AP ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: ELLIE BASS
In my 13 years at ESD, I have grown to love the arts, thanks to countless inspiring teachers and classmates. While I have always loved to draw, I began pursuing this passion in high school, beginning with Intro to Studio Art freshman year and finishing with AP Drawing. Furthermore, as another passion of mine is the well-being of the environment; both of my AP portfolios have been centered around nature and topics meaningful to me.
My Junior year was the first AP art class I enrolled in, and Mrs. Chambliss taught me more than I could have ever hoped for. I centered my concentration that year around the ongoing ocean crisis the world is currently battling. With greenhouse gas emissions increasing and global temperatures on the rise, the ocean is facing major threats. One of its most vital resources, in particular, coral reefs, are at extreme risk due to their sensitivity to even the slightest alterations in their environments, whether it’s an increase in ocean temperatures, acidity, or pollution. When these factors accumulate, a coral reef can no longer function and begins its process of death. The first sign of this gradual degradation is known as coral bleaching, in which a coral calcifies and ejects the microorganisms which give it its means for life as well as its color. What is left of the coral is then a barren, white (“bleached”) structure that is unable to harbor the life dependent on it. Therefore, in an attempt to illustrate this crisis in a vibrant and hopeful way, my pieces aim to reflect the beauty and necessity of coral reefs and their products.
My senior year portfolio turns away from coral reefs, but it is similar in theme. Just as coral reefs are often overlooked as simple rocks hiding under the blanket of the ocean, species of fungi are often just as forgotten by society, yet they, too, play an integral role in countless ecosystems. The pieces I have made this year, therefore, aim to capture the complexity and importance of fungi among their habitats and highlight the wonder of their existence.
Ellie’s works are lively depictions of nature with hints of abstractions which can be easily associated with her personality. Her dynamic compositions complements her use of color to create a sense and a possibility of movement to establish a strong dialog with the viewer.
- Juan Negroni, AP Studio Art Teacher