AP art classes offer freedom for creativity

By: Grace Mundy and Dveen Hagopian

At Granada Hills Charter (GHC), Advanced Placement (AP) classes are a common and expected aspect of school. There are many options for students interested in taking APs, such as various math, science, and English classes. However, the AP art classes are often less recognized than the core AP classes.

The art classes offered include AP Drawing and AP Studio Art, both of which are taught by art teacher Harvey Cusworth. These AP classes are unlike traditional, more academic-focused classes. Rather than being met with loads of assignments and tests, students are encouraged to focus on their drawing and expanding their technique and creative horizons. 

The two main components in the AP class attempt to help the students develop some basic drawing abilities as well as some different techniques for doing art work,” Cusworth said.

These art-focused AP classes are more project based, looking at a student’s cumulative body of work rather than an individual assignment as in traditional classes. They look at both basic and complex methods of creating art.

“It’s a way more enjoyable and relaxing class compared to the other APs I am taking,” junior and AP Drawing student Andrea Ryu said.

However, just because AP art classes function as relaxing creative outlets for students does not mean that they are not hard work. Many students work hard perfecting projects, and have to spend a lot of time working on them.

“I would say 60 to 70 percent of the work is done at home. The class is more me showing them how to do things and them starting projects,” Cusworth said.

In addition to the AP art classes functioning different than most AP classes, the exam also has some differences. For one, it is not a written or multiple choice exam like most traditional AP exams. Rather, it is a portfolio that students submit. 

Students complete 15 images based off of the exam’s questions and direction for the art. For these 15 images, there is also a written component where students have the opportunity to explain their work. Lastly, students include development sketches to show how they progressed over time and reached their final product.

“I saw the art displayed for AP Drawing and thought ‘that’s where I want to be by the end of next year,’ in terms of the development of my art,” sophomore and AP Drawing student Madelyn Miramontes said.

AP Art classes at GHC allow students to embrace their creative side, which they often do not get to do in academic classes where they have to follow extremely specific instructions. For this reason, AP Art classes offer a significant opportunity to GHC students.

Author: Plaid Press

Granada Hills Charter High School newspaper

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