BSM offers new AP art classes

Artists now have more opportunities to explore their talent in the classroom.

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Many BSM students have taken classes like AP Calculus and AP United States History, and as of this year, art students who have completed prerequisite classes, and have an established portfolio of artwork, have the opportunity to earn college credit in three AP Studio Art courses.

AP Drawing and Painting are now combined into one course. “I’m personally a lot more in tune with sketching… I’m not much of a painter,” senior Noah Shields, who is taking AP Drawing & Painting, said.

According to BSM’s Program of Studies, students are encouraged to explore their own artistic interests. “We’re given kind of loose guidelines,” Shields said.

However, although the curriculum is somewhat flexible, the workload is rigorous. “The way the class is structured right now, we’re doing a series of 12 different projects. One of the categories is ‘hands’, and one is ‘morning.’” Shields said.

Students complete an AP portfolio that requires 24 works of art and is graded just like regular AP tests. In class, students only complete 15 pieces, so if they are behind, work must be done outside of class. “If artists are behind on their pieces, they have to go in and work on them, or you have to bring them home,” Shields said.

The classes range from ten to twenty students. AP art students have already had years of experience. “You’re supposed to go through Drawing 1, 2, and Studio Drawing and Painting, but if you’re a senior, you don’t have to do studio,” senior Hannah Nichols, who has taken art since freshmen year, said.

For Shields, art goes beyond the classroom. “I went into graphic design, which has led me to owning a graphic design firm now. I do this as a profession, and I definitely wouldn’t be where I am now without having taken these courses,” Shields said.

Shields knows students who have applied their skills in art to the Engineering program. “I think that there’s going to be a trend of moving towards more computer-based art classes. I know some students already who are also in Engineering and working with Solidworks, [a 3D design program that students use to create parts and prototypes.] It’s only a matter of time before we have game development classes at BSM,” Shields said.

In addition to preparing students’ portfolios for college, BSM’s AP art classes allow for personal exploration and increasing involvement with science and engineering projects. As time goes on, it is clear that even BSM students not involved in art classes can look forward to seeing more of their peers’ artwork.

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