Countdown to the AP Art show: Ellis Singleton


Senior Ellis Singleton takes notes on how he can revise his piece during a critique.

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Art has always been a part of Ellis Singleton’s life, but it wasn’t until middle school that he knew he wanted to pursue art. His interest in comics and graphic novels seemed like the perfect combination of telling stories and making art. However, just as art can tell different stories and evolve, so has Ellis’s path as he finishes his senior year and prepares for college.

“I am trying to decide between majoring in English and Theatre because I either want to write poetry or act like on stage or on film,” said Singleton, “. . . but I think art will always kind of be a part of my life somehow, and I’ll always be making art, even if I’m not doing it professionally.”

Art was an integral part of Ellis’s high school career since AP Art was his goal once he began taking high school art classes. In AP art, each student completes a Sustained Investigation (SI) as a part of the course, and Ellis chose to focus on how relationships can become corrupted or harmful.

“My initial idea was a little bit different. It was about the hidden aspects of relationships, and a lot of the work that I was producing ended up being more on the negative side of that, so I kind of shifted my focus onto how relationships can turn harmful,” said Ellis.

One piece that Ellis created is a still life called “Academia Perfectum” which depicts a knife stabbing a book. “I made a still life, and I hate still lifes, so I tried to make it a little more interesting by having confrontational imagery,” said Ellis.

“At that time, I was still thinking of pursuing art and going to art school, and they [Pratt Institute] had sent me this book of undergraduate work,” said Ellis. “I was looking through it and just getting so frustrated with myself and comparing my work to their work. I was like, ‘How can I portray how stifling this is and how frustrating it is?’”

For Ellis, art allows him to express what cannot always be said in words. This is one of his favorite things about art because it can cause a “visceral reaction from people and really evoke emotion in them in a way that sometimes you can’t express in words.”

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