Seniors Display Their Artistic Skills: Taking a Look at the Portfolios Around Mt. Vernon

Hannah Elstro, MVC Writer/Photographer

A large portion of people do not know that almost 35,000 students in AP art all across the US made and submitted an art portfolio this year. However, these same people may have walked past such displays at their own schools, not knowing why they mattered. These portfolios, made up of several pieces of art exploring a topic, all show great skill, perseverance, and dedication to finish — which is why they are so prolific. 

Mrs. Evans explained it well, writing, “[The students’] visual work shares their voice through color, lines and forms. By creating their art they are sharing their perspective of the world around them and their own unique experiences, whether positive or negative, all of these things shape us. It also gives us an opportunity as the viewer to relate to what we see, teach us about something we might not know, or share a new idea we may have never thought about.”

So, even though students and staff may have already seen the works out in the hall in passing, taking a deeper look at these amazing works is definitely worth it — and has the added bonus of highlighting the amazing work and talent of our very own blooming artists here at Mt. Vernon. 


Taylor Loy, an AP 2D Art + Design student, made her artworks on canvas and other forms of paper using mostly paint, but also incorporating other materials. Her works are focused on relationships with the self and others, and the accompaniment to the art, written by Loy stated, “I wanted to show what the effects of my relationships can look like.” 

Techniques used included relief and line, using string plaster, and layering, and her work highlights her skills in expression, realism, proportion, color, the ability to work in a variety of mediums, and symbolism. 

“These pieces show a variety of physical and emotional connections to situations, people, and things,” she wrote. “I wanted to create these pieces to help me visualize and self accept my daily struggles.”

Taylor Loy (Hannah Elstro)

Ella Adams, an AP 2D Art + Design student, made her artworks on canvas and paper. Her works are focused on “the effects that maturing too quickly during my childhood have had on my current self,” and feature a range of expressive paintings, showcasing a focus on feelings. 

The paintings showcase a wide variety of skills, such as realism, expression through color, and a solid understanding of proportions and anatomy. “I spent a lot of my childhood years taking care of people, so I didn’t give myself enough time to be a kid,” she wrote. “Through my artwork, I have reflected […] on myself and my inner child to see how these experiences have shaped my relationships, both with myself and other people, and my outlook on life.”

Ella Adams (Hannah Elstro)

Hannah Dishman, an AP 3D Art + Design student, made her artwork using a mixture of clay, mesh wire, wire, and other materials. Her works focus on “creating pieces that show the effects of trauma and the process of growth concerning the mind and body.” 

Her works all show a range of skills, from the smoothness of the ceramics to the strong understanding of forms held throughout. The works themselves all have various meanings, with Dishman writing, “Each piece is varied and was focused on different aspects that can affect someone. The ones displayed signify anxiety, feelings of entrapment, the act of taking one’s purity away, the idea of wanting to hold someone back from harming you, and growth…Some pieces are direct and others simply imply an idea through symbolism, The lotus flower is a beautiful pink flower that grows from dirty or mucky water, which makes it a powerful symbol of growth.”

Hannah Dishman (Hannah Elstro)
Hannah Dishman (Hannah Elstro)

Lydia Carrell, an AP 3D Art + Design student, made her artwork with a variety of materials, including wire, clay, string, and even tissue paper. For her process, she mentioned “wanting to do something unique,” and that the plants represent “bringing life and personality to dark and lonely areas.” 

Techniques used were either pinching or throwing with the potter’s wheel, and, for the surface of the pieces, sgraffito. Carrell’s favorite of her pieces was the bonsai tree, which was inspired by the fact that her grandpa used to take care of them. 

“I want to express my joy and personality through the artwork that I created and share it with others,” she writes.

Lydia Carrell (Hannah Elstro)
Lydia Carrell (Hannah Elstro)

Brice Smith, an AP 2D Art + Design student, made his artworks on canvas and paper.  His works are focused on LGBTQ+ themes, and feature a range of expressive artworks. The paintings showcase a wide variety of skills, such as the stylized works, the expression through color, and the understanding of proportions and anatomy.

“My pieces showcase LGBTQ+ themes and ideas[;] many focus on feelings of shame in regards to identity and how it can affect someone emotionally,” he wrote. “I also focus on self love and freeing yourself from social expectations and conformity.”

Brice Smith (Hannah Elstro)
Brice Smith (Hannah Elstro)

Chris (Giang) Luu, an AP 2D Art + Design student, made her artworks on canvas and paper. Her works are focused on her time in Vietnam during her childhood, and feature a range of ideas surrounding the culture and how she remembers it. The paintings showcase her skills, which include her ability to create atmosphere, her expression through colors, her understanding of perspective, and how she portrays typical scenes. The colors and feel of her works are very unique, and the places she makes feel like real places, giving a sort of glimpse into the culture and experiences of someone not from the US. 

“My work demonstrates the culture, tradition, and monuments of Vietnam,” she wrote. “By spending my whole life living here, it took a big part of my childhood memories and my personality. Regardless of how much time has passed, it still [is] able to keep its own beauty and magnificent soul.”

Chris (Giang) Luu (Hannah Elstro)

Hannah McCleery, an AP 2D Art + Design student, made her artworks on canvas and paper. Her works are focused on the heart, and feature a range of ideas surrounding the conflicting nature of the heart. The paintings showcase an extensive pallet of skills, including extreme realism, a strong understanding of concepts, colors, and patterns, and an amazing understanding of anatomy, perspective, and proportions. In fact, one piece was so realistic and complex it was easy to mistake for a grayscale photo rather than a piece of art. The conflicting nature surrounding this topic, symbolic and otherwise, also makes for a great exploration. 

“[The heart] is what keeps us alive, it allows us to have family, friends, shelter, food, and so much more,” she wrote. “However, the heart can also be your worst enemy, being that it is the last thing that kills us.” This exploration  of a complex topic, along with suh high quality works, makes this portfolio really stand out from the rest.

In her accompaniment, a powerful message: “[My pieces] show that whether you are five years old or fifty-five years old, there will always be one thing to connect us: The Heart.”

Hannah McCleery (Hannah Elstro)
Hannah McCleery (Hannah Elstro)

With the newfound knowledge of what went into these amazing portfolios, they can hopefully now be appreciated for all of the thought and work put into them by our very own Mt. Vernon seniors.