AP Art of the Week

Spotlight on Artist Vivian Orta

The Elective’s digital art museum this week features a sculpture made by Vivian Orta from George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology​ in Baltimore, Maryland.

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 sculpture made by Vivian Orta from George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology​ in Baltimore, Maryland.

Two views of a gray statue of a young woman reaching for a flying bird

Here’s Vivian’s statement on the work:


“My exploration of three-dimensional media emphasizes the value of narrative. While aesthetics and craftsmanship are certainly crucial elements of any artwork, the content of the piece is what can make it truly meaningful and thought-provoking.

“With this sculpture in particular, titled ‘Reach,’ I wanted to expand on symbolism that I had explored in past works and use it to compliment the central figure. Here, a young woman reaches for a dove, a physical representation of the idea of peace, but can just barely take hold. Although I believe that art belongs to its viewer, meaning each viewer’s interpretation is the correct one, the intention behind this sculpture was to reflect on my observations of the world’s relationship with peace, as well as my own. It seems like no matter how much we work toward complete stability, it is never a possibility. Conflict and chaos will always claim their presence. But that’s okay. The world would have to take a complete rest to escape these forces, which it refuses to do, and we refuse to do ourselves. Conflict and problems create progress as we try to escape them. So, while the figure is longing for peace, she is reaching up to the dove who navigates her upward, away from her current position and onto the next one—progress.”

And here are a few other works from Vivian’s portfolio:

two views of a gray statue of a young woman crouched on the ground and surrounded by spiky objects

Direct observation of figure, attention to detail in spike placement—none touch figure, only threaten.

Two views of a gray statue of a young woman's head and face

Development of portraiture/interesting composition using gesture and hair, clothing, anatomy details.

Two views of a gray statue of a boot surrounded by various objects

Played with compositions with reference objects—when satisfied, direct observation used to sculpt.

Sculpture of a white bird snared in a tangle of red string

Combo of representational and abstract elements narrative of a fight between peace and chaos.

Student statements are lightly edited for length and clarity.