Spotlight on Artist Alison Wan
Welcome to The Elective’s digital art museum, dedicated to the incredible work of AP Arts students. This week we feature a graphite and gel pen drawing made by Alison Wan from Thomas Jefferson High School in Alexandria, Virginia.
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 concentrations—AP 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 graphite and gel pen drawing made by Alison Wan from Thomas Jefferson High School in Alexandria, Virginia.
Here’s Alison’s statement on the work:
“How can I use reflections to show objects and people that influence my life? My drawings embody how reflections, seemingly trivial in our lives, can make us wonder about small details around us if we look closer.
“My drawings are based off photos I took to show precise detail. I use reflections to represent a different way of looking at things. In this drawing I illustrated letting go of my hair, which I’ve grown for a long time and learned to care for. The reflection in the mirror contrasts between the comb and dark hair as I and the barber think about how much hair to cut. Other drawings were inspired by my passion for piano or by camera experimentation with angles and shadows.”
And here are a few other works from Alison’s portfolio:
This drawing represents a state of reflection, both physically and mentally, on a lasting hobby of mine: playing the piano.
This illustration is of a reflection in sunglasses lenses, with a focus on the infinite reflection effect caused by the phone camera capturing my picture while being reflected in the sunglasses.
The idea behind this illustration was to capture the growth of a person physically as well as emotionally. The reflection in the window finds an older woman reminiscing about her younger self.
This drawing is of a reflection in a passenger seat mirror. The child in the background, closer than they appear, represents childhood memories still close at heart.
This is my reflection in my school's front door during the pandemic. Reflected trees, cars, and windows from outside contrast with the stillness indoors, the overlapping objects creating clutter.
Student statements are lightly edited for length and clarity.