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From creation to celebration

A look at the AP 3-D studio art class

Elizabeth Schuth 

Editor in chief

January 2, 2023

Artists at Work: Seniors Clara Kurick, Gavin Kincheloe, and Adams add finishing touches to their pieces.

AP 3-D Studio Art is a unique class that allows students a space and community for creating and enjoying art. 

The first official AP 3-D Studio Art class was offered in 2010 and stands out to students because of its unique curriculum. The class is centered around building a portfolio based on a leading question or concept known as the sustained investigation. The students are allowed complete freedom with their materials, processes, and projects letting creativity take the wheel. 

“The idea is they have this big glorious question they’re trying to answer with their art, that question will have a million iterations,” AP studio art teacher Mrs. Natalie Messmore stated. “It really is just this opportunity to take a deep dive into something they really enjoy.” 

The students are seizing this opportunity and while most are centered on ceramics the inspiration behind the work couldn’t be more different. Senior Gavin Kincheloe chose to explore humankind and its place in evolution.  

 “I will die very soon in the span of the universe but my work will last longer than I ever could,” Kincheloe said. “Eventually the next super-intelligent species, if there is one, might look at my stuff and it's kinda fun to think about that.” 

Other students in the class have also taken inspiration from nature including pieces reinventing now-extinct animals into a modern-day environment.  Another student is focusing their art on the process of learning, building everything from a clay eyeball to a coliseum made from old corks.  Instead of multiple small works, Senior Eli Marti decided to create one large installation piece consisting of a clay body suspended in the air covered in clay flowers and plants. 3-D is a media that leaves plenty of room for exploration. 

“People say they're bad at art but you’ve probably only been exposed to one or two media,” Mrs Messmore explained. “That's why I love teaching [3-D classes] because maybe you’ve never touched clay or you’ve never done cardboard or metal or plaster … these are all vehicles to do art and … you’ve just never tried it.” 

AP 3-D Studio Art opens the door for students to express themselves through art and explore their interests giving it a different feel from other art classes. 

“A lot of other ceramics classes I've taken are job- job- finish- project- do it now please- I need to grade this- ahhhh,” Kincheloe said. “In AP 3-D Art you work at your own pace and you’re worked with instead of told to work.” 

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