AP Art of the Week

Spotlight on Artist Jerrell Crawford

The Elective’s digital art museum this week features a painting made by Jerrell Crawford from Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in Jacksonville, Florida.

Welcome to The Elective’s digital art museum, dedicated to the incredible work of AP Arts students. Each week we highlight a work or series created in one of the AP Arts concentrationsAP 2-D Art and Design, 3-D Art and Design, and AP Drawing (the AP Program also offers Art History and Music Theory)—as well as a statement from the artist (and, occasionally, their teacher).

From the first cave paintings to contemporary breakthroughs in virtually reality, art, in all its forms, has been a crucial way for people to process, make sense of, comment on, and grapple with the world around them. After more than a year of life in a pandemic, AP Art students have risen to the challenge of processing and making sense of the challenges—and opportunities—that have come from this perilous time. The work they submitted in their final portfolios is explicitly of the moment. It’s often challenging and provocative, but always insightful, inspiring, and expansive.

This week we feature a painting made by Jerrell Crawford from Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in Jacksonville, Florida.

Illustration of a young man in a white t-shirt and black shorts walking out of his bedroom

Here’s Jerrell’s statement on the work:

My portfolio investigates how can I capture my identity through physical and self-reflection. The pieces are based on photographs of myself and my environment.

“This piece is called ‘Bright Destination,’ in which I’m shown walking out of my room. I chose to capture the back of my body as I walk out to emphasize the darkness that I’m escaping. My room represents my old habits and character while the light represents my unprecedented future yet hope for a better change. I wanted this investigation stand out from my past work which captured other people’s lives and environments and instead I focused on my own. I also wanted to go beyond the basic portrait to offer a deeper look into how reflection shapes my identity. The small details in this piece like the cluttered dresser top and the painting in the closet shows a glimpse into my habits and personality. This is contrasted by the bright doorway almost completely white showing a new reality and environment neither good or bad yet will be shaped by my own hopes and goals.

“Change is sometimes scary because of uncertainty yet you can embrace it to become something better. This investigation has not only helped me express my identity but also confront my habits and obstacles hindering my progress.”

And here is another work from Jerrell’s portfolio:

Illustration of a young man in a baseball cap, work shirt, and jeans tying his shoe

Student statements are lightly edited for length and clarity.