AP Studio Art Portfolio Students Break Record

Advanced Placement Studio Art Portfolio scores established a new school record and surpassed both the California and national averages. All of the SHC students who submitted portfolios in the Friday, May 10 exam period received a passing score of 3 or higher. Thirty-eight percent of them received a perfect score of 5—nearly double the state and national totals. 

Some SHC students took risks and created collections with new technology and submitted portfolios without a historical scoring reference. In Instructor of Art Brian McHugh’s class, Alexandria Lin ’20 created much of her work on her iPad Pro using an Apple Pencil, most of which were distorted self portraits. Meanwhile, under the guidance of former Instructor of Photography Nancy Ingersoll, David Gohstand ’19 used a drone to capture a new perspective while focusing on composition and capturing the leading lines and texture that the landscape has within it. Both scored 5s from The College Board. 

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David and Alexandria were not the only two earning the maximum score on their portfolios. Others were Neil Beran ’19Catherine Cibotti ’20Joseph Flores ’19Brandon Hong ’20Ethan Ramos ’20 and Luke Shuman-Cawley ’20, each of whom told unique stories through their photos. Brandon took a culinary journey around San Francisco and shared the inspiration behind his project, “We shape food as much as it shapes us, and this collection of images represents humanity’s gradual impact on food’s intelligent design.” Brandon’s well lit, carefully composed and perfectly focused images reminds viewers of the diversity in San Francisco. Ethan reflects, “I took a lot of inspiration from my favorite director, Wes Anderson, who is famous for his symmetrical shot. I wanted to capture the essence of his movies in still shots.” Many of Ethan’s images portrayed places in the Bay Area we pass regularly without noticing the beauty they hold—from an alley in Chinatown to an empty BART platform, and he positioned himself accordingly to capture the symmetry that he sought. 

SHC’s mean Advanced Placement exam score (4.5) is well above the state and global mean (3.57). The twenty students who earned scores of 3 or higher now have what can be transformed into a credit at most colleges. Regardless of their major, this will replace the need for a general education class and help keep them ahead in the academic race. 

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