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The Student News Site of San Luis Obispo High School

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What do students do in the Advanced Placement (AP) 3D studio art class?

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Photo Courtesy senior Etienne Brennan

  The AP 3D Studio Art class (AP 3D) at San Luis Obispo High School is not on most students’ radar. This class is a course offered every other year by ceramics teacher Tawnee Houle, the class is on a yearly alternating schedule with AP Art History. 

The course AP 3D is a personal approach to learning about form and structures of design. In which students will create what the college board calls “sustained investigations” of concepts/ideas that are three-dimensional. The goal of AP 3D is to allow students to become thoughtful artists, develop their skills, and properly explain what the piece represents. 

“I prefer AP 3D to a regular ceramics class because of how loose the syllabus is. I can work on projects at my own pace as long as I get it done.” said senior Jon Rethmeier.

 Creating a portfolio is obviously the most difficult and important part of the class. To start a student has to come up with a general theme for their portfolio, in the past there has been a range of things like the beauty in nature to the relationship between someone and their family. After finding a theme students can begin to create their projects, with that, for a portfolio there should be at least eight projects made to submit. Additionally, a student will submit projects that don’t necessarily relate to their theme, but are some of the students best work. “I love that we get to create our own portfolio because it allows us to be creative and kind of do what we want.” said senior Sierra Kabaker.

 Although not many students are even aware this class exists, more should. AP 3D is similar to the typical SLOHS ceramics class, in fact you have to take the first three ceramic classes in order to be eligible for AP 3D. Using clay to create art is a unique form of art than the standard pen and paper to be expired. 

 Even though ceramics and AP 3D seem very similar there are quite a few differences between the two. In ceramics the course is more scheduled, the teachers give a board assignment (for example creating two sushi plates) that a student can put whatever creative spin on that they want. AP 3D has more freedom and a student has to follow very few guidelines to create a portfolio for the Advanced Placement college board. 

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