AP art provides creative outlet

Professional Presentations: Presenting to the class, an AP art student shares the details of their work. The AP students will also be presenting art work at a showcase at Oakton.

Liz Claire Rodriguez

Professional Presentations: Presenting to the class, an AP art student shares the details of their work. The AP students will also be presenting art work at a showcase at Oakton.

Laya Anvari, staff writer

Innovative. This is just one word Stephanie Fuja, South AP Art teacher, uses to describe the students in AP art. According Fuja, she is blown away and inspired by the work they create.

Teaching at South was Fuja’s first job teaching art, according to Fuja. Although she teaches drawing and painting, the students in her AP Art class do all types of art.

“Depending on the level of the class, there is not a typical thing they do,” Fuja said.

According to senior Josie Teresi, Fuja inspires her students every day and also works to develop meaningful relationships with all of her students.

“Mrs. Fuja has been such a huge inspiration to me,” Teresi said. “Basically she has been my mentor. She always pushes me out of my comfort zone whether it be in art or in real life and I am so thankful for that. She knows me so well and she is not only my teacher but also a friend. She is honestly the only teacher who has impacted my life on this level.”

According to Nurul Hana Mohammed Rafee, AP art student, the students in the class are working on a project involving concentrations.

“A concentration is 12 pieces that are united by a theme or idea,” Mohammed Rafee said.

From the time Mohammed Rafee was in middle school, she knew she wanted to explore art. According to Mohammed Rafee, she has been taking art classes at South since her first semester of her freshman year and later decided to apply to the AP Art Program and got in.

“The art room was my favorite place to go to,” Mohammed Rafee said. “In eighth grade I realized that [art] is something I really want to explore and [find] out if I might be good at it.”

Mohammed Rafee’s concentration is incorporated in six diptychs, which are two pieces that go together, according to Mohammed Rafee. Mohammed Rafee explains how she saw herself as a bully in the past. According to Mohammed Rafee, during the time she saw herself as a bully, she was struggling with depression and anxiety leading her not only being hard on herself, but also to others.

“It is about how I hurt others and how I hurt myself,” Mohammed Rafee said. “Even though people do not see me as a bully [now], I could see myself having bullied people in the past. It was low key but it was there.”

Teresi joined the AP Art Program at the beginning of this current school year. According to Teresi, her concentration is a representation of how it feels like to be followed by anxiety and depression and how she overcame these mental health conditions.

It was almost instinctive,” Teresi said. “I have always used art as an escape from my emotions so I wanted to create that feeling in my concentration. Basically my concentration is all about my journey fighting through different forms of anxiety and depression I have felt ever since I was younger. My concentration is really important to me because it is my personal struggles and how I have tried to overcome them and how they have made me feel over the years.”

All students in AP Art will be presenting their artwork during the AP Art Show in the Student Activities Center in spring, according to Mohammed Rafee. In addition, Mohammed Rafee says many of the students will be presenting their art portfolios to Oakton Community College at the end of the year.

According to Alexandra Solecki, AP art student, she has never presented her work to Oakton before and this year will be her first time.

“I am hoping people come through,” Solecki said. “I remember going [to Oakton] for the past three years and seeing the AP artwork and I was just floored. I did not not even realize that [their artwork] had such unique, intricate, and thought out stories behind them. [The presenter at Oakton] also had the courage to display those for everyone to see and I respect it so much and I just wanted to do the same.”