Spotlight on Artist Gracie Baker
Welcome to The Elective’s digital art museum, dedicated to the incredible work of AP Arts students. This week we feature a watercolor made by Gracie Baker from Timber Creek High School in Keller, Texas.
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. In 2020, there is a lot to process and grapple with—and AP Art students have risen to the challenge. The work many of them submitted in their final portfolios is explicitly of the moment, from commentary on the covid-19 pandemic to the celebration of people of color to the nature of heroism in perilous times.
The work is often challenging and provocative but always insightful, inspiring, and expansive.
This week we feature a watercolor made by Gracie Baker from Timber Creek High School in Keller, Texas.
Here’s Gracie’s statement on the work:
"I knew I had to look inward and find something relevant for myself with what was happening all around me. The inquiry that guided my investigation was a question for myself. "What am I feeling in the middle of this pandemic? How can I express this?"
"This investigation included my experimentation with strange materials. It pushed me to become more skilled in colored pencil since I did not have the resources to paint with my usual preferred material: oil paint. I had to revise my pieces over and over again to truly represent how I felt in this confusing time and was forced to return to the drawing board many times for my most honest work. Practice and revision led me to my answer.
"I had a completely different investigation at the beginning of the year. However, my original portfolio seemed to lack any importance when the entire world came to a halt. I was angry at the world for taking my senior year away. I was depressed, lacked motivation, and became overly aware of my weight gain. I used the small things around me to be content with my changed life; I finally found peace."
And here are a few other works from Gracie’s portfolio:
Final brainstorm page for a compilation of all of my potential pieces for the comprehension of theme
Food wrapper/watercolor for my own added irony. Empty fork and worried eyes to show food guilt.
Showing all my anger for covid. Never-to-be-used grad cap on the figure, stuck in the red room, screaming. Undertones drawn in before blending for smooth skin. Red room shows emotion through color.
Student statements are lightly edited for length and clarity.