Welcome to Visual Arts at DSA

Visual Arts Audition 2021 Admissions


Jim Cliff


Marty Loftus




Visual Arts Audition Process Information

Pre-Audition Video Link January 6


Visual Arts Pre-Audition Exit Ticket

Please complete and submit exit ticket by Friday January 14 so I know you are continuing on with the audition process.


Visual Arts Audition 2022


DSA Visual Arts – Teacher Recommendation Form



November 2, 2021 – January 1, 2022 at 9:00 am

PREAUDITION MEETING – virtual for 2022

Thursday, January 6, 2022 6:00 pm

Link to meeting/video will go here


Because of Covid19, DSA will not have any in-person tours or Preview Mornings for the 21-22 school year. 


Audition dates are:

Online application which included digital upload of student work and teacher recommendation letters due Thursday January 27  by 8:00PM


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.

You will take your portfolio home at the end of the interview.

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.

Call back interview students will be posted on the VA website the following Tuesday February 1 with initials and student audition number along with a time slot

Example: Jim Cliff audition number 01

Posted: JC01

Both letters and number must match and we have double checked all this information

Call Back Interview will be held Saturday February 5 at the specific time listed with your initials and student number if you are a student that receives a call back


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 Assistant Principal aspen_burkett@dpsk12.org ONE WEEK before your student’s audition date.



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 with at least 70 pages (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.)


Fill the Gap and become a Perennial Patron!

DSA is a unique school with unique needs! The actual cost of educating a DSA student with an extraordinary arts and academic education is beyond the funding that is provided by the district. In order to fully fund DSA’s nationally competitive arts and academics, we are faced with a gap. This year the gap is $1,500 per student.

With all DSA parents coming together to Fill the Gap with a monthly, unrestricted contribution, we will be able to provide quality educational programs in the arts and academics, capital improvements for DSA’s unique needs, increased security for DSA’s extended hours, and more. A school-wide culture of philanthropy is essential to the success of our students and fulfilling our mission…and together we will be stronger!

Your monthly support of the Fill the Gap Campaign at a level that fits your budget will help us reach our goal of 100% participation and is 100% tax deductible. Join the hundreds of DSA parents who are already supporting DSA and become a Perennial Patron! Please click on or copy the link below to make a donation:


 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.

Help us raise money at no cost to you by shopping at King Soopers! Using a VA King Soopers Gift Card card to buy your groceries or gas at any King Soopers (or City Market) provides 5% of your purchase ($400 – $700 per month average!) to the VA Department for free!  Simply reload the card with your credit or debit card (or cash or check) whenever it runs out.   You can still get miles on your credit cards!  Contact  an instructor to obtain a card and start helping the VA Department today!  We have used these funds to purchase butcher block worktables, new sinks, computer software and our new art gallery.