IB Art seniors showcase two years of progress in exhibition


Yaamini Jois

The Coppell High School International Baccalaureate Art Exhibition was held at the Coppell Arts Center on March 22. Seniors Ayesha Nasir and Shraavya Pydisetti showcased their finished portfolio, two years of progress, to different mentors and community members.

Yaamini Jois, CHS9 Editor

Last month, visitors of the Coppell Arts Center were greeted with larger than life still-life watercolors, intricately designed frames and handmade canvases – all carefully curated by two students from Coppell High School.

Senior International Baccalaureate artists Shraavya Pydisetti and Ayesha Nasir presented a portfolio of their artwork from the past two years. 

Nasir’s collection represents the journey of self-discovery in adolescence. The pieces are arranged in chronological order, beginning with “Reminiscence,” an acrylic painting that highlights the fragility of entering adolescence. The pieces get larger and louder, ending with “Overflow,” highlighting the symbolism of water as a figure of catharsis and renewal.

Pydisetti’s collection follows the theme of paradoxes and the development of female identity. Each piece is carefully arranged to draw onlookers’ eyes to  “Objectified,” a still life oil on canvas. 

In each collection, however, is a gem that stands out.

Nasir’s grandest piece is “Overflow,” a 30 by 60-inch unframed watercolor painting depicting 

Pydisetti credits “Balika Vadhu” as being the toughest piece in her selection to create. The piece is painted in a classic South Indian tanjore style and is adorned with gold leaves and jewels. The oil painting itself is a commentary on older traditions of child marriage in India, but the tough part for Pydisetti was building the frame and canvas by hand, which was started in part during her summer trip to India.

“I remember having to cut up my wood piece to make them fit in my suitcase when I came back,” Pydisetti said. “I was so excited to show them to [IB Art teacher Michelle Hauske] when I came back.”

According to both students, two years does not seem like a long time. Much of their first year spent much of their first year perfecting finer techniques of each medium, starting, scrapping and often restarting their portfolio projects. 

Hauske guided the pair from the beginning of their junior year in IB Art. As seniors, their final examination, an Internal Assessment (IA), consists of three parts: an in-depth research paper in which the artists selects different artworks to compare, the exhibition and a process portfolio that documents their growth from the start.

From the beginning of their junior year, students spend two years experimenting with new mediums, learning about art history and building on their writing skills. Unlike AP Art courses focused on specific styles, IB Art is more interdisciplinary and demands a higher, more varied skill set from artists. 

“IB Art is rigorous for a student of any background because it demands more variety in students’ skills,” Hauske said. 

Artists are introduced to polar opposite mediums––2D, 3D, lens-based and sun-based styles––at a rapid pace.

As such, both artists included a 3D sculpture piece in their set.

To the students, the most exhilarating moment is the exhibition, a culmination of two years of work finally finished. It is a similar moment for Hauske, who has closely guided Nasir and Pydisetti in their journeys.

“I’m incredibly proud of them,” Hauske said. “I can physically see their growth in the past two years, but more than that I’ve seen how they’ve worked. They’re both so talented and I can’t wait to see what they do next.”

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