Advanced Placement Studio Art Syllabus
The AP Studio Art is designed for students who are seriously interested in the practical experience of art and wish to develop mastery in the concept, composition, and execution of their ideas. AP Studio Art is not based on a written exam; instead, students submit portfolios for evaluation at the during the first weeks of May. In building the portfolio, students experience a variety of concepts, techniques, art mediums, and approaches designed to help them demonstrate their abilities as well as their versatility with specific techniques, problem solving, and ideation. Students also develop a body of work for the Concentration section of the portfolio that investigates an idea of personal interest to them.
Students sign up for AP Studio in the spring semester preceding the class. They must attend one after school meeting where the portfolio and the concentration portfolio is discussed. Students will view concentration slides from the College Board, thematically related bodies of work from contemporary artists, and past AP Concentration projects. At that time, students receive their summer assignments.
The goals of the AP Studio Art:
As in any college-level course, it is expected that students will spend a considerable amount of time outside the classroom working on completion of assignments. Students can expect to spend 10 hours per week preparing artwork for the AP Portfolio. Ideas for projects should be worked out in an Artist’s Journal both in class and outside of class. The Artist’s Journal is essential for recording the world around them through drawing, writing, and collage. The Artist’s Journal will be submitted every Monday morning.
The assignments given are based on a variety of collected challenges commonly encountered in college-level 2D design courses. The students have specific in-class and out-of-class assignments; they also are expected to complete some in-class work out of class, depending on the schedule of assignments. The AP Studio Art: 2-D Design portfolio requires students to produce a minimum of 24 works of art that reflect issues related to 2-D design. These works may include traditional as well as experimental approaches to 2-D design. Drawing, painting, printmaking, mixed media, and collage are all appropriate means for expressing design principles, as well as digital work completed in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and inDesign. Read over the assignment categories to get an overview of the kinds of assessments.
Design Challenges are Breadth Assignments structured for you to demonstrate your mastery of the principles of design. We will complete 14-16 Design Challenges. Some of the Design Challenges might lend themselves to further developing into a Concentration Portfolio.
Weekly Sketchbook Assignment
These assignments are designed to expand your experience with materials and concept building. Think of them as running exercises or visual calisthenics. The exercises will refresh or build upon your understanding of the design principles, stretch your concepts, and/or prepare you for a larger assignment. Weekly sketchbooks are due every Wednesday at the beginning of class.
Ideation Sketchbook Assignment
Ideation is the process of prototyping a solution to a design challenge. These sketchbook assignments are directly linked to a large Breadth assignment. They might include photographing objects,
Write about your work. Write about what you like about a drawing, what you don’t like about it. Write about your hopes for your artwork. Write about why you like to make art. Annotate your illustrations so that when you’ve finished the course you can look back and remember your ideas. Write about how your artwork could impact another’s thinking or feeling. Write about what you want to say with your artwork, and what it means to you in the larger sense. These will be checked every two weeks.
You will receive credit for keeping an organized, clean, and productive workspace. 5 points per week.
Research is integral to the 2-D design work. Students are expected to research artists in whom they are interested, movements in design and sculpture that have historically impacted contemporary work, unfamiliar 2-D techniques and materials, and how non-Western artists and cultures have approached design throughout history.
Research is also integral in developing a strong concentration. Students should research and collect information from a variety of sources in order to inform and clarify their work for the Concentration section of the portfolio. By the time students are working on their AP portfolio, a strong practice of research and investigation should be part of the art making process in response to the assignments.
Students are required to complete work during the summer prior to their AP course. Students should have completed 4-5 Design Challenges provided by the teacher. The class will use a blog to communicate throughout the summer. This gives students an opportunity to critique each other’s work and see the progress outside of school. This provides a great sense of community for the student body. In addition to the Design Challenges, student should use the sketchbook as a means to explore the world around them with an open mind. Draw in it, write in it, scribble in it, paint in it, glue things into it, cut the pages, tear the pages, change the way it looks to make it look like your own book. Working in your sketchbook is an ongoing process that will help you make informed and critical decisions about the progress of your work. All drawings are good drawings and don’t try to over edit while you build your sketchbook throughout the summer. Standards for critiquing work are upheld in the blog environment as they are in the class critique.
Hints for making a great sketchbook:
1. Do not make “perfect” drawings. Make imperfect drawings; make mistakes; make false starts. Let your hand follow your feelings, not what your brain is telling you to do.
2. Explore examples of graphic design you see in the world. Redraw it, cannibalize it, hake it up, make something new with it.
3. Collage in your sketchbook. Cut and paste examples of design into your sketchbook and then annotate what you like or dislike about it.
4. Don’t be afraid to take it with you everywhere you go. You never know what you might stubble across that will inspire you.
5. Fill the page you are working on, even it it means drawing unrelated images onto the same page. Overlap…why not! Go off the edges whenever possible! Draw BIG, draw small, draw repetitive things. Make dinky drawings everywhere. Make every square inch count for something.
6. Express yourself! Work to develop mastery in concept, composition, and execution of your ideas.
7. If you start something and abandon it, then draw right over it. It might make an amazing background. Use your creative mind to transform it into something new.
8. Fill at least half your sketchbook before August 23.
9. Put the date on every page you finish.
AP Studio Art students are encouraged to participate in exhibitions and competitions held off campus. In May of each year, students will organize an exhibition of their work in the Gallery for ART EXPO. Exhibition of student work will also be held in the local public library. Details about this exhibition will be provided toward the end of the second semester.
Integrity and Copyright Issues
All work must be original. If students use someone else’s work or a published image as a basis for their own pieces, there must be significant alteration to the piece for it to be considered original. Students will explore stylistic and thematic ideas of other artists and will be guided to create their own work so that it avoids duplication, redundancy, trite and overused images, and sentimentality.
All individual student work must be original in concept, composition, and execution. Throughout the course, explicit and specific examples of ongoing activities will take place that will help students understand how artistic integrity, plagiarism, and moving beyond duplication are incorporated into all aspects of the course. Ongoing individual conferences and group critiques will aid student understanding. Assessments are both formative and summative and include self-evaluations, peer evaluations and teacher evaluations. In addition to these activities, the teacher will conduct discussions and assign readings that reflect what constitutes ethical behavior in the making of art. Weekly Sketchbook Assignments and the Ideation Sketchbook Assignments will be use to assess your development of ideas throughout a given unit. Summative assessments will occur at the conclusion of projects. These will include peer review, as well as a final critique session with me. The AP Studio Art rubric, which is submitted with each assignment, will be used to grade individual projects. Students either submit a Quality or Concentration rubric with the individual projects. The Breadth rubric will be used to evaluate the Breadth assignments. See a included sample of the AP Rubric.
NOTE: I do not accept late work in AP art, but if you have made an effort to complete the work you may resubmit for reevaluation. All assignments can be revised and resubmitted for a grade change before the end of the quarter. This is call EDITS FOR CREDITS. At the end of the quarter, the grade will not be changed. If you fail to complete the assignment, you will receive a zero on the project. A zero can not be made up.
Following winter break, while working in small groups, students will develop a list of criteria they believe qualifies a piece of work for the Quality portion of the portfolio. Using this “rubric,” students will know where they need to focus over the next few months before final selection. In addition, students will use the AP grading criteria for the Concentration portion of the portfolio to evaluate where they believe they are in the completion process. This is a valuable tool for self-reflection and redirection mid year. The Mid-Year Review is a common practice of art schools when evaluating students’ progress towards a degree. This is also a very common time for schools to be holding portfolio review days. Completing the Mid-Year Review prepares students portfolios for outside feedback for potential universities and private art schools.
Critiques are an integral part of all classes. All students are brought together for critiques at regular intervals—generally when they have major assignments due. Lunch critiques will be help to expand the time the group will share their work. Each student must show his her work and briefly discuss his or her intent. The class is then expected to provide positive feedback and offer suggestions for improvement. All students participate. The vocabulary of art is introduced through the foundation classes and is reinforced through the verbal and written critique and show reviews. I will begin the process with a recapping of the criteria for the project and remind the students to address discussion. The AP Studio Art 2-D Design Scoring Guidelines are discussed in all art courses in the pre-AP years and applied appropriately. All AP students will have copies of the most recent scoring guides. The goals of the critique session are:
After the Exam
The remaining weeks will be spent compiling the digital images of the work created throughout the year into a video presentation for our school’s Art Expo, printing images for a print portfolio, compiling work into a DVD portfolio and contributing to our school’s Art Journal called Fast Forward. Additionally, the AP student complete a special mystery assignment. This last assignment of the year is used as your semester final. It remains top secret until after the AP Exam.