Spotlight on Artist Marian Seo
Welcome to The Elective’s digital art museum, dedicated to the incredible work of AP Arts students. This week we feature a pencil and acrylic work made by Marian Seo from Maranatha High School in Pasadena, California.
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 piece done in Prismacolor pencil and acrylic paint on white drawing paper made by Marian Seo from Maranatha High School in Pasadena, California.
Here’s Marian’s statement on the work:
"The driving question for my sustained investigation is, “What does it mean to be a hero?” I began by exploring heroes in fantasy and comics, but then shifted to heroes we see in our daily lives. Through imagination, I drew workers such as nurses being heroes that bring hope to our future.
"I frequently use colored pencils in my artworks, but I also experimented with other materials, like medical gauze as well as dyed tissue paper to showcase the healing a blood donation can bring to those who are ill or hurt. I also experimented with using oil paint, which I had little to no experience with. It was a struggle to mix and add highlights in something like fire since oil paint, as I discovered, takes longer than anticipated to dry. But the oil paint helped enhance the fire effect and was a welcome change.
"Revisions to the sustained investigation were minimal or close to none as it changed from fantasy and comic book heroes to more relatable or even personal ones, such as firemen and police, in day to day life. From in-depth research and development, heroes can be anyone who can serve others for the better and puts others before themselves."
And here are a couple other works from Marian’s portfolio:
"Witnessing firefighters on the news risk themselves to save lives I portrayed them as modern heroes."
"This art idea was made by thinking how education can help to have positive effects for better lives."
Student statements are lightly edited for clarity.