AP Drawing and Design teacher reflects on artistic journey

Andrew Scott discusses experience, art and teaching others

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Nora Vedder

Leaning over the desk, art teacher Andrew Scott advises junior Noa Maddock on what to do next with her piece in her AP 2D Design portfolio. Students in AP art classes create a sustained investigation, building every piece of art off of their previous’ meaning. “He gives helpful criticism,” Maddock said. “In showing how to progress my work further.”

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As the bell rings at the start of third period , and AP Drawing and AP Design students enter room 1035 – art teacher Andrew Scott sketches out his next piece. While Scott shares his knowledge of art with his students, he also continues creating his own work – including preparing for a possible internship as a tattoo artist.

“I’ve always been interested (in tattoos), but I have just gone through the process of helping several of my students become tattoo artists and seeing them do it and succeed, I feel like I’ve already done the groundwork research on how to do it,” Scott said. “So, it seems like a good next step, and it’d be kind of nice to be an apprentice under an old student.”

Scott, who is new to the school district, previously worked as an art teacher in Aubrey. He’s been teaching the subject for five years – with this marking his sixth.

“I was an art teacher in Houston for a year, and I was in Aubrey as the head teacher for four years,” Scott said. “And now I’m here.”

Being a new art teacher at the school has brought a new perspective on teaching styles in the art department.

“Mr. Scott has been a great addition to our team,” fellow art teacher Janette Church said. “He brings a lot of talent, experience, and often an uncanny ability to critique and provide a different perspective in almost every setting.”

Scott has a history with the world of art. Before teaching, he designed art exhibits in Dallas. 

“I would either design the space and the functions that people would touch … I did a lot there,” Scott said. “My boss would sketch out his plan, and my job was to take the sketch and turn it into a 3D model that the wood shop could build.” 

Presented on the exhibition page of the Arts and Science Center for Southeast Arkansas’ website, Andrew Scott’s Best of Show piece: “They Call him Jonah” holds a premier spot. Scott entered the piece in the 2019 Irene Rosenzweig Biennial Juried Exhibition, winning the $1,000 prize for the Best of Show award. “I approached mermaids as the only way someone would come up with – that was if someone was half-eaten by fish, and they just found them,” Scott said. “That’s part of the reason why it’s a diptych. So it’s cut in half. That’s actually the viewer deciding where the human starts and the fish is, so it’s actually a visual separation.”

In 2019, Scott won the “Best of Show” award in the Irene Rosenzweig Biennial Juried Exhibition with his piece, They call him Jonah,” receiving a $1,000 award. The exhibition is a part of the Arts and Science Center for Southeast Arkansas.

“(The piece) is about creativity and how as you get older, the real world kind of beats it out of you,” Scott said. “I took a fantasy element like mermaids, and beat it with realism to where it was almost identical.”

With many years of experience under his belt, Scott now shares his knowledge of art with his many students. Scott teaches basic, intermediate, and advanced placement art courses. Scott has a goal of preparing his students in his AP Drawing and AP 2D Design classes the best he can for the AP exam, which involves an examination of a student’s portfolio.

I haven’t even been in his class six months, and I can already see a drastic change in my artistic ability from the beginning of school to now.

— Amanda Whitehurst, sophomore

“(He is) very honest, not in a bad way though,” sophomore Amanda Whitehurst said. “For me, I hate it when people sugarcoat things, so his honesty is much appreciated.”

Working within the art department, Scott has aided the team through his forms of feedback and new perspectives.

“A team needs teammates who can look at the other side of things and offer a differing perspective, and Mr. Scott has a natural ability to do this, which has helped our team grow,” Church said. “He’s thoughtful and quirky in the best ways, which can be said for most talented artists.”

Along with reflecting and looking forward in his career, Scott still shows his appreciation for his present position in teaching.

“I really like talking to the students about creating ideas because I get those conversations that are more meaningful,” Scott said.”It’s a lot more enjoyable as a teacher when you’re teaching how to make what makes our work really great.”