The emotive and immersive artwork of Shelby Taguchi '21 has been selected for the College Board's 2021 AP Art & Design Digital Exhibit, a highly exclusive honor reserved for the most creative and innovative high school artists from around the world.
Taguchi's multi-media piece, "A New Perspective," was constructed in OLu's Alexandra Nechita Center for the Arts and sheds light–quite literally–on the incarceration of Japanese-Americans during World War II. The piece came to life with the help of Christopher Cornish '10, the Nechita Center's Theater Manager.
"As a 5th generation Japanese-American, I want to increase awareness of incarceration during WW2," Taguchi explained in the statement that accompanied the piece. "My installations shed light on my grandparents’ story and educate viewers about the internment camps." Taguchi built wooden structures to represent barracks and placed hand-painted canvases and a still life shelf to replicate concentration camp life. A soundtrack of music from Japanese composers and even the colors of the lights were carefully and thoughtfully chosen to provoke specific emotions from the viewer.
"I wanted people to understand as the paintings escaped the box that there is so much more to their stories than what meets the eye," Taguchi stated.
The exhibit features 50 high school artists from six countries who submitted work to the 2021 AP Art and Design Exam. Amid a global pandemic, AP Art and Design students worked with diverse ideas, materials, and processes to create highly impactful pieces. The exhibit represents the resilience and perseverance of high school students worldwide who created innovative works of art, some of which were inspired by the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. The exhibit also features student and teacher reflections on the works, providing compelling insights into how artists and educators approach art making.
During the AP Art and Design Exam adjudication, over 400 Readers graded student portfolios submitted for review in 3-D Design, 2-D Design, and Drawing. Culling from the top scores, the 50 students selected for the AP Art and Design Digital Exhibit represent outstanding examples from the Sustained Investigation and Selected Works sections of the portfolio. The digital exhibit is designed not only to showcase the rigor and excellence of the AP Art and Design portfolio but also as an exemplar teaching tool shared with AP Art and Design students around the world. In this capacity, high-achieving students' artwork and statements, teacher statements, and principal statements help teach best practices and support arts advocacy.
“The digital exhibit gives AP the opportunity to share student inquiry based on personal experiences” said Rebecca Stone-Danahy, Director of AP Art and Design. “The AP Art and Design exhibit captures student voices responding to real-world events happening around them. Students from around the world are grappling with sophisticated ideas and presenting smart content back to us. It is refreshing to see original, visual solutions to complex problems.”
“The students who have taken AP Art and Design have shown the world evidence that an in-depth study of materials, processes, or ideas done over time promotes advanced artmaking skills,” said Trevor Packer, Head of the AP Program. “These students have faced great challenges and have shown themselves to be both creative and resilient.”