AP Studio Art Course Description

  • Advanced Placement (AP) Studio Art courses at Aragon High School are designed for students who are seriously interested in the practical experience of art. AP Studio Art is not based on a written exam; instead, students submit portfolios (20 or more pieces) for evaluation at the end of the school year. All AP Studio Art students are expected to become independent thinkers and to apply their knowledge (gained from Introduction and Advanced courses) of the Elements and Principles to their work (regardless of media) in order to demonstrate mastery of advanced level design skills and concepts. Ongoing critical analysis through group and individual critiques provide students with opportunities to learn to analyze their own work and their peers’ work. In addition, students are expected to create work outside of the classroom. For more information ask your Art, Ceramics, or Digital Photography teacher or go to the Advanced Placement Studio Art website.

    Advanced Placement Studio Art Portfolio Requirements

    The AP Program offers three portfolios: Drawing, 2-D Design, and 3-D Design. The portfolios share a basic, three-section structure, which requires the student to show a fundamental competence and range of understanding in visual concerns (and methods). Each of the portfolios asks the student to demonstrate a depth of investigation and process of discovery through the Concentration section (Section II). In the Breadth section (Section III), the student is asked to demonstrate a serious grounding in visual principles and material techniques. The Quality section (Section I) permits the student to select the works that best exhibit a synthesis of form, technique, and content.


    Breadth refers to a student’s experiences and accomplishments in a variety of art forms and techniques. The student’s work in this section should show evidence of conceptual, perceptual, expressive, and technical range. Students must submit a total of twelve slides of twelve different works that demonstrate a variety of concepts and approaches to the selected art area.


    Quality refers to the total work of art — the concept, the composition and technical skills demonstrated, and the realization of the artist’s intentions. It can be found in very simple as well as elaborate works. For this section of the portfolio, students are asked to select examples of their best work in which the evaluators will recognize quality and will perceive that these works develop the students’ intentions, both in concept and execution. Students must submit works that demonstrate mastery of design in concept, composition, and execution. 


    A concentration is a body of related works based on an individual’s interest in a particular idea expressed visually. It focuses on a process of investigation, growth, and discovery. It is not a selection of a variety of works produced as solutions to class projects, or a collection of works with differing intents. Students should be encouraged to explore a personal, central interest as intensively as possible; they are free to work with any idea (in their selected medium) that addresses the concentration area. However, the concentration should grow out of, and demonstrate, a plan of action or investigation in which the student has invested considerable time, effort, and thought. In this section, the evaluators are interested not only in the work presented, but also in visual evidence of the student’s thinking, selected method of working, and development of the work over time. Students are to submit twelve slides, some of which may be details or second views that show a body of work investigating a strong underlying visual idea.

AP Studio Art Portfolio Requirements