•    AP Studio Art: 3-D Portfolio

    Portfolio Enhancement

    Instructor: Mr. Michael Dudley



    COURSE DESCRIPTION: AP 3-D Art is a year-long course designed to challenge students in the most advanced level of artistic development and technical proficiency.  Students at this level have a deep understanding of the various components of solving visual arts problems.  They are able to examine contexts, processes, and criteria for evaluating works of art.  Additionally, they are able to clearly and effectively communicate their ideas through their work.  This course is the highest level of achievement for high school students interested in the areas of ceramics and sculpture.  Students must have taken Art 1, 3-D Art, Advanced 3-D Art, and have permission from the instructor to enroll in this course. Students in this course are required to submit a portfolio which represents a body of 3-dimensional work divided into three sections: Quality, Breadth, and Concentration (described in depth below).



    • Students will undergo creative and systematic investigation of formal and conceptual issues in 3-D design; demonstrate abilities and versatility with techniques, problem solving, and ideation.
    • Students will develop mastery in concept, composition, and execution.
    • Students will approach art making as an ongoing process that involves informed and critical decision making.
    • Students will be familiar with the group critique process. Students will regularly engage in one-on-one critiques with the teacher and other students.
    • Students will practice writing about their work.
    • Students will research and collect information from a variety of sources in order to inform and clarify their work for each section of the portfolio.
    • Students will create original works using artistic integrity with an understanding that any use of images of another artist’s work must show significant development beyond duplication.



    In the 3-D Design Portfolio, students are asked to demonstrate their understanding of design principles as they relate to the integration of depth and space, volume and surface. For this portfolio, students are asked to demonstrate mastery of 3-D design through any three-dimensional approach, including, but not limited to, figurative or nonfigurative sculpture, architectural models, metal work, ceramics, glass work, installation, assemblage, and 3-D fabric/fiber arts. The following will describe each section of the portfolio as well as the requirements for submitting the portfolio.

    More detailed information can be found in the AP Studio Art Course Description at: http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/public/repository/ap-studio-art-course-description.pdf



    Fundamentally, this class is designed to simulate the same assignments and expectations that would be required typically for the submission of the AP portfolio at the end of the academic year. Although students in portfolio enhancement do not submit a portfolio, they are required to create an equally substantial and advanced body of work. At minimum, four projects, advanced in scope and concept, are due at the end of the nine week period. Some of these projects will be assignments given in class, and some will be self directed by the students themselves based on their unique artistic strengths and sensibilities. Each project will likely take two weeks, or sometimes longer, to complete. Due to the nature of these assignments, it is necessary to work conscientiously every single day in order to ensure the completion of each project. Failure to do so, could potentially result in unfinished or unsatisfactory execution of the work. Grades in this class are based on the quality of the each assignment in relation to its concept and craftsmanship, as well as the student’s own individual work ethic. The projects issued in this class are not projects that can be rushed or completed rapidly at the last minute. Rarely, are the

    resources and tools available to work on them available outside of the classroom. Therefore, it is extremely important that students effectively use class time to work towards the completion each assignment, every single day. Again, work ethic and quality are both figured into the overall grade for each project.



    Artistic integrity is the overarching ethical compass in regard to the making of art that empowers students to create, develop and communicate their own personal ideas and emotions through their designs, compositions and expressive works without infringing on another's rights or copying another's work. When submitting their portfolios, students must indicate their acceptance of the following statement: “I hereby affirm that all works in this portfolio were done by me and that these images accurately represent my actual work.” This means that there should be absolutely no copy work done in this class. Any work that is based on a published photograph or another artist’s work must move beyond mere duplication. Manipulation of the original image must be significant and represent your own original statement. Students in this class will learn what constitutes visual and conceptual plagiarism. We will be looking at many different styles of sculpture and seeing images of the work of many sculptors that can serve as inspiration. However, we will also discuss how to ethically appropriate another artist’s work, by demonstrating significant manipulation of the formal qualities, design, and/or concept of the original work.


    Section I: Quality

    • This first section of the 3-D Design Portfolio should represent the student’s strongest work conceptually, technically, and formally. It will consist of 5 works which will each be photographed from two different angles (10 images total). These five works may come from the other two sections of the portfolio (breadth and concentration), but are not required to.
    • The concept of quality is reinforced throughout the year in critiques and assessments that are based on the AP Studio Art 3-D Design scoring guidelines.
    • The work must meet the quality standards of an introductory college course.


    Section II: Concentration

    • The Concentration section of the portfolio requires students to develop a focused body of work investigating a strong underlying visual idea in 3-D design that grows out of a coherent plan of action or investigation. Students are encouraged to explore a personal, central interest as intensively as possible and are free to work with any idea in any medium that addresses three-dimensional design issues. The concentration should grow out of the student’s idea and demonstrate growth and discovery through a number of conceptually related works. This section should show evidence of thought as well as development over time.
    • 12 images must be submitted in this section (some images may be second views or details).
    • The Concentration section includes spaces for a written commentary, which must accompany the work in this section, describing what the concentration is and how it evolved. Students are asked to respond to the following questions:
    1. What is the central idea of your concentration?
    2. How does the work in your concentration demonstrate the exploration of your idea?

    You may refer to specific images as examples. Although the responses themselves are not graded as pieces of writing, they provide critical information for evaluating the artwork. Responses should be concise.

    • There are an infinite number of ideas that would constitute a successful concentration. Each student will brainstorm many options and through more discussion and thought, will choose the strongest idea for exploration. Sample ideas for concentrations may be found on the college board AP website.
    • Students may NOT submit images of the same work that they are submitting for the Breadth section.


    Section III: Breadth

    • The Breadth section of the portfolio requires students to explore a range of three-dimensional design problems. Students should demonstrate understanding of the principles of design, including unity/variety, balance, emphasis, contrast, rhythm, repetition, proportion/scale, and figure/ground relationship. The work should show evidence of conceptual, perceptual, expressive, and technical range.
    • 8 total artworks must be submitted in this portion of the portfolio with two views of each work (16 total images).
    • The best demonstrations of breadth clearly show experimentation and a range of approaches to the work. They do not simply use a variety of media but rather combine a range of conceptual approaches and physical means of creating art.
    • Students may NOT submit images of the same work that they are submitting for the Concentration section.




    UNITS OF STUDY (1st semester):

       Week  (s)                                                   Project Requirements                                                              Due dates (critiques)             





    Summer Projects

    All projects should be finished and turned in 8/19.

    Any refinements need to be completed by 8/21.

    *Primer Assignment: Multi/Many Sculpture

    Create a composition of 10 intersecting volumetric units




    Critique: 8/18

    Refinements and









    Tetrahedron/ Tony Smith Sculpture

    Create a unified form from a series of 20 closed

    geometric units such as cubes, pyramids or tetrahedra,

    in the manner of sculptor, Tony Smith. Cardboard Study. Clay Slabs for final execution.



    Sketches: 8/22

    Finished 8/31

    Critique: 9/1







    Triangulated Wire Sculpture with Plaster Mesh Overlay

    Create a wire sculpture using triangulated forms.

    Piece may build upon concepts used in previous assignment or be figurative in nature (Lynn Chadwick).

    Cover wire armature with plaster mesh/ gauze.



    Sketches: 9/5

    Finished: 9/14

    Critique: 9/15






    Sculptural Translation of Rietveld Chair

    Based on the precedent of De Stijl compositions,

    Create a sculpture of intersecting planes and lines

    with balsa wood sections and planes.



    Sketches: 9/19

    Finished: 9/28

    Critique: 9/29







    Imagined Architecture

    Create an imagined architectural form based on the drawings

    of architects John Hejduk and Aldo Rossi.

    (Combination of thrown or hand built forms)


    Sketches: 10/3

    Finished: 10/12

    Critique: 10/13

    Glazed and Fired: 10/12






    Handbuilt Cubist Clay Sculpture

    Create multiple small enclosed forms

    Cut and reassemble forms based on examples of Cubism such as the work of Laurens or Lipschitz



    Sketches: 10/17

    Finished: 10/26

    Critique: 10/27

    Glazed and fired: 10/26






    16 Square Grid/ Hans Richter Relief

    After rolling 2 clay slabs and cutting both to 16”x16” squares,

    cut/ build 16 identical forms

    (4x4, using template).

    Arrange into various orthogonal orientations,

    within a 16 square grid.

    Arrangement should indicate a combination of positive/ negative space relationships in relief.



    Sketches: 10/31

    Finished: 11/9

    Critique: 11/10

    Glazed and Fired: 11/9







    Breadth Project of Choice

    Use any medium/process to create a sculpture

    Look at suggestions below for ideas


    Sketches: 11/13

    Finished: 11/23

    Critique: 11/24






    Concentration Ideas/Concentration Project #1

    Choose final concentration idea

    Create first concentration sculpture


    Ideas/Sketches: 11/28

    Finished: 12/7

    Critique: 12/8







    Final/Concentration Project #2

    Complete Final: all breadth projects photographed and saved

    Begin second concentration sculpture




    Sketches: 12/12

    Final: 12/20

    Finished: 12/20



    Documentation: Dates will be established for documenting student work with photographs. Each student will be responsible for keeping and organizing images of work to be submitted in the portfolio.


    Dates for documentation will be scheduled uniquely for each student contingent on nature of projects and duration of each assignment.



    Project of choice: Suggested Processes:

    • Modeling (polymer clay, clay, sculptamold)
    • Carving (clay, wood, plaster)
    • Additive, subtractive, reductive, fabrication, ornamentation
    • Assemblage and Found Objects (multiples, module, constructive, deconstructive)
    • Relief
    • Casting (clay, slip, sculptamold, paperclay, paper, plaster)
    • Figurative (human or animal)
    • Wire working
    • Soft sculpture (fibers, fabric)
    • Mobiles
    • Combines
    • Abstraction and Stylization
    • Realism/Representational
    • Kinetic
    • Installation (site specific)
    • Handbuilding (pinch, slab, coil)
    • Wheel-throwing (functional, thrown and altered)


    Suggested Ideas (ceramics):



    1. Series of small cups or taller tumblers with matching pitcher or teapot.
    2. Large bowls or platters with altered or decorated rims.
    3. Multiples of a form with different surface or glaze decoration.
    4. Thrown and altered forms evolving from seeds/pods.
    5. Double-walled vessel with patterned shapes cut out from outer piece.



    1. Coiled vessel using negative space in interesting way.
    2. Long vase form with multiple cylindrical openings-applied texture
    3. Textured slabs draped over objects
    4. Pinch pots resembling human figure joints: knees, ankles, wrists, etc.
    5. Slab sculpture involving modular or interlocking pieces.
    6. Portrait or self-portrait bust.
    7. Animal sculpture
    8. Sculpture abstracted from biology, underwater, animal, or plant forms.
    9. Slab constructions based on architectural forms.
    10. Trompe L’oeil sculpture based on real object (see Marilyn Levine’s work).


    Suggested Ideas (sculpture):


    1. Combine 10-20 small found objects, glue together into tall form, spray-paint one color.
    2. Design and build sculptural furniture using cardboard or wood.
    3. Make a rhythmically constructed sculpture using at least 100 of the same object: golf tees, straws, coffee stirrers, paper cups, nuts, bolts, nails, etc.
    4. Portrait busts or figures using wire, screen, found objects, string, rope, foam, etc.
    5. Garment created from found objects, everyday materials: plastic bags, paper plates, duct tape, cardboard, etc.
    6. Using moulage and plastercast to create mold for casting clay or plaster.
    7. Metamorphosis of organic form changing into another organic form.
    8. Plaster casted portrait painted with abstract design inspired by an art historical period.
    9. Create set of containers/dioramas featuring narrative or biographical elements.
    10. Change scale of large object and recreate on smaller scale with any material.
    11. Create kinetic sculpture that invites viewers to participate and move it.
    12. Created distorted, abstracted, or surrealistic human or animal figure.


    UNITS OF STUDY (2nd semester):

    The entire spring semester will be dedicated to developing each student’s concentration section of the portfolio. Concentration ideas will be developed, refined and chosen during the fall to give a head start to the work. Class critiques will be held every other Friday to evaluate and discuss new work and ideas for further exploration within the concentration.



    Each student will keep a sketchbook used to develop and investigate multiple ideas for each sculpture, collect visual reference material, research artists and art periods, and document each project. Sketchbooks will be collected every other week and will comprise a portion of students’ final grades. Specific assignments will be given during the first nine weeks of the semester to help determine the structure of the Sketchbook. After that, it will be up to the students to use it to benefit their work. See the following websites for great sketchbook/journal ideas:


    Website resources:

    Use the following list of websites as you search for researching artist and processes and finding visual references. Also, find your own favorite websites and share with other AP students.

    Additionally, use this list of 3-D artists to jumpstart your research and inspiration:

    Magdalena Abakanowicz                                               Carl Andre

    Robert Arneson                                                                                        Gian Lorenzo Bernini 

    Chakaia Booker                                                                                        Louise Bourgeois

    Kendall Buster                                                                                         Debra Butterfield

    Alexander Calder                                                                 Anthony Caro

    Elizabeth Catlett                                                                   John Chamberlain

    Dale Chihuly                                                                            Eduardo Chillida

    Christo & Jeanne-Claude                                                Joseph Cornell

    Tony Cragg                                                                                 Stephen De Staebler

    Mark di Suvero                                                                                         Tara Donovan

    Marcel Duchamp                                                                  Dan Flavin

    Lucio Fontana                                                                         Viola Frey

    Frank Gehry                                                                             Andy Goldsworthy

    Nancy Graves                                                                          Red Grooms

    Ann Hamilton                                                                                          David Hammons

    Joseph Havel                                                                            Barbara Hepworth

    Eva Hesse                                                                                    Alan Houser

    Luis Jimenez                                                                            Donald Judd

    Jan Kaneko                                                                                Edward Kienholz

    Jeff Koons                                                                                    Henri Laurens

    Marilyn Levine                                                                                        Sol LeWitt

    Maya Lin                                                                                     Richard Long

    Marisol                                                                                                           Ana Mendieta

    Lazlo Maholy-Nagy                                                            Henry Moore

    Juan Munoz                                                                              Isama Noguchi

    Bruce Nauman                                                                                        Louise Nevelson

    Claes Oldenberg & Coosje van Bruggen                                  Judy Pffaf                                                                                  

    Adrian Piper                                                                            Gio’ Pomodoro

    Martin Puryear                                                                                       Robert Rauschenberg

    George Rickey                                                                          Ursula Von Rydingavard

    Jorge Oteiza                                                                               Kurt Schwitters

    George Segal                                                                             Richard Serra

    Joel Shapiro                                                                              Sandy Skoglund

    David Smith                                                                             Kiki Smith

    Renee Stout                                                                               James Surls

    Lenore Tawney                                                                                          Robert Terrell

    Anne Truitt                                                                               Peter Voulkos

    Minako Watanabe                                                                Patti Warashina

    Rachel Whiteread                                                                Jackie Windsor

    Frank Lloyd Wright                                                            Anthony Gormley



    All grading rubrics are based on the 2014-15 AP Studio Art 3-D Design Scoring Guidelines. Each year, grading rubrics will be updated based on information available on AP Central. Each student will have a copy of the most recent scoring guidelines.


    Concentration Rubric

    (Quality of the concept/idea represented)

    There is evidence of thinking and of focus for each piece in the Concentration section.

    _____ 100: The concept engages the viewer with the work and the idea. The work demonstrates an original vision—innovative visual solutions working toward an individual voice. The work shows informed risk taking and development beyond technical concerns. Form and content are synthesized to clearly and repeatedly communicate the idea. The idea/concept is explored and developed.

    _____ 90: The idea is good to strong; there is evidence of thought in the work. An evocative theme is investigated and pursued.

    _____ 80: Manipulation of ideas is evident. Some growth and discovery are evident.

    _____ 75: Insufficient sense of investigation. Problems are not successfully


    _____ 70: Simplistic in addressing solutions to problems. The idea is the same as the one(s) before. Shows no clear intent. If other source materials are used, the student’s voice is not discernible.

    _____ 60: Shows little, if any, evidence of thinking/artistic decision making. Trite in addressing solutions. The Concentration rubric is slightly modified for a Breadth rubric, where each piece is assessed for conceptual success.



    Technical Quality Rubric

    (for Concentration and Breadth work)

    Craft and construction are successful. Student chose the best material for execution of the work. Those materials enhance the conceptual focus of the work. The work is presented well; the 3-D work is stable in the environment.

    _____ 100: Excellent mastery of craft and construction techniques. The work shows effective integration of concept and technique.

    _____ 90: Strong evidence of craft and construction competence. Skill is evident.

    _____ 80: The craft and the construction quality are generally good.

    _____ 75: Moderate craft and construction skills are demonstrated.

    _____ 70: Weak, awkward skills are evident. Another choice of material would have made the piece more successful.

    _____ 60: Poor quality of craft and construction skills.