AP Art of the Week

Spotlight on Artist Bailey Hatcher

fractured portrait of a young African American woman

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).

This week we feature an oil-on-board work by Bailey Hatcher from Westlake High School in Saratoga Springs, Utah, which was featured in the 2017-18 AP Studio Art online exhibition.

Here’s Bailey’s statement on the work:

This piece is the fourth painting of my concentration titled “Identity Issues.” The collection of works was inspired by the afflictions I held to myself. I secretly battled with depression for years, leaving me stripped of my identity. I remember trying to figure out who I was and what I stood for, but I couldn’t find the answer. The only defining factors of myself had been absorbed from what I admired in others. My identity was fraud. Illusion. So my concentration was a journey to claim what I had once lost.

I began seeking out models for my paintings and discovered that I was only comfortable asking my closest friends. I decided that I should branch out and paint someone I barely knew. That led to a close inspection of people from all sorts of backgrounds. This painting is of a girl who was incredibly shy and apologetic, but when getting to know her she had incredible emotional depth. I felt connected to her in some way, just by painting her. This, as well as the other paintings, sparked unexpected friendships.

Aside from an emotional gain, I allowed myself to explore color, shape, composition, and the material limits of oil paint. I went through many paint brushes because my style called for crisp lines. My use of colors progressed through the concentration. It was during this painting that I was able to find more greens and blues in skin tones. My perception of the human face became clearer.

All in all, I was able to find some closure after working through my concentration. I still felt like something was missing after completing the last artwork. Although I did not resolve all of my battles, I do feel more like myself.

I would like to thank the people who have inspired me to pursue art. Roland Amendola, my ninth-grade art teacher, showed me that I have great potential when I did not believe in myself. Susan Purdy, my current art teacher, is the biggest supporter of my career. She pushes me to achieve seemingly impossible things. My family and friends have been with me every step of the way.