Even though education is important, it’s also good to get away from the books and just be creative. The Arts Council of Montgomery knows this and decided to start the Doing Our Own Thing “DOOT” Competition. This annual event allows high school students in Montgomery, Autauga, and Elmore counties to attend arts workshops at the Armory Learning Arts Center. It is held every first Friday of November, and and this past November 3 marked its 30th anniversary. Booker T. Washington Magnet High School attended the event and also swept the competition. I was able to interview Alexandra Toney, who placed in two categories: In Color Drawing (3rd place) and In Opaque Painting (1st place).
Q: Can you explain “In Color Drawing” and “In Opaque Painting” for someone who doesn’t know what that means?
A: Sure. In Color Drawing means you would use colored pencils markers and prism pens. In Opaque Painting means you would use things like acrylic paint and oil paint, but not watercolor.
Q: How long have you been doing the Doing Our Own Thing competition?
A: For four years, since 9th grade!
Q: What did you enter and why?
A: For In Color Drawing, I entered a piece called “Gemini” (below) because it was something I did for my AP Concentration and I had just finished it. For In Opaque Painting, I entered a black and white piece called “Copy, Paste, and Repeat” (above). I chose it because it won first place at the Alabama National Fair last year.
Q: What was your favorite piece, and why?
A: I like “Gemini,” because, like I said, I did it for my AP Concentration and I really pushed myself. I worked on it every day, and it was the first piece I’ve done in color pencil.
Q: You’ve talked a lot about AP Concentration. Can you explain it a little more?
A: AP Concentration is just like other AP classes: you take the course and then you have to pass! We do twelve pieces around a certain theme, and we choose six of them to submit and be graded by the Board to get college credit. One part is called Breadth, and it tests how well you can observe what is in front of you. For example, you may be asked to paint a fruit bowl in front of you on a table. You can choose any medium like oil, color, et cetera. You would usually have a month to work on one piece, but for AP Concentration you only have two weeks!