Advanced Art Portfolio Syllabus
White Plains High School
Advanced Portfolio Development is a studio-focused course designed for serious and highly motivated students who are committed to creating a visual arts portfolio that includes their strongest and most innovative work. Students will produce a portfolio using the media and processes that best support their concepts, reflecting the ways in which contemporary artists work and the demands of leading university or college art programs.
During the development of their portfolios, students are expected to take risks and develop complex concepts in which they think critically about their chosen topics and investigate themes through visual problem solving and experimentation with technique and materials. In addition to studio time, the other key components of the class are research and critique; these enable students to make connections between art and society and to self-reflect in order to refine their work.
Throughout the course, students will document their work and at the end of the year, students will create a digital portfolio that they will present to the class as their final exam. In addition, students will discuss their portfolios with emerging local artists and recent art graduates, and they will display their work in a gallery show at the end of the second semester. Keeping an open mind, communicating with classmates and taking creative risks are essential components to the success of this course.
Students will be able to:
● Create and complete a high-quality portfolio that displays their best work.
● Demonstrate proficient use of the elements and principles of art and art
making strategies to convey desired visual and conceptual effects.
● Identify, consider and explore the relationship between art and society.
● Document their artwork in a professional and high-quality manner that meets the class
● Develop a related body of work that clearly displays risk-taking, growth and
● Conduct research to further inform and support their artwork.
● Maintain a working sketchbook for homework, preliminary sketches, brainstorming and
● Produce quality artwork that is technically, aesthetically and conceptually at a college
● Actively participate in reflective critiques that support artistic growth that can be
applied to further investigation of themes and concepts.
● Be open to and embrace change resulting from in-depth learning experiences and
interactions in a classroom community.
● Research and share information about contemporary artists for weekly ‘artist profiles’
● Successfully mat work for upcoming art exhibits.
● Be seated and ready to begin class when the bell rings with all necessary materials.
● Hard work, focus and effective use of class time is a daily expectation.
● Respect your own and your classmates’ artistic expressions, projects and supplies.
● Actively participate in all aspects of class- critiques, discussions, activities and studio
● Studio class time is meant for portfolio work, research or other Advanced Portfolio
assignments only. Assignments from other classes should not be worked on during
● Completion of every assignment by an established due date depends on organization
and planning which is the student’s responsibility.
● Complete all assignments and come prepared for critiques both physically and
mentally. The exchange of ideas during critiques supports artistic growth and is a vital
component to the class. Participation by all is expected.
● Self-reflect and take the time to improve and refine works of art to achieve the highest
Part I/ Semester I
● Six completed works of art from “Observational Drawing Assignments” (see handout).
● Brief, written commentary for each work
● High-quality documentation of each work
● Digital portfolio featuring images of six finished assignments.
Semester I (tentative) Due Dates
● Thursday, September 22nd- Project I (in-progress critique activity)
● Friday, September 30th- Project I Due (final critique & presentation)
● Friday, October 21st- Project II (in-progress critique activity)
● Friday, October 28th- Project II (final critique & presentation)
● Friday, November 18th- Project III (In-progress critique activity)
● Wednesday, November 30th- Project III (final critique & presentation)
Part II/ Semester II
● Six completed works (concentration pieces/related body of work)
● Artist statement for concentration pieces
● High-quality documentation of each work
● Concentration pieces added to the digital portfolio created first semester
● Final presentation and celebration of completed portfolios
Quarter Grade Breakdown:
All class assignments (portfolio, homework, art reports, class critiques) 70%
Participation (class discussions, use of class time, effort, attendance) 30%
Course Grade Calculation Breakdown:
Quarter Grades (20% each quarter) 80%
Midterm (4%) Final (16%) **
**Midterm & Final Exam (documentation, creation and presentation of digital portfolio, artist statement)
Policies & Late Work
As this is an advanced level course, students are expected to spend as much time working outside of class as they spend working in class. (For every hour in class, expect to spend one hour at home or after school). Without this valuable time working outside of class, completion of the portfolio at an advanced level will not be achieved.
There will be weekly sketchbook homework in addition to working on the portfolio pieces. These assignments will vary from week to week in the form of sketching, researching, writing activities, reading articles, displaying artwork, documenting artwork and researching contemporary artists.
These projects will be due on a specific date and it averages out so that one artwork is due every 2 weeks. Projects may be turned in late but 10 points will be deducted each day a project is late and students should realize that this not only impacts their grade but the ability to complete a high quality portfolio.
Projects will not be graded after one week. All portfolio pieces must be started, discussed with Mr. Chiariello, and worked on in class. Although you will work outside of class, the majority of each project must be completed during studio time, during lunch or during a free period in Mr. C’s art room.
***Artwork that has never been seen and discussed with the teacher or that has never been worked on in class will not be accepted or graded.
In addition to creating artwork, students will also document their work in school. An important part of creating a portfolio is taking high quality pictures of the work. Documentation of each completed work of art will be due on the due date of each project. We will project the image of your work and look at the actual piece during the final critique of the each project. All photo equipment and a camera is provided for students to take pictures in the art room either during designated class time, after school, or during lunch.
● sketchbook- spiral bound, no smaller than 8.5 x 11 inches
● large eraser
● binder or folder for handouts
● flash drive to transfer images of artwork from classroom digital cameras
● large portfolio for storing and transporting artwork
● paint brushes- variety of sizes
● basic set of acrylic paints
● special paper or other surfaces to work on
● found images, paper, photographs, etc for mixed media
Students must use a binder to keep handouts, notes assignments and graphic organizers. Students should also keep a calendar to write down all of the important dates for short term and long term assignments, reports and critiques. This is fast paced class and organization will enable students to finish their work in a timely manner and create a high quality portfolio.
In-Progress & Final Critiques
There will be ongoing scheduled critiques that address both in-progress and completed works. Students must bring an agreed upon work (teacher defined) to be displayed for feedback, discussion and constructive criticism. Work that has never been discussed with teacher and worked on in class will not be graded or submitted for critiques.
Sketchbooks & Idea Pages
Sketchbooks are a vital place for students to capture ideas, work through compositional problems, record thoughts and show a progression or growth in style and ideas.
Sketchbooks are used as a resource and in some instances as an artwork itself. During the course of the year all students will keep a sketchbook for exploring ideas and taking notes. Sketchbooks will be collected and checked every 2-3 weeks when assignments are given.
Please see sketchbook assignment handouts.
Originality & Copyright Issues
All student artwork must be authentic and not copied from any published source. Students are expected to develop their own imagery. Utilization of published images found on the Internet can inform the work and be used to develop a personal vision, but direct copying is prohibited. Appropriation of a copyrighted image is acceptable if the artist has altered it in a substantial way that moves beyond replicating the source.
Working from observation and photographs taken by the students is encouraged. We will discuss the difference between copying an image and appropriation during class discussions and critiques.
Signature Sheet & Contact Information
Advanced Portfolio Development
White Plains High School
I have read the Advanced Portfolio Development syllabus and as a student in the class I fully understand the policies, expectations and requirements. I promise to do my very best in order in order to successfully fulfill each requirement and abide by all policies.
Student Name (Please print)
Student Signature ________________________________________________
As a parent/guardian of a student in this class, I have read the syllabus and fully understand the policies, expectations and requirements. I will do my best to support my child so he or she is successful in meeting all expectations and completing every assignment.
Parent/Guardian Name (Please print)
Parent/Guardian Signature _________________________________________
Please include the best number to reach you- you may include both cell and home numbers. Please circle your preferred contact method: email phone