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Seabury student captures the beauty of local Hawaiian places through her AP art project

Seabury Hall senior Maile Wong stands by her painting “Sunset Take-Out” during the AP Art show.
Two of Maile’s paintings hang in Cooper House of Seabury Hall

Senior art student Maile Wong has been doing art since she was a kid, enjoying almost all of the art classes offered by Seabury Hall since her 8th grade.

“It’s not really how many art classes I’ve done at Seabury, it’s which ones I haven’t done, and I think it’s only two that I haven’t done before taking AP art,” said Maile earlier this month via FaceTime. “This helped me experience a whole range of creating art.” 

She has now narrowed down her favorite medium, acrylic paint on canvas and used it to present her paintings at the AP Art show on Feb. 5 at Seabury Hall in the Cooper House building. 

Each student has to pick a theme for their project that they base the next 15-20 pieces on throughout the year, and eventually showcase some of them in the art show. 

Maile’s theme is “capturing the beauty of local places of Hawaii that has meaning” to her.

“I went through like at least five different themes, I had way too many ideas,” Maile admitted. “I thought about what themes that I thought were timeless and what I could look back on in five years and be proud of.” 

Maile participates in other AP courses such as AP calculus and AP microeconomics, and different extracurriculars like the girls varsity volleyball team and girls varsity golf team therefore, balancing the AP art workload has been something she has put a lot of effort into this year. 

“I really like doing art so when I’m doing work for AP art outside of school it doesn’t feel like homework,” she said. “But it definitely takes up a lot of my free time being in this class.” 

The AP art course at Seabury Hall is taught by Lenda McGehee and it’s a rigorous course only a few students choose to take each year.

“Ms. Mcgehee has assisted me through minor details in my artwork during this class,” Maile said. “She also was there to reassure me when I doubted my work, and her absence during the art show was disappointing because, like any student, you want your teacher to be there and be proud of your progress.” 

Maile, along with the rest of the AP Art class, was sad that their teacher was unable to attend the art show to finally see everything come together, but Maile expressed that she was overall very happy about how the show turned out. 

Up until the AP Art show Maile has completed 12 out of 15 pieces that she will create this year. 

“My Iao Valley needle is my favorite painting so far just because that’s one of my last paintings, and my overall painting has gotten better and the painted landscape shows my progression,” said Maile. This specific painting of hers took her two days to plan out and three days to execute it.

“I’m constantly changing paintings and I think I spend too much time on details sometimes.” Maile admits. “But I have to make it work before the deadline so some of my paintings are imperfect.”

Maile found her inspiration to join AP art by going to see artwork by students in the class in past years.

“It was really inspiring to see how beautifully it came together,” she said, recalling a particular former AP art student’s project. “I would definitely recommend taking AP art to people who really enjoy making art,” Maile said, crediting all the progress she has made creatively to making the choice of taking AP art her last year of high school.

Maile’s Iao Valley Needle painting sits on display in Cooper House for the AP Art show. This is her favorite piece so far.
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About the Contributor
Kainani Drexler, Staff Writer / Photographer
Kainani Drexler is a junior at Seabury Hall, she has a deep passion for photography and videography. She has participated in many jobs where she provided her photographer and videographer services. She is excited to capture sporting events along with student life here at Seabury.