by Jake Kwon ’26

AP Studio Art was a class provided long ago at Bellarmine, and it will soon be returning next year, open to juniors and seniors passionate about different forms of art! In this class, students will be able to construct an art portfolio, with a combination of two and three-dimensional art, as well as graphic design and photography.

This week, we asked the current drawing and painting teacher, Mrs. Bodnaruk, a few questions about the upcoming class, and what students may expect when taking this course.


Mrs. Bodnaruk – Drawing and Painting Teacher

Q. What plans do you have in mind for the course?

A. Ms. Crockett and I were talking about it and we wanted to implement more than just drawing and painting, so that we could open the course to students who want to do other specific forms of two-dimensional art. We haven’t figured out the logistics of the in-class projects yet, however it could potentially include students doing both digital art, photography, and three-dimensional work. This class is designed to meet and critique students, who work individually to create projects that are specialized to their talents and interests in order to create an art portfolio.

Q. Is this class a combination of photography, drawing and other forms of art?

A. Yes, but most of this course will be directed and focused on two-dimensional forms of art. Sculptures and some other forms of art will be used, but it will not include ceramics. Any pieces of art that can be created in the drawing and painting room will be used to create the AP Portfolio.

Q. Why do you think it’s important for Bellarmine to have this class?

A. As long as students want to pursue a higher degree of studies in the arts, they can, through independent studies, and there’s a pretty big demand for it. Art is a good candidate because it is more portfolio based rather than based on pure knowledge. However, by only having independent studies, students miss out on having other artists providing feedback and critiquing other work, and they will not have a community of artists that can influence them in a proper classroom setting. Having this class would provide the aspect of benefiting from having peers help each other out, which would result in better work. Many of my students have shown interest in this class and I hope to bring it back.

Q. What will the class be like and what are the requirements for taking it?

A. This class will be offered based on the number of applicants who choose to take this course, which will be a semester-long. Most schools who provide AP Art courses typically require 3 years of experience in art, and Bellarmine will have that requirement as well, but a combination of different courses such as two years in drawing and painting and a year in 3D Modeling and Animation could be a possible pathway, but that still hasn’t been fully determined at the moment. I would highly recommend that drawing and painting students take drawing and painting one and two respectively, as well as advanced drawing and painting before pursuing the AP course, because by then students would have pieces of art that could be used to build the necessary portfolio.

Q. What will the AP tests be like?

A. The advanced placement test is split into two sections. The first section has the student’s best pieces of art, in which students submit five of their best works. There are three tests that are provided, with the first one being focused on 2D design, a 3D design exam, and a drawing and painting exam. The 2D and drawing and painting exams are the most important. The 2D exam’s first part is the five best works, including a sustained investigation, which is basically documenting your artistic process, from the beginning to the end in fifteen photos. However, this is flexible, as students can document as much of their journey as they want. An artistic question would be brought up, and students answer this question by brainstorming and creating rough drafts, thinking about creating different types of visual art. 40% of the points on the test are from the artistic process. The artistic process does not require having a great piece of art, but more of showing your understanding of the process of thinking about new ideas and creating art out of them. Since drawing and painting one, students are taught about the process of creating a piece of art and improving their skills.

Q. When will this course be available?

A. We are hoping that this course will be available next year, but we are still working on pitching new classes to the administration and filling out the paperwork. Collegeboard must approve a syllabus for the course for it to be approved. This is helped by the fact that Bellarmine’s drawing exam is approved, but two dimensional design may need to be reviewed again. UC requirements are also something that we are still laying the groundwork for, which should be done soon.

Q. Who would you suggest should take this course?

A. I would suggest that juniors and seniors take this course, but it may be better for seniors to take it because junior year is very busy and taking this course as a senior would result in a more relaxing experience, and ultimately, better art pieces.

Above: Art in the hallways of Sobrato


That is all you need to know about the soon-to-be AP Studio Art Course! For students passionate about learning and creating fantastic art pieces, you may want to consider taking this course to grow your art portfolio! Be on the lookout for more information on AP Courses coming to you soon on the Bell Online!