AP Art of the Week

Spotlight on Artist Callee King

The Elective’s digital art museum this week features a sculpture made by Callee King from Riverwood International Charter School in Sandy Springs, Georgia.

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 Callee King from Riverwood International Charter School in Sandy Springs, Georgia.

sculpture made of blue and white Q-tips resembling three orb-like structures stacked on top of each other

Here’s Callee’s statement on the work:

“Organic forms were truly my first interest when I first started my sustained Investigation. I wanted to stay on a path of unconventional shapes and unique textures to really give the viewer a unique, but beautiful piece of artwork to view. Funny enough, this specific project was one of the only two pieces out of my entire sustained Investigation that was not made solely out of clay. When creating unique pieces, I was careful not use too many colors, as I really wanted the texture and detail to stand out. Although, for this specific piece I wanted to go out of my comfort zone and create a colorful textured form with other mediums besides clay.

“When looking for inspiration, I referred to the hidden life deep within nature, from plants all the way down to life on the molecular level. I found that the beauty of consistent repetition in nature is profoundly overlooked and that some of the most unique shapes are found at the molecular level which is so vast and can draw a viewer in so deep. I knew that from the inspiration I had drawn, I wanted to highlight both the consistent repetition and unique flowing shapes found in nature. I found that the simple thin shape of Q-tips had the ability to create a mesmerizing repetition when placed together. I knew that Q-tips would have the ability to make this piece as mesmerizing as possible, as their small size would grant me the ability to create a flowing organic exterior.

process images of the artist creating the Q-tip sculpture

“As well as a new medium, I wanted to expand my portfolio with some color, so I decided on three different blues for this project. Each blue is just a deeper version of the first. I found that this slight color variation helped create the illusion of movement, along with the repetition of each individual piece placed together. Each Q-tip within this unique form is hand painted and individually placed. Overall, this mesmerizing piece came together to create a unique organic sculpture that truly highlights the hidden beauty in life.”

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

white tubular sculpture with small pastel colored spheres running up it

Inspired by organic textures that represent simplicity and unison that visually draw the viewer in. Created with extruded/joined tubes, hand-rolled beads, subtle pastel glaze applied to emphasize areas of texture.

sculpture of a white cup-like object with a small cluster of blue-and-white Q-tips poking out of the top

sculpture of various orb-like objects, some smooth and other spiky, stacked into a haphazard pile

Student statements are lightly edited for length and clarity.