Welcome to Visual Arts at DSA

Visual Arts Audition 2023-2024 Admissions


Jim Cliff


Marty Loftus



Online Application 

November 1, 2022 -January 2, 2023 9:00PM   


Preview Dates

November 16, 2022 Open House 5:30-7:00 PM


Pre Audition Meeting

Monday  December 5, 2022 6:00 pm

This must be done to continue on with the audition process.

Link for Pre Audition Exit Ticket: 24 hours to fill this out after the meeting 



Audition Dates

Thursday January 26, 2023 – Artwork and info uploaded to VA Google Form by 8:00pm 

Saturday, February 4, 2023 – callback interview be available the entire day of


Audition Requirements                                                                                                       

You will receive an audition number before our Pre Audition Meeting on December 5 at 6:00 pm.  The audition number is pre-selected for you and you must be able to come at the prescribed time given for the call back audition.  Call back details for the interview and specific portfolio information will be given at the mandatory Pre-Audition Meeting. The dates are not negotiable.  Please keep these dates/times open on your calendar for the call back interview day.

Call backs for audition finalists will be posted on our website by noon on Tuesday January 31 with an appointment time for your interview. Audition numbers are posted next to initials only.  Your initials and number must match.  If your student is listed as a callback, they must be available for an interview on Saturday, February 4 at their appointed time.  If you are not listed as a call back you will receive no further communication from us and the audition process has ended for you.

Call back post will look like this for Jim Cliff Audition Number 196…



VA Teacher Recommendation form – due by Thursday, January 26 at 8:00 pm

Send the person recommending you the Teacher Recommendation link to fill out and submit

Your 2 letters must be received by the due date, so give teachers plenty of notice — keep checking to be sure they fill out and submit the form.

Be sure to ask a teacher who knows you well and can speak to your interest/ability in art as well as your work ethic.  Be sure the teacher agrees to write the recommendation.  

You may need to remind them.  No late letters will be considered.

Teacher Recommendation Link:




Portfolio refers to a body of work, not the container it is presented in.  

Please upload high quality images of your artwork.  Think about lighting and cropping to best represent your artwork.

Please supply 8- 10 examples of your best work created in the last 2 years.  

3 pieces must be drawings from observation and 3 pieces must demonstrate creativity.  

Any media is acceptable, show a variety of media, your greatest strengths and passion for art.

Show evidence of your thoughts, ideas, creativity, invention, and a few examples of observational skill.  Observation is from life, not photographs.

Applicants to the high school program must show evidence of skill and experience equal to our current students at that grade level.  Include a variety of media if applying to high school.

Quality of work is more important than diversity

If you keep a sketchbook or journal, it can be counted as one of your portfolio pieces,

All artwork in the portfolio must be original and not derivative of existing comics, characters, or photographs.  Internet images and photographs taken by others may be used as reference but should never be directly copied for portfolio submission. Drawing from photographs is not “observational” drawing.

Audition Portfolio Upload Link:



Call Backs for Interview and Portfolio Review

Approximately 50% of all applicants  (highest scores) will be “called back” with an assigned interview appointment time.

Interviews are conducted without parents by a panel of teachers.  Plan to be ready and set up a few minutes before your appointment time.

Be prepared to talk about your portfolio, artwork, art experiences and your interest in art.



If your student needs accommodations for the audition, as written in a 504 or IEP, please provide a copy of the 504 or IEP to the following ONE WEEK before your student’s audition date.

send 504s to stefanie_limberger@dpsk12.net

and send middle school IEPs to nichole_mango@dpsk12.net

and send high school IEPs for students entering grade 9 & 10 to jeana_mustain@dpsk12.net

and IEPs for students entering grades 11 & 12 to justin_kirkland6@dpsk12.net


_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Visual Arts Summer Assignments (for all current and new students)

All VA students are required to complete summer assignments

These are to be high quality artwork created to meet the following requirements.

All work will be due the first week of school so please plan ahead.

If you have questions please email us and we will get back to you as soon as possible. 

Keep in mind we may be traveling or away from our computers for a few days at a time so please have patience.   


6th grade – 10th grade VA Courses (6 finished pieces total) 

2 Observational Studies

This can be done in any media and the content is up to you.  Anything from object drawing to portrait work or landscape as long as you are working from direct observation


2 Creative Pieces

Here’s your chance to do anything you want.  Show your artistic voice and create something completely unique and original.  These pieces can be done in any media.  Experiment with different ideas and materials


2 3D Pieces 

For the 3D requirement these pieces can be sculptural, jewelry or a wearable work.  Use any materials (clay, wood, fabric, metal, found object).  Think about the composition from all sides and don’t forgot you can create art that can be functional or worn


11th Grade-12th Grade AP Portfolio Courses (3 finished pieces total)

You must come back in August with your first 3 pieces of your portfolio.

These 3 pieces must be based on the Sustained Investigation theme you have discussed in class and planned out in advance.  

These are to be finished pieces of high quality.  Not sketches or in progress pieces but complete and ready to display artwork.  You will not have this much time during the school year so put time into these ones as you will be on the 2 week deadline the rest of the year.  


For the AP Portfolio you will need 12 finished pieces in total over the year

3 of those pieces will be your summer work

9 of those pieces will be done during the school year

You will be responsible for 3 pieces each nine weeks

That’s a finished piece of artwork every 2 weeks basically

You will have a chance to request (reasonable) materials in August from me and I will place an order.   



Required for all Visual Arts Majors in class everyday

Students must replace supplies as they are used up or lost.  Write your name on the outside of your tool box, portfolio and all tools with a permanent marker.
 Supplies can be obtained at Meiningers, Guireys,  Michaels Arts & Crafts, Hobby Lobby,  Office Depot and Wal-Mart/Target.

Students will share a studio locker with several others to house their tool box and portfolio.  Lockers are 39 x 30 x 9”.  All tool boxes and portfolios must fit easily into the locker space.

  • Plastic or metal tool or tackle box with handle, at least 14” long but no deeper than 9”  (please do not bring a tool box that will not fit in the locker)
  • Sketchbook (minimum size 8 x 10, maximum 9 x 12) brought to class EVERY day
4 Ebony pencils 
(4 2H or HB pencils)
2 regular white plastic erasers
  • 2 small kneaded erasers
  • 4 black Sharpies (or other permanent pens), 2 wide and 2 fine tip
  • 1 flat paintbrush #8 or 5/8”, nylon or natural bristle
  • 1 #6 round paintbrush, synthetic or natural bristle with fine point
2 glue sticks
1 pair large scissors
1 set of color pencils (minimum 8 pencils)
 Prismacolor or comparable artist quality preferred but not required
1 set of color markers (minimum 8 colors), any brand or thickness
  • 1 roll of masking tape (3/4” wide)
  • 1 roll of scotch tape, any width
  • 1 roll of painters tape, any width
1 compass
  • 12” ruler, (metal with cork bottom lasts longer)
  • other size brushes and art supplies as desired

Portfolio no smaller than 24 x 30

Portfolios can be easily made from corrugated cardboard hinged with heavy packing or duct tape.  Put a sheet of cardboard inside large envelopes or soft-sided nylon bags to protect from bending.  The portfolio must be left in the VA studio with finished work until the end of the school year. (Students may want to make two portfolios, one to use as a carrying case for work in progress and one to leave at school for storage of completed projects.)


 Visual Arts Department Philosophy our primary goal is to create lifelong advocates for the arts with a sophisticated sense of visual literacy.   DSA students develop skills to create, decipher, comprehend, and evaluate meaning in our contemporary world.  Our department nurtures individual vision, personal voice, and creative spirit while  promoting a strong work ethic.  We believe that success requires hard work, regular practice, and a commitment to evolve and grow.   
Our Mission is to provide students with a strong interest or ability in visual arts the opportunity for in-depth study of all aspects of art.
Our 7-year curriculum spirals out from solid foundation classes at the middle school level to advanced techniques and individualized projects in high school.  Strong technical skill, conceptual thinking, critical analysis, aesthetic awareness, and historical background play integrated roles in our program. Emphasis is placed on reading, writing, and talking about art as well as the creation of unique works in a variety of media.  Although our graduates choose many fields for advanced study, VA seniors exit with an accomplished  art portfolio and appreciation of the visual arts.