Spotlight on Artist Katherine Westcott
Welcome to The Elective’s digital art museum, dedicated to the incredible work of AP Arts students. This week we feature a colored-pencil-on-paper work made by Katherine Westcott from Norwich Free Academy in Norwich, CT.
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-on-paper work made by Katherine Westcott from Norwich Free Academy in Norwich, CT.
Here’s Katherine’s statement on the work:
“The question that guided my sustained investigation was "How can I illustrate how my depression has affected how I've grown up, and who I am today?"
For this piece, I wanted to show how people believe my problems are less than they really are but there is more they cannot see. I sketched and colored it with colored pencils, but I consistently tried to incorporate a textural element or a different way of presenting my work. For instance, in one work, I wanted to illustrate how I have lost the innocence of a child playing dress-up because of my depression. I practiced with the use of 3D objects, such as the gems and sparkles, to further the childlike feeling of the piece. I also consistently included a portrait aspect, attempting to focus on how my depression has affected me physically and mentally, but my everyday emotions have also changed as I've grown up.
I hoped to portray emotions that people could relate to if they are also struggling. In addition to this, I hoped to help those who do not struggle with depression understand the effects of something that shapes who someone is and how they view life, by using the symbol of my jacket to portray how I wear my depression like a coat every day.”
Here are a few more pieces from Katherine’s portfolio:
Printed out pill background, cut/glue cardboard on top, painted with oil.
Painted on mirror, created a sliding door effect with cardboard, assisted by a wood frame.
Painted oil on canvas.
Capturing my friend Ivy in her new puffy jacket, which she was quite proud of. Drawn with graphite pencils.
Student statements are lightly edited for clarity.