Senior Alex Altenburg (’24) earned not only a top score of 5 but is also one of only 337 students in the world to earn a perfect score on the AP 2-D Art and Design exam in May 2023. Alex is one of two UHS students in school history to achieve this nearly impossible achievement; alum Carolyn Todd (’14) received a perfect score for her 3-D Art portfolio.
When asked what this achievement means, Alex expressed that she is most excited to be part of UHS history. The sense of community she feels from her fellow Trailblazers is what has pushed her so hard to perfect her craft.
Art has very different meanings to people. When asked what her art means to her, Alex said, “I was diagnosed with autism my freshman year. Art allows me to show others how my brain works and thinks. How I think is not the same way others think, and that’s okay because we are all different. Art has always been an outlet of expression for me. Art is just another way that we can communicate with one another.”
Major influences that have impacted Alex and her art are University Art Teacher and Director of Visual Arts Tasha Barger, and founder of Carmel Art Education Studio Irina Smulevitch. Both of these artists had a significant impact on not just Alex as a person but also her creativity within art.
Every artist uses different types of mediums to curate their art. When asked what Alex’s medium preference is, she said, ”Painting is for sure my preferred to use, specifically using acrylic and oil paints. My ink drawing is coming along, and I have been working on sculpture more.”
When asked what she would like to add to this interview, Alex said, “I am only able to be where I am because of my peers in AP Art and the UHS community. I am grateful for them. They are so smart, creative, and overall great.”
Students who take the AP 2-D Art and Design exam must submit a portfolio of selected works that span the academic year. It includes two portfolio components: the Sustained Investigation and Selected Works. Each component requires students to show a fundamental competence and range of understanding in visual concerns and methods as described in the AP Art and Design scoring guidelines. Portfolio components are scored separately, and each contributes to the final portfolio score, which is based on a 5-point scale.