Is AP Studio Art Right For Me?
Dec 04, 2016
What is the Advanced Placement Studio Art program?
The Advanced Placement Studio Art program, designed by the College Board, is the highest level, most rigorous high school art course. With a successful score on the AP portfolio exam students can receive college credits while still in high school. The AP program supports students in becoming inventive artistic scholars.
Why should a high school art student take the AP Studio Art portfolio exam?
When college admissions officers see that you have taken and succeeded at an AP course, they can see that you have what it takes to succeed at college. The AP Studio Art course is an intensive program that helps you to become an independent thinker and critical decision-maker as you develop and show mastery of 2-D design principles.
Aside from the financial benefits of saving money on college tuition, art students may be able to skip introductory courses in college and move directly into upper-level classes.
What are the different parts of the AP Studio Art portfolio exam?
There are three sections to the portfolio:
Section 1 Quality-Selected Works
Section 2 Concentration-Sustained Investigation
Section 3 Breadth-Range of Approaches
Each section is graded as 33.3% of your final grade.
This section should include 5 artworks that best represent your accomplishments. The artworks should exhibit the synthesis of form, technique and content. Your best pieces that may be related or unrelated to each other.
Your personal style, visual language should be consistent through the work. The medium and format should enhance the theme.
These are 5 pieces of actual artwork, no larger than 18”x24”, that must be submitted for grading by the College Board of at least seven highly experienced studio art educators.
Students are required to create a body of 12 artworks that demonstrate a sustained and thoughtful investigation of a specific visual idea.
You must care about your topic, it must be deeply personal to you. Something you are passionate about and versatile enough to be able to create the 12+ artworks that are united by the theme.
These 12 artworks must be submitted digitally and a written statement must be included as well. The written statement asks you to clearly and simply state the central idea of your sustained investigation. (500 character maximum). Also you must explain how your work demonstrates your intent and the sustained investigation of your idea. (1350 character maximum).
The Concentration is a development of the overall concept of the theme. Work in a medium that you are familiar with.
When you are considering what to do for your Concentration, do some research! Investigate master artists, both contemporary and historical, that have worked in the theme. This is not to copy their ideas, but it will help to spark your imagination into directions that you may not have thought of! I always get totally inspired to create new pieces after a trip to a museum or gallery show. Artists historically have built upon ideas and concepts.
As you work through the Concentration section it is a great idea to document your process and thoughts along the way. Keep a journal/sketchbook, a visual blog, a storyboard, a powerpoint/keynote presentation, a video, etc. Show your growth and discovery along the way through these documentation processes. You are encouraged to include this visual documentation as part of your Concentration.
The Breadth section illustrates a range of conceptual ideas and technical approaches to art making. You must complete 12 works that demonstrate a mastery of skills while also showing your artistic range. You may demonstrate a range of approaches in a single medium or in a variety of materials. Clearly show experimentation and range of conceptual approaches to your artwork.
These 12 works are submitted digitally and must be different than those for the Concentration section.
ONLY use totally original imagery or work from life. Do NOT copy work from the internet or from another artists work. This will be apparent to the viewer and makes you look like an amateur without imagination, not to mention you could get into a lot of trouble because of Copyright laws. Don't be tempted. It may be the easy way out but it is unethical and you are better than that! Not to mention that the College Board will disqualify your portfolio if you have copied from another artists work. Do not do it.
Avoid cliches! When we attended National Portfolio Day in NYC and interviewed numerous art college admissions representatives, every one of them told us that they absolutely hate when students artwork that is full of cliches or stereotypes. They said that it was much more important to them that students showed their vision and artistic point of view as opposed to just technical proficiency.
Hopefully this has answered some questions about the Advanced Placement Studio Art portfolio requirements. It is a major artistic undertaking to take this art class at your school and complete the required 29 high quality artworks throughout the school year.
Online Portfolio Prep is launching an Advanced Placement Studio Art Summer Prep Workshop for high school students that have registered at their school to take the AP Studio Art course in September. It is designed as an intensive investigation of the Breadth and Concentration sections of the portfolio.
The art teachers/professional artists will guide students through the research and development of their desired theme. Students will have an advantage over their classmates having already laid a solid foundation for the rigorous course of study that will then be applied during the school year to produce college level visual compositions.
Learn more about the upcoming Online Portfolio Prep Advanced Placement Studio Art Prep Workshop. We would love to have you join us!