The Revival of AP Art History

By Journalism student Mallory

AP Art History has not been taught at New Life since the 2015-2016 school year due to only one or two students registering for the class. This year, eight students signed up to take the class.

Marquette Bateman-Ek, the secondary visual arts teacher says, “AP Art History is about the history of the world and art from the prehistoric to the postmodern era.”

There have been a few challenges for Bateman-Ek this year after taking a break from teaching AP Art History and now teaching it again six years later.

“I love art history, but sometimes lose my passion because I don’t like all the artworks we study, so I have to relearn some of the pieces in order to teach it well. I think that has been one of the challenges for me,” Bateman-Ek exclaims. “I do have a lot of favorites though. My students say that I have too many favorites, but I just really like art.”

Many of the students who take AP Art History want to pursue careers in art or architecture. Usually, a class in Art History Design is required at most colleges for art majors. This class allows the students to get a head start in their majors and develop a deeper knowledge and understanding in art.

“I really like learning about architectural works since that’s what I hope I do in the future,” Catherine Hegewald, a student in the class, states, “I love learning about every work of art because there is a unique story and it tells so much history in just one piece.”

The students have high demands to think creatively and learn a lot of styles and a lot of history. This helps them learn new techniques that they can then put into their own pieces and develop their skills.

“Creativity spurs creativity. When you learn history, you are learning techniques and styles that you can incorporate into your own,” Bateman-Ek comments. “They learn about cultures and people, which creates empathy and understanding through art. I think they learn to appreciate art, culture, and people.”

Despite all the hard work these students put in they also have a lot of fun. Even with a small number of students, Mrs. Bateman-Ek finds activities that make the class enjoyable

“Early in the year we did our temple models which was a lot of fun for the students,” Bateman-Ek says. “Last week we did pictionary with a computer mouse and everyone had 30 seconds to draw a piece of artwork we have studied. Then they had to make an educated guess on what artwork the drawing was supposed to be. There were some pretty funny drawings.”

The community, the fun, and the intriguing content this class provides shows why this class is a great opportunity for many students with a future in the art industry.  

“It is a super fun environment and we all love what we are doing,” Catherine Hegewald states. “We all are interested in learning about how we can apply the new things to our own lives and eventually our careers.”