As displayed in the exhibits during Open House, McNick is home to some very talented art students. While many have noticed the artwork hanging in the halls, not everyone knows the artists responsible. Shown above are pieces by AP Art seniors Dillon Stanfield, Erica Luedtke, Molly Cardosi, and Seth Gerke, and Portfolio Development student junior Francine Wright, who have all had numerous pieces showcased at McNick.
“In my AP Art Class, there are general requirements, but I really like to give them a lot of independence,” art teacher Mr. Willy Corbett said. “There are no official assignments; they just have to complete six presentable projects a quarter. The rest I pretty much leave up to them.”
While this may sound like a challenging concept for students that favor strict instruction and order, these students enjoy the opportunity to get creative.“I really like the AP Art Class structure because it gives us more freedom to create what we want,” Luedtke said. “Mr. Corbett will sometimes help us get started by showing us techniques from other artists, but in the end we get to take that idea and make it our own.”
To get inspired, some of the students like to draw from their personal lives. “I’ve drawn a lot of my friends because they’re interesting subjects,” Cardosi said. “When I did the picture of my friend Faith Tucker, I modeled it after a photograph I already had. I was just looking for something to paint for a home assignment and felt like it would be fun to recreate.”
Another way these students develop their ideas is through expanding on a simple concept. “I really love nature, especially trees, because of all the creative ways you can portray them,” Luedtke said. “When I painted the acrylic piece, “Control”, I just started with the flower in the lower corner and kind of made the rest up as I went along.”
“Lately, I’ve enjoyed drawing abstract body parts, especially my hands since I have weird-looking fingers,” Wright said. “That’s how my pieces “Family Matters” and “Smothering” started out. From there, the ideas come pretty easily. I also did the Rubik’s cube piece after a former student, Paul Estes, asked me to. He thought it would be a cool looking drawing.”
The art students have also found it helpful to draw concepts from current events or issues. “I did the pencil drawing, “Starving Child”, for Hunger Awareness Month. It’s similar to a piece I did sophomore year to sympathize with the tragedy in Haiti,” Stanfield said.