Spotlight on Artist John Ruggiero
Welcome to The Elective’s digital art museum, dedicated to the incredible work of AP Arts students. This week we feature a colored pencil drawing made by John Ruggiero from Wakefield High School in Wakefield, Massachusetts.
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 colored pencil drawing made by John Ruggiero from Wakefield High School in Wakefield, Massachusetts.
Here’s John’s statement on the work:
"My time in the AP program this year was spent diving into the ideas of self-expression and its effects on the individual and others. In this piece, I expanded upon the idea of hiding from others. The piece depicts four figures in their own little safe spaces. Each figure is shown doing what makes them most comfortable. None of them express a prominent identity reflecting that these characters could be anyone. Anyone may find themselves the freest and expressive when they are granted their own privacy. Without having to worry about what others may think, they find it easier to express themselves freely.
"To create this piece, I used a variety of micron pens and watercolors to fit a large amount of detail into a small space. By adding several points of interest, the viewer can discover new details that help build a story. Another aspect I paid attention to was the colors of the rooms. By making each of them a different vibrant color, I can show individuality between each character. Many experiments were made in color and texture to make sure that the overall piece fit the tone I was aiming for."
And here are a few other works from John’s portfolio:
Sketchbook plan, block out color in paint with focus on light source, line details with marker
Several people seek comfort in their own ways by hiding from each other, even in the same house (sketchbook thumbnails, color trials, drew house and details in ink, finished with watercolor)
Being alone is freeing, feeling at ease to do what you want. All pressure and judgment is removed (sketchbook plan, practice fish-eye perspective, drawn in ink, watercolor, details in paint pen)
Student statements are lightly edited for length and clarity.