AP Art of the Week

Spotlight on Artist Taylor Moorman

Welcome to The Elective’s digital art museum, dedicated to the incredible work of AP Arts students. This week we feature a photograph made by Taylor Moorman from Broadway High School in Broadway, Virginia.

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).

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 photograph made by Taylor Moorman from Broadway High School in Broadway, Virginia.

Series of three square images. On left is an abstract globular flare of yellow and white light against a blue green background. In the middle is a white plume, with a yellow and red shard of light beaming to the right. On right is a white, green, blue abstract shape.

Here’s Taylor’s statement on the work:

“This piece was a response to my inquiry this year: How can I capture the interaction/intersection of light, color, and transparency? After examining some of my earlier pieces, I discovered that something was missing from them - actual light. I had only been depicting light through visual illusion, rather than having actual light present in the piece in some way. I turned to photography as a way to capture light rather than depicting it.

This specific piece resulted from experimentation with shooting plastic sheets tinted red, yellow, and blue. I shot the image with my iPhone, simply allowing the light coming in from the window to interact with the different colors of the transparent sheets which had curled and folded around each other. This approach led to the most fundamental, basic response to my inquiry question, and therefore what I believe is the most successful piece from my work this year. I find my best work often results from experimentation, but it is important for me to still have a clear purpose and focus throughout.”

Here’s a statement on Taylor’s work from teacher Martha Maddox:

“This piece was one in a series of photographs Taylor created for her investigation of the interaction between natural light, color, and transparency. She began her investigation using transparent watercolors on paper with a light source behind. Since this did not produce the desired transparency, we looked at other supports, moving to clear acetate with watercolor applications. Again Taylor was not completely happy with the results. During class brainstorming, critiques, and searches of the class storage room, Taylor recognized the aesthetic potential of sheets of colored acetate.

Experimentation with materials, feedback from fellow students, and the instructor were essential components in Taylor's success. When an idea did not create the desired outcome, Taylor was encouraged to push the limitations of materials and try new ones. Students are encouraged to use all material resources available to explore ideas and study the work of contemporary artists in similar media and styles. Taylor's clear vision of what she wanted to achieve aesthetically and determination to arrive there fostered her success in this process. Her drive and aesthetic vision of what she wanted to achieve visually were an inspiration to other students and myself.”

And here are a few more works from Taylor’s portfolio:

Abstract image of a streak of yellow against a curvy blue background

A yellow sheet inside a blue sheet naturally placed on white paper to catch the tinted light.

Abstract reflection of a person in a blue and purple streaked surface

Natural dyes made by boiling organic waste avocado and onion peels and various glass containers. Experimented photographing with different setups, angles, layers, and distances from the subject.

Photo of a person in red light and shadow so they're only seen from the nose down

Photographed myself in a dark room with red lighting, then layered and edited the photos afterward.

Grid of 12 photographs, four by three, of objects taken in closeup in amber light

Photographed subject outside in natural lighting using plastic sheets for various effects.

Student statements are lightly edited for length and clarity.