AP Studio Art

Course Description
AP® Studio Art is a course that is designed to fulfill the requirements of the College Board program of study. AP Studio Art is a challenging and rigorous course that has at its core the exploration and generation of a substantialbody of very high quality student artworks, ideas, and conceptual approaches, tempered by a substantial exploration of diverse media andpersonal visual expressionThe coursework is expected to be at the college level in terms of its quality in subject, content, and form.Success in AP Studio Art requires a strong commitment from the teacher, the school, the home, and highly motivated students. The program of study follows the course description provided by the College Board.

The essence of each portfolio program is a portfolio involving three sections. These are The Quality Portfolio, The Concentration Portfolio, and The Breadth Portfolio. 

  • The Quality Portfolio requires five of the very best artworks from the other two portfolios. The Concentration Portfolio contains twelve works that are related to each other in a variety of ways.
  • The Concentration Portfolio involves a written plan of study in an area of visual exploration that is pursued through several artworks.
  • The Breadth Portfolio contains twelve strong artworks that explore numerous subjects using a variety of media and approaches. The Elements of Art and The Principles of Design should be evident in the development of conceptual approaches to composition and creative problem solving.

A student’s body of work completed for each of the three portfolios mustcomply with specific portfolio program areas. The areas of study in AP Studio Art fall into one of the following categories:

  • Drawing and Painting
  • 2D Design
  • or 3D Design.

The three portfolios follow guidelines established for each of the specific areas of study.

AP Studio Art is a full year course, covering two semesters. The AP Studio Art portfolios are due for national review (referred to as “the AP Exam”)  in early May, while the course work continues through the entire academic year. The Missouri Fine Arts Standards are embraced throughout the course. In Fine Arts, students in Missouri public schools will acquire a solid foundation which includes knowledge of:

  1. process and techniques for the production, exhibition or performance of one or more of the visual or performed arts.
  2. the principles and elements of different art forms.
  3. the vocabulary to explain perceptions about and evaluations of works in dance, music, theater and visual arts.
  4. interrelationships of visual and performing arts and the relationships of the arts to other disciplines.
  5. visual and performing arts in historical and cultural contexts.(Source: Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education)

Each of the following sections describe the three AP Studio Art portfolio content areas:

Section I: The Quality Portfolio. The five artworks included in this portfolio should demonstrate concepts, composition, technical skills, and the realization of artistic intent. The works may be distinctly different or related and can utilize a variety of media. The actual artworks must be shown and may not be larger than 18” x 24” in overall size (including window matte). The exception is for learners developing a 3D Design portfolio program, in which photographs will be submitted rather than actual artworks. The evaluators at the College Board should be able to recognize the student’s best quality in concept and execution. Separate works are to be completed for each of the Breadth and Concentration Portfolios. Selections of the best work from each portfolio will comprise the Quality Portfolio.

Section II: The Concentration Portfolio. The twelve pieces (8 – 12 artworks for 3D Design portfolio programs) in this section should represent a body of work of the students’ interest in an idea that is expressed in visual terms. The works should show exploration and growth while investigating an in-depth problem or theme. The concentration of work should show development of thinking over time and considerable effort should be evident. A written piece describing the nature of the project, the development and sources of ideas and the media is also required. The twelve artworks (8-12 for 3D Design portfolio programs) selected for this section must be photographed and submitted in a digital portfolio.

Section III: The Breadth Portfolio. The twelve artworks (eight artworks for 3D Design portfolio programs) completed for this portfolio should show evidence of an ability to work on a wide range of art problems. The pursuit of advanced drawing/painting or design concepts and a broad range of drawing/painting or design alternatives should be experienced. The work completed also includes technical observation, perceptual solutions, and expression. The translation of invented, nonobjective subjects into the two- or three-dimensional surface is encouraged. A strong demonstration of breadth is evident through experimentation in approach in conjunction with conceptual thought and physical processes. The twelve artworks (eight for 3D Design portfolio programs) for this section must be photographed and submitted in a digital portfolio.

Course Format

This course is organized as a studio art environment. Most days learners will meet for a short time as a group to discuss the day’s objectives, review new assignments, to participate in a presentation of work, discuss new ideas, review examples of contemporary and classical artworks, or engage in group or individual critique. The bulk of classroom time will be devoted to studio time. Learner preparation and active participation are key elements in this course and are expected every single class session. This course is comprised of advanced students, often exploring very different approaches to art-making processes, experiences, and artifacts.

Critiques are a course requirement. Throughout the course, learners will participate in group and individual critiques in which both verbal and written critical articulation is emphasized. During formal critiques, learners are encouraged to develop a fluency in the vocabulary of art and art-making as an educated and informed component of discussion.

Learner Objectives and Outcomes

 The learner will:

  •  Select an appropriate portfolio program. (Drawing, 2D Design, or 3D Design.)
  • Demonstrate an ongoing commitment to a personal artistic and conceptual exploration of the selected portfolio program.
  • Demonstrate a Breadth of high quality artworks through variety of media, subject, and conceptual approach comprised of 12 pieces (Drawing and 2D Design) or 8 pieces (3D Design).
  • Develop a series of interrelated artworks that comprise a personal Concentration of 12 pieces (Drawing and 2D Design) or 8 – 12 pieces (3D Design).
  • Select and prepare five artworks that represent the Quality section of the portfolio. (In 2D and Drawing, actual artworks will be submitted; in 3D photographs will be submitted.)
  • Select, mat and prepare for presentation all artworks.
  • Prepare presentation-quality photographs of all portfolio artworks.
  • Participate in at least two formal portfolio presentations to a group comprised  of professional artists, visual arts educational professionals, members of the community, and past APSA students; this includes a greeting card design presentation to the Superintendent of Schools and his Cabinet, and an end of semester Final Breadth Portfolio Presentation.
  • Collaborate in the planning and execution of an AP Studio Art exhibition.
  • Participate in ongoing group and individual critiques.
  • Develop an articulate and well thought out artist statement.
  • Write and elaborate in written reflective form about the learner’s development of their Concentration.
  • Discuss and explore post-secondary options.

Learner Expectations
College-level courses anticipate that participating students will spend considerable time outside the classroom engaged in the completion of assignments. The quest for quality in both production and experience in the AP Studio Art program makes high demands on students. Students will need to work outside the classroom, as well as in it, and beyond scheduling periods. The teacher will conduct weekly after-the-bell studio time for students needing access to the AP Studio Art classroom. Plan accordingly: Successful AP Studio Art students will average five or more hoursadditional studio time every week.

The AP Studio Art program is intended for highly motivated students who are interested in the study of art. Many students who enroll in this course will go on to study art in college. You should be aware that AP Studio Art involves a significantly greater commitment than many other high school courses and that the program is not for the casually interested. It is required that prior to their enrollment in AP Studio Art, learners successfully complete our art program’s prerequisite foundations, intermediate, and advanced art courses.  AP Studio Art students are also required to complete five summer assignments before the course begins. These assignments are due the first day of class, during which time students will engage in a formal critique of the works.

Late Assignments. All assignments are due when scheduled, for group critique and review. If extraordinary circumstances cause you to be late in submitting an assignment, it is your responsibility to contact the teacher and make arrangements for an extension of the due date – everyone is expected to participate in group critiques and project review. All assignments are ultimately due by the last regularly scheduled day of the semester for final assessment. If you start to fall behind, you need to meet with the teacher immediately. Students who miss an assignment date will receive a Missing Assignment Notice that must be signed by a parent, the student, and the teacher.

Course Policies. Please familiarize yourself with the expectations of student conduct and school policies as outlined in the school handbook. Some specifics that relate to this course and classroom:

  • This course and department is fortunate to have acquired excellent digital equipment. Computers, scanners, and cameras are in place for the use of students currently enrolled in AP Studio Art, Digital Design, and Visual Art Photography. Other students do NOT have permission to use this equipment. Please treat the equipment as if it could not be replaced.
  • Never touch another student’s artwork or equipment.
  • Do not download anything unless specifically instructed to do so.
  • This classroom is a safe environment for everyone. You are expected to be courteous and to treat the environment with care. If you create a hazardous environment, act aggressively, or participate in unhealthy or antagonistic behavior, you will be removed from this environment.
  • Expectations for student behaviors are posted in the classroom. Be familiar with all expectations!


Students enrolled in AP Studio Art plan and execute a public exhibition of their portfolio program artworks each year. Exhibition is an essential component of mature art-making and provides a public forum for student reflection and demonstration of the range of their abilities and versatility as an art-maker. The AP Studio Art exhibition takes place in late April and serves as a sounding board and final review of artworks prior to their submission to the College Board for adjudication in early May.


Assessments are both formative and summative in nature. In addition, students will engage in a variety of self- and peer-evaluations, along with individual and group critiques.

Individual grades fall into three categories: art-making (60 percent), class participation (35 percent) and a final examination (5%). Art-making is the exploration of visual art media and ideas, along with the production of the requisite portfolio components. Along with peer review and a final critique session, the artifacts of artmaking processes are assessed with a scoring guide developed for this course.  Class participation includes, but is not limited to, student participation in group and individual critiques, preparation of written portfolio components, written reflections, written artist statements, creating portfolio slides, along with the planning, execution, and participation in the AP Studio Art exhibition. Beginning in late November, students will learn appropriate professional procedures for creating digital images of their artworks. Subsequently, students will photograph images every two weeks until their portfolios are completely and accurately documented.

AP Studio Art emphasizes art-making as an ongoing process of purpose, intention, and reflection. All artworks may be continuously revised throughout the duration of each semester for the purpose of improvement and personal artistic growth. Artworks that undergo revision may be submitted for reassessment; such works may also receive a revised higher grade. Semester grades are, however, final.

Fall Assignments

On the first day of class we will review your summer assignments and model an approach to group critique. Although I will lead the first critique, it is very important to note that neither the technique or the Socratic Seminars are teacher-centric: these should be student-driven. Day One Group Critique of your summer assignments is worth 10% of semester grade.

Participation on a daily basis, in and out of class, is critical to your success in this course. You should be prepared to devote at least five hours each week outside of class, and in many case much more. Your participation is worth 10% of your semester grade.

Socratic Seminar One: Cindy Sherman – Transformation
Look for: What types of changes can transformation involve? What are some examples of transformation (people, places, or things) from your life? How might art support the act of transformation or reinvention? In what ways does one fashion and identity? How is identity defined and described?
Discussion: How might fashion, style or a certain look inspire behavior or actions? What has the artist transformed? What is her intention and results? How does makeup, clothing and other props affect identity? How do they affect the way we present ourselves to the world? How can these things shape or create an alter ego, personality, or identity?

Essential Question: How can an artwork visually represent the concept of evolution?
Visual Thinking Experiment: Each of you will be given a blank sheet of paper and will have three minutes to make a moderately complex drawing. Give that drawing and another blank sheet of paper to another student to copy within the same time limit. Give the second drawing and a blank sheet of paper to another student and repeat (without seeing the original.) Keep repeating this ten or more times. Compare and discuss the first and last drawing. Display the sequence of changes and discuss further.

Studio Assignment One: Each of you will be given two arbitrary objects (not people or animals.) Through any method of construction, in any combination of your chosen media (2D Design, 3D, or Drawing), create a sequence of five missing steps that might exist if Item A were to evolve into Item B. 5% of semester grade

Here, for example, is the artwork, “Metamorphosis” by the artist M.C. Escher. His concept was to have one image – buildings – morph into an altogether different image of a cartoon-like figure in oriental attire.


Socratic Seminar Two: Oliver Herring – Play

Look for: How does Oliver Herring incorporate fantasy, imagination, or unconscious ideas into his work? How planned or unplanned is his approach? What sort of “structure” exists in Herring’s approach to art? What role does chance play?

Discussion: Is it important to set out to make a work of art in order to end up with a work of art? What is the role of intention in creating an art object? What is the role of chance in art-making? In art, is the process or the product more important? How does Herring’s work reflect unusual, eccentric, or playful expression? How are his working processes different from what you are familiar with? How are they similar?

Essential Question: How can recognizable visual elements be re-organized, yet still be “read” by a viewer? What happens when we combine different subjects in new, unusual, or surprising ways?

Visual Thinking Experiment. Try reading this:

It is hrad to bveeile that I cloud raed and utadnrensd the wrods in fornt of me. It just pveors how ainzmag and idcebilnre the haumn bairn is. In a sudty ceetlpmod by Cmarbigde Uinevrtisy, lteetrs in wdros can apaper in any oedrr with the eticexpon of the fsirt and lsat ltteer (they msut aaeppr in teihr cerocrt pitsonois), and senomoe can siltl raed what is wetitrn. They elipaxn that the hmaun mind deos not look at each lteetr iladdunliivy, but ineatsd lokos at the word as a ctmoplee uint. Pterty dran azimang, huh? I wluod htae to tinhk that I mhigt have to caghne my psitooin on the mttear of wthheer crercot slenpilg is itrpmnaot or not.

Studio Assignment Two: Create a “re-organized” design, illustration, or construction in which important representational elements are purposely left out, removed, re-organized, or hidden from view, perhaps suggesting that the viewer somehow completes the work in their mind. For example, seeAlbert GleizesPicassoBraque, and Diego RiveraOR, combine different subjects in an unusual way. You might arbitrarily link any two (or more) items, then brainstorm to create inventions or unusual uses that make combined use of the two items. For example, see the “Little Folks” series by Zev Hoover, Ben Heine’s Pencil vs. Camera series, and the really unusual and whimsical paintings of Giuseppe Arcimboldo. 5% of semester grade


Socratic Seminar Three – Visual Metaphor

Look for: Visual representations of a person, place, thing, or idea in which concepts or ideas are communicated through visual context. For instance, a picture of a business person walking a tight rope strung between two tall cliffs over shark infested waters might be a metaphor for risky or dangerous investments.

Discussion: What makes a powerful visual metaphor work?

Essential Question: How can visual metaphors and puns be used to enhance a narrative?
Visual Thinking Experiment: Participants are divided into groups of two or three. Each group has ten minutes to use the internet to locate examples of visual metaphor.

Studio Assignment Three: Visit the fstoppers website to see the photo series, “Portraits of the Elderly as They Once Were.” You may use any appropriate media from your designated portfolio (2D Design, 3D, or Drawing), create a portrait of someone you know or have met that depicts both their current reality and the way they describe themselves as they once were. 5% of semester grade


Socratic Seminar Four: Greeting Card Design

Look for tradition, memory, celebration, commemoration, holiday greetings

Discussion: Why do we send greetings? How do images commemorate our past? Why do you think artists incorporate personal memories into their work? How does art alter how we think about the past? Why are we interested in revisiting ideas and objects from the past? Does memory contribute to our identity? How do images shape our understanding of cultural traditions?

Essential Question:  How can you create a single image to positively communicate tradition, celebration, and goodwill to a diverse audience?
Studio Assignment Four: Design a secular holiday greeting card to be used by this school district as a holiday salutation that will appeal to a very diverse population of various ages, demographics, and cultural backgrounds. Three-dimensional solution will need to be photographed for reproduction. Be prepared to present and explain your concepts to the Superintendent and his Cabinet during a professional presentation. 5% of semester grade + 5% for presentation


Socratic Seminar Five – Pattern

Look for: Examples of camouflage and patterns found in nature, as well as human-designed patterns.

Discussion: Divide into groups of two or three and use the internet to locate excellent image examples. Groups will discuss the essential question, using their visual research to support their point-of-view.

Essential Question: How does visual deception confuse and/or clarify a message?

Studio Assignment Five: Apply a known camouflage strategy in a surprising way, or invent and demonstrate a new method of visual deception. Your solution should somehow reference contemporary media with regard to purposeful visual deceit. For example:

jwalsh-aizone 5% of semester grade


Socratic Seminar Six – Dynamics

Discussion: In groups, discuss the essential question. As a group, reach consensus about your understanding of this assignment and determine the parameters for this assignment.

Essential Question: What visual effect does the implication of movement have upon a static object?

Studio Assignment Six: Create a visual solution that incorporates impliedor actual movement. Consider solutions that might involve moving a camera while photographing a subject, motion experiments with photocopiers or scanners, cell phone capture, etc. Perhaps your solution involves moving parts or requires the viewer to interact in some way. 5% of semester grade


Socratic Seminar Seven – Random Ideas

Look for: Elements of chance, random thoughts that suggest new ideas

Discussion: Everyone chooses a fortune cookie. Open the cookie and read the fortune; in group, discuss how the fortune might be used as the starting point for a new artwork.

Essential Question: How can elements of chance and improbability stimulate visual brainstorming and creative problem solving?
Visual Thinking Experiment: Use Exquisite Corpse to re-contextualize randomly chosen text into new, continuous, and perhaps nonsensical, arrangements. Try improvising the game.

Studio Assignment Seven: Each of you will draw one text from a hat. Using the single line of text as a starting point, develop at least three idea sketches. Workshop each idea with the teacher and your colleagues and determine what modifications (if any) are needed. Create a powerful visual solution that is suggested by this bizarre, chance arrangement of text. Be open to the power of suggestion! 5% of semester grade


On your own time. Develop at least three artworks that are stylized. Throughout history, many artists and designers invented original ways of depicting forms. Familiar objects would be rendered in a variety of abstractions to communicate ideas, emotions, or simply to present a fresh, new formal variation. Using subjects of your choice (see below), quickly sketch out your subject’s most basic form. Study it. Working only from your quick sketch to develop your stylized vision. Abstracting or stylizing a familiar form leads to interesting and often dramatic graphic effects. 10% of semester grade


Important note about the choice of subjects: Your Breadth Portfolio should include representations of people, figures, objects, and places. It should include monochromatic and a variety of color harmonies, a variety of subjects, close ups and wide angle perspectives. When you decide upon the subject for this assignment, be sure to work with those things not already in your portfolio.


Final Peer Presentation. More details will be shared later, but this is the single most important part of the semester in which you will present your completed Breadth Portfolio to a distinguished panel of professional artists, college professors, college representatives, college art students, and past APSA students. 30% of semester grade


“Starter” List of Concentration Ideas
Idea starters
This is a list of “starter” ideas for your Concentration Portfolio Theme. If you are having trouble coming up with a theme, start with the concepts on this list. Choose an idea that appeals to you and then begin to narrow your focus down to a specific thought that you can explore throughout twelve artworks. For instance, if you were to decide “Identity” was a big idea that interests you, some of the possible ways you might narrow your focus down could include:

  • People hide their true identity as a way to reinvent themselves.[Example: Visual or symbolic representation of the cultural “masks” people wear to represent themselves in favorable or false ways.]
  • The way we identify ourselves reflects our social status. [Example: A series of images that metaphorically represent different forms of social status, i.e., the “brainy” student, the nerd, the “jock,” etc.]
  • Our identity is formed by the ways we do or do not “fit in.” [Example: A series of sculptural figures displayed within environmental spaces that are awkward.]
  • Our occupation and/or personal interests determine our outward identity. [Example: A series of “occupational” portraits of children. For instance, a little boy who will grow up to be a fireman sitting in a toy firetruck wearing a plastic fire helmet.]
  • Identity is both public and private. [Example: A series of photographic portraits displayed in pairs to show how various people differ in their public and private personnas.]


Concentration Portfolio Assignment
Artist Concentration
Click on the link and carefully review your Concentration Portfolio Assignment.


Concentration Statement
Submit a rough draft of your concentration idea, workshop your idea with other students, and request feedback from Mr Anderson. Review your thinking and then clearly describe the idea for your concentration. Be sure to consider:

  • Theme
  • Media
  • “Style”
You should be able to describe your idea in about three sentences or less. If it takes more, then your idea is probably not focused enough yet. If it sounds too “simple,” it probably is! If it sounds too complicated, it probably is!
Register at College Board website
In order to submit your work, you must register at the College Board website on or before February 5 at https://apstudio.ets.org/apstudioart .
You will need the following information:
School Code: 261667
Teacher Key: zrr0400
Artist Statement
Important note: If you do not complete an Artist Statement, your work will NOT hang in the art show! 

Writing an Artist’s Statement

An artist’s statement is a short document written by the artist to provide a window into his or her world. It offers insight into a particular body of work – especially at the culmination of a series of artworks like you will have completed this year – by describing the artmaker’s creative process, philosophy, vision, and passion. As you think about how to respond, remember that an artist’s statement is also an important form of personal reflection.


Write a three-paragraph statement about the body of work you have created this year. In this essay you will integrate the three methods of visual/critical analysis:  description,  reflection, and  formal analysis.

Guidelines for writing

The artist’s statement should be  at least three paragraphs in length (one paragraph for each analytic method). Follow an organized structure and answer the questions in complete sentences. Be aware of transitions between sentences to unify important ideas. Use correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

Paragraph 1: Description

Describe specific details in your body of work using complete sentences. Choose two or three of your best artworks to discuss. Remember to start by identifying the subject of the image. For example, if you were writing about the famous Dorothea Lange image of a migrant farm mother, you might begin, “In this image, a woman sits with her face resting in her hand…”

Paragraph 2: Reflection

Read the questions below. Pick two or three questions and respond in complete sentences. Use the answers to reflect on the emotional meaning of your image.

Why did you choose these particular designs to represent your work?

When you made these images, what were your first thoughts?

What were you thinking when you made these images?

What ideas or feelings were you trying to capture in these images?

Do you think you were able to capture these ideas or feelings?

What do you think about now when you look at these images?

How would you like the viewer to respond when they look at these images?

How did you expect these images to look?

What, if anything, looks different than what you expected?

What surprised you about these images?

Paragraph 3: Formal Analysis

For this section of your artist’s statement, consider what you know about the Principles of Design and Elements of Art (color, balance, contrast, texture, and so forth) and then answer the questions below. Use the answers to analyze your image formally.

How did you use the Principles of Design in your work?

Which Principles are most visible in your work?

How do these Principles work as “tools” to contribute to the meaning of your work?

Your artist’s statement should be written in essay form. It should be typed in Microsoft Word using 12 point Times, double spaced. Spell check and review for grammatical errors. I encourage you to read these aloud to your peers – make sure your statement makes sense and try to avoid using fancy “artspeak” … you’ll impress no one! Save your final Artist Statement in Word and submit.


College Board Exam Questions

When you submit your images online, you will be asked for written commentary describing what your concentration is and how it evolved. This written commentary must accompany the work in this section.

You will be asked to respond to the following two questions:

  • What is the central idea of your concentration?
  • How does the work in your concentration demonstrate the exploration of your idea? You may refer to specific slides as examples.

The responses themselves are  NOT  graded as pieces of writing, but they provide critical information for evaluating the artwork. Thus, they should be articulate and well written. Responses should be concise and to the point .

Be sure to workshop your responses with classmates and with Mr Anderson. You may work on these responses in advance if you choose and you may rely on content from your artist statement and concentration statement if you choose. Please add a copy of your responses to this assignment. When you have added them to the College Board site ALSO, type “I have added the exam questions” and submit for credit.

How the College Board will score your portfolios.
APSA Scoring Guidelines
This document is a detailed rubric of how your AP Studio Art portfolios will be assessed by the College Board. Please note that each of your three portfolios are evaluated on a 6-point scale. These scores are combined to generate a composite score for all three segments, ranging from a rating of 1 through 5 (5 is the highest rating your portfolio may rank.)

Most professional, practicing artists engage in some form of self-reflection to evaluate their current body of artwork. I suggest that you do the same as you build your AP Studio Art portfolio. An excellent way to do this is to compare each portfolio piece with the criteria in the AP Scoring Guidelines.
Refer to this calendar for due dates, as well as key “drop dead” dates for College Board.
Semester 1 Presentation Scoring Guide and Checklist.
This guide provides you with specific details about your final presentation to a panel of distinguished visual arts professionals at the end of the first semester.
Art Show Tags
These titling tags are to be used for any art exhibitions that Oak Park APSA students participate in.
Mat Cutting Instructions
All two dimensional artworks MUST be matted in this course. Mat board and backing board is expensive – plan to ruin some of your investment if you do not follow these instructions exactly!

Critique & Presentation Format

  1.  Introduce yourself.
  2. Explain the visual problem you’ve addressed. (This assures your audience that you begin on common ground.)
  3. Describe the challenges you confronted and use a positive tone: “I had to consider what two very dissimilar objects had in common.” as opposed to a negative voice: “Combining two different things was a really stupid assignment.”
  4. Explain how you solved the problem. How did you use techniques, media choices, subject choices to effectively address the visual problem? Be sure to explain using artistic vocabulary, but use real world examples to make connections for your audience: “I selected complimentary colors to create a sense of vibrancy, much like the purple and gold contrasts of a football jersey.”
  5. Re-state the problem and summarize how your work solves the problem.
  6. Thank your audience and ask for questions.

Audience Responsibility: Ask Questions and Provide Helpful Feedback

For example:

  • Ask “why” and “how” questions.
  • “Have you considered…”
  • “Did you try …?”
  • “Have you thought about….”
  • “I wonder what would happen if…”
  • “I would recommend…”

Summer Assignments

All students enrolled in AP Studio Art are required to complete five assignments over the summer in preparation for beginning Fall Semester.These are due and will be graded on the first day of class! Be prepared for a full class review and critique.

Two important things:

  • You will need to choose to work in one discipline only (i.e., three dimensional design, two dimensional design, or drawing/painting.)
  • These assignments are intentionally set up to makeyou think. Asking me what I am looking for isn’t the point: what do you think? How do you interpret the challenge? How do you solve the problem?

Assignment 1. Create an artwork in which motion is emphasized. You may choose to stress either real or implied movement, a single motion, stop action, or the movement of an object within time and space. The key here is that the idea of movement should clearly be represented as the most important visual concept. Look to the work of Marcel duChamp (Nude Descending a Staircase) as one example.

Assignment 2. Choose a corner of your room (including furniture, objects, clothes – whatever is present) and create a strong composition. Your assignment is to create two artworks of this subject that would appear side-by-side; each should depict a different time of day. Find a way to take a subject that you might consider to be pretty “ordinary” and use the forms and composition to make it dynamic and interesting. Look to the work of Claude Monet for inspiration about handling light at different times of day (his hay stack series, for instance.)

Assignment 3. Create a representational (i.e., not abstract!) artwork in which two or more things that don’t usually belong together are featured together. The end result should be that this unusual combination should create new meanings that a viewer would not have when viewing these objects separately. For reference, you should look to the work of the Surrealists who used double meanings, symbolism, dream imagery, stream of consciousness thinking, and/or optical illusions. The challenge is to create an artwork that is cohesive.

Assignment 4. Create an artwork that incorporates more than one style and media – for instance, a mixture of controlled and realistic vs. loose and abstract. The challenge here – again! – is to create a cohesive and unified artwork in which odd combinations are juxtaposed. Look to Robert Rauschenberg and the later work of Frank Stella for inspiration.

Assignment 5. Select a particular sound, noise, or musical selection and create an artwork that is a visual response. Use the Principles of Design (color, space, rhythm, balance, etc.) to emphasize the qualities of the sound. You may use any form of visual representation but you may not use lyrics or words: try to think abstractly rather than representationally.

Sizes are up to you, but the expectation is that these are college-quality artworks! Composition, quality, craftsmanship, ideas, execution, technique, and the use of Principles of Design should be of the highest caliber.


These are your assignments only if this is your second time taking AP Studio Art:

Assignment 1. You. Create an artwork that tells your audience a little bit about you. Perhaps your work will relate what you’ve done or where you’ve been over the summer. Or perhaps it will simply reveal things others may not know about you. Do not put your name on the piece – we’ll be looking at these the first day of class and will discuss what we believe each artist is trying to make the viewer feel. Plan to bring your sketchbook showing how and where you got your ideas for this piece; you’ll discuss how you felt while making this work as well as the challenges that you faced.

Assignment 2. Create a narrative or photo set of at least three small artworks. In the narrative, depict the one thing you are most passionate about. Show how it affects your everyday life and how it has helped you in your life. You may use collage, create a comic, an installation, or even miniature statuettes to execute the work. Be original and creative; use any means that you see fit to create the completed work.

Assignment 3. Create an artwork where culture is being represented. You may choose your own or another culture that you would like to know more about. For this assignment you must emphasize pattern and color. Take into consideration different aspects of the specific culture you choose – for instance, clothing, food, history, customs, etc. Avoid stereotyping! Your artwork must clearly represent the particular culture, and the thought process behind the way you’ve incorporated pattern and color must be evident.

Assignment 4. Create an artwork that shows/combines multiple things you like in this world – but there’s a twist here! Incorporate one thing that represents your greatest fear. Hide it within the things you care for. Don’t attempt to totally obscure or hide your fear… but don’t make it completely obvious either: make your audience think a little bit. Maybe it will help others to understand you a little more. Give a lot of thought to how to arrange things – what you stand out and what should be less apparent?

Assignment 5. Create an artwork in which you symbolize “Evil.” The only specific of this assignment is that your concept of evil should be represented in some way, clearly and emphatically; all else is open-ended. How do you interpret this idea as an artist? How will your audience “read” your work? For some, this could be confusing because the topic is potentially so broad: one person’s definition of evil might be “Hitler,” and another’s might be “drug addiction.” Force your audience to confront their own ideas about evil.


Please print and complete a copy of this commitment contract and return it to Mr Anderson.

AP Studio Art Commitment for the 2013-2014 School Year


Student Name:  ____________________________________­­­­­________

Grade:   ____________________

Parents’ Name(s):  __________________________________________

Email address:  ____________________________________________

  • I understand that this is a college course with college-level expectations, and I understand that my work will be held to a college-level standard. In order to complete the three required portfolios I will be actively engaged in a rigorous studio program. Most of my assignments and research will be highly individualized and I will be expected to work independently.
  • I understand that I will have homework on a regular basis and that I am expected to complete that homework to the best of my ability. Students enrolled in AP Studio Art may expect to put in five or more hours a week of studio time outside of class. I further understand that I will be required to present and orally defend my work before a distinguished panel.
  •  I understand that, in order to do the best I possibly can, I must stay current with my AP Studio Art assignments and I understand that procrastinating or putting off assignments will result in a low grade for the assignment and the course.
  • I understand that the teacher will be available to help me before or after school.
  • I will read all texts that are assigned and I will take notes on those texts.
  • I understand that this AP course has a summer assignment list and I will complete the summer requirements before the first day of class.  Not completing summer assignments will not be an acceptable reason for attempting to drop the course.
  • I understand that I should try to keep my absences to a minimum (including, if possible, school function absences) since no amount of make-up work can substitute for quality teaching.
  • I understand that if I am aware of an upcoming absence that I am to complete a pre-excuse form, collect the work I will miss ahead of my absence, and have it completed by the day I come back to class. The expectation for all AP Studio Art students is to be proactive about all classes and responsibilities.
  • I understand that if I have an assignment that is due on the day of a pre-excused absence that I will hand in that assignment prior to the absence.  I will not skip class to avoid taking tests or turning in essays.
  • I understand that if I have an unexcused absence, my teacher is not required to count any work completed for a grade until the absence has been changed to excused.
  • I understand that the master schedule is based on spring schedule requests and that I have until the end of May 2013 to request a change; if I am still enrolled in this AP course as of June 1st, 2013, I will be expected to stay enrolled in this course for its entirely.  The only exceptions will be if I have a D or F at semester (and have given the course all of my effort by turning in all assignments, asking the teacher for help during class, regularly attending after school help, etc.) or if I have experienced a life-altering event that makes it difficult to continue in this AP course.  (AP courses only).
  • I understand that a major objective of this course is to prepare me for the AP Exam; therefore, I will make every effort possible to prepare for the required portfolios to be submitted in May.

Student signature:  _________________________________________________

Date:  __________________________

Parent signature:  _________________________________________________

Date:  __________________________


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s