A.P Draw, Paint, Print Senior Spotlight Interview: Jenna Raudenbush

The AP Drawing Portfolio is an intensive course, requiring students to produce art at the college level. Students compile a portfolio of 24-29 original artworks demonstrating mastery in composition, technique, and concept. 12 of those pieces explore common idea, called a concentration.

Jenna Raudenbush ’18 has always loved art, it’s her happy place. She has an especially strong sensitivity to colors and details. Her work shows her thoughtfulness and passion. We are so thankful to have her in the studios of ESJ! Please be sure to come see her work at the senior show case later this year!

Jenna, what is the central idea of your concentration?
The central idea of my concentration has changed slightly several times over the course of the year. Originally, I had hoped to create a sense of false reality, demonstrating the idea of breaking out of one’s box and creating a new, less strict reality. Recently, I have changed that idea to show the same concept of an alternate reality, but also highlight the vanity of society and the loose concept of “beauty” and the concept of “perfection” through symmetry, both perfect and imperfect, facial and environmental. In popular culture, celebrities and “supermodels” are considered beautiful because their faces typically have near perfect symmetry. Is this what makes them beautiful? If so, is that all beauty is? Is something or someone “perfect” because they’re symmetrical? Through my work I aim to create pieces that encourage curiosity and judgement.

How does your work demonstrate the exploration of your idea?
Through my exploration of these concepts in my concentration, I hope to expose the flaws in the traditional standards of beauty by painting the subject or aspects of their background with perfect symmetry. In earlier pieces, I incorporated squares or cubes in the background, because they represented that “box” we are often placed in by society or our peers; we are expected to fit into a certain mould, and if we don’t, we’re often judged for it. The perfection of the squares now also represent, quite literally, a perfect, clean background. A clean history makes for a perfect person. In most recent pieces, I have cropped portraits and made both sides of their faces the exact same. This is to represent the more superficial aspect of the concept of beauty; is this person more or less “beautiful” because their face is now symmetrical? I will continue to incorporate squares into each piece whenever possible, because I still feel like the concept of breaking out of your box is important for every person to see and recognize. Individuality and self expression are beautiful.