Welcome to Visual Arts at DSA


Jim Cliff  Jim_Cliff@dpsk12.net

Marty Loftus  Martin_Loftus@dpsk12.net   

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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.