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Student Lets His Art Speak for Him

Like many artists, past and present, André Jones lets his art speak for him; he is a young man of few words. The piece that was chosen for the 2005 AP Studio Art Exhibition is a three-dimensional sculpture. The differently sized paper and cardboard triangles are arranged to bend over each other so they "look like a spine," in André's words.

André has always liked art and drawing. In fifth grade, he knew he wanted art to continue to be a big part of his life. Then in middle school, André's interest acquired specific direction. He was sure he wanted to become an architect. He applied to the magnet program at Dillard Center for the Arts. André had to audition to get into Dillard, and he also faced an interview. In a room with other candidates for the school, he was asked to draw a still life that had been set up for students to use as a model.

The teachers evidently liked the result because André has attended Dillard since he was a freshman. In the first year of the program, he started out with foundations classes, like drawing 1 and sculpture 1. In his sophomore year, he took AP 2-D design and second-year drawing. Andre also took AP Drawing, AP 3-D design, and AP Art History.

Asked what kind of architect he wants to become, André said he liked both exterior and interior design and would be happy building all kinds of structures. In AP Art History this year, André and his classmates learned about Gothic architecture. "The Gothic churches were so beautiful," he said. He was struck by their magnificence and complexity and their forms made him think, "I want to do that!"

Math is André's best subject, after art: "I've always been good at it," he said. "I've always had high math scores." Still, AP 3-D is his favorite subject because he likes to construct things. "Just picking fun objects to see if they work together," he said. "I like making structures to see if they will function. Or, making abstract structures."

André has four brothers. He lives with his grandparents because their home is in the district that Dillard occupies, he said. Although his parents didn'st go to college, he plans to attend a university next year so that he can study architecture. His first choice is the University of Florida. But he has also applied to other colleges. Accordingly, he took the PSAT/NMSQT and the SAT so he could be the first in his family to attend college.

His advice to other students about college is plain. "If you have the drive and opportunity to do it, go for it," he said. "It is all just to better yourself as a person."