AP Studio Artists Reveal Their Inspiration


(Credit: Keri Kelly/ACHONA Online) Senior Natalie Cevallos entered AP Studio with no prior experience in painting, and decided to challenge herself by picking to portray human forms in her concentration.

In honor of Academy’s annual Arts Fest taking place next Tuesday April 19, ACHONA sat down with the five students of AP Studio Art to chat with them about their inspirations, struggles, and triumphs in creating their twelve piece concentrations.

Until last summer, Natalie Cevallos was a prospective business major and a novice painter. Having taken no art classes throughout all of high school, Natalie had independently dabbled in paint, quite literally, as she describes her early paintings as slightly abstract. It wasn’t until she decided to sit down and paint with purpose, that her whole life changed, including her plans for the future. Although a late bloomer, Natalie is a quick learner. Despite having never painted people or faces before AP Studio, she now executes skilled portrayals of sadness through the human form in her concentration called: “A Psychographic Study of Body Language and Melancholy.” Natalie opted out of her study hall to be in Art Studio and says she has never regretted the decision, even with two other AP classes to balance. She handles the pressure with humor and grace, taking time to interview and get to know each of her models, in order to paint them candidly and honestly.

Hear more from Natalie below!

Hadley Chillura is no stranger to the salty sea breeze and sandy beaches of Tampa, Florida. As a kid, Hadley spent the summer months at her beach house in Long Boat Key, fishing with her friends and family, and getting chased in by the rain; a perfect opportunity to unfold her easel and uncap her paints. For her concentration, Hadley chose to give a voice to a group of individuals who are not often portrayed in art, but have personal significance for her: fishermen. Hadley wants to give the audience an immersive view, through the lens of her own experience, into the lives of fishermen while doing something she loves — painting the ocean.

Hear more from Hadley below!

Growing up with an artist for a mom, Mollie Johnson has dabbled in a variety of art mediums including painting, charcoal, wood burning, and etching. Although she has created a few pieces for her concentration using the latter two techniques, Mollie prefers ink on paper and a simple color palette of black and white. She reveals that she was intimidated by art as a kid because of how talented her mom and siblings were.

She claims, “I was a very bad artist when I was little.”

But Mollie refused to be stagnant in her pursuit of art, and after years of practice she regards art as more of an emotional release than a competition to be “the best”.

Hear more from Mollie below!

Alessandra Tanase possesses a wild imagination and a knack for expressing emotion and characteristic through color. Now that she is in AP Studio, she has the freedom to incorporate both into her art, letting her imagination flourish without the parameter of realism. In her concentration, Alessandra delves into anthropomorphism (ascribing human form or attributes to a being or thing not human), where she represents different planets as a humans in colored pencil drawings, using various colors and symbols to allude to that planet’s astrological significance. Alessandra admits that she often models the faces of the planet-beings after herself and her sisters, and that in many ways, her art is a true reflection of herself.

Hear more from Alessandra below!

As an avid nature-lover, Grayson Garraty could not be confined by the classroom. What she loves about photography is the freedom to explore her community, to capture breath-taking scenes, and to transform them into art using her creative expression. In the urban milieu of Tampa, Grayson feels surrounded by evidence that humans have encroached on the lush beauty of nature. For her concentration she has chosen, almost wistfully, to portray the other end of the spectrum: humans being overrun by nature. She uses Photoshop to layer images and create interesting juxtapositions of people and nature to challenge the tendencies of human beings to demolish, to overbuild, and to damage the natural beauty of the Earth.

Hear more about Grayson below!