Cliff Grade 11

Visual Arts Advanced


Teacher Contact- Email is the preferred method or a voicemail can be left at 720-424-1777

This Week In Class       

Document recent work and update website

First series due January 25th 3-5 pieces due in two weeks

Second series due Tuesday February 12th 1st piece of series

Third finished piece due Friday March 8th

Creative Career Festival March 12th 

Writing Assignment Due March 19th  Our artwork is a reflection of ourselves and how we see and process the world we live in.  How is the art you are currently creating an extension of yourself, your feelings or your emotions?  Is it truly a reflection of yourself as a person?  If it’s not what could you do differently to include your personal experience into your art as you continue to grow and evolve as an artist.  This must be one full page typed and printed.


Important Dates to Know

January 29………Writing Assignment 1

February 28, 6:30-8pm…………Quarter Show 3

March 19…………Writing Assignment 2

May 10……….…Quarter Show 4 and Banquet

Visual Arts Requirements and Policies                                                

It is the responsibility of every student to be familiar with and honor classroom policies and Department Requirements listed on the Denver School of the Arts VA home page.

Students involved in a quality art program will learn to convey ideas, and emotions through their artwork. Students will improve their ability to analyze, critique, and understand as they create.  Students will practice and experiment with a variety of art materials and techniques while developing drawing and painting skills.  Students will learn to express their ideas visually and communicate personal concepts through writing assignments and Artist Statements.

Tool Box

The list of items that must be included in the Tool Box can be found on the VA home page.  Please have these everyday.


A sketchbook is required for weekly sketchbook assignments and may be purchased through the VA Department.

Flash Drive

Each student is responsible for their own work, and also saving that work.  Any writing assignments or digital files must be saved in a secure place not on a school computer.  Saving work on a USB flash drive is an easy way to do so.  Please make sure that you use a 1G or larger.


This course follows The Denver Public Schools Grading Scale


Process 35%

Product 55%

Final Assessment 10%

Please use the parent IC Portal to check grades on a regular basis.  Written work, homework assignments, artistic process, as well as projects are important components of this classWriting and verbal skills are emphasized as major elements in artistic success and are integrated through class discussion, reviews, essays and quizzes.  Students will be presented with a rubric for each major assignment.  It is better to turn in incomplete work than not to turn in anything since nothing turned in will be a zero, however, incomplete work may not be displayed in a final critique or quarter show.  Most assignments are worth 10 points each.  Longer assignments and projects are generally worth 15 – 20 points.

In-Class Assignment

Students will be evaluated on how well they have met the stated objectives for in-class art projects, written assignments, and tests.  With each project students will be working with the Creative Process.  This includes exploring and researching ideas, planning and sketches, creating the piece and finally reflecting, writing an Artist Statement or critique of work. This allows students to explain the concept and techniques used to create the work.  Craftsmanship is also closely looked at in this course, and is included in the grade.  Work is to be neatly presented and labeled with student name.  The presentation of work is a part of the grade.

Sketchbook Assignments

Sketchbook Assignments will be given weekly.  It is important to spend time interpreting each assignment in a unique and creative way.  Each assignment must be done with as much professionalism as possible.  Completed assignments and work must reflect an effort that is to the best of your ability.

 Professional Points

All students are expected to be responsible and to do their best work at all times.  Points may be earned for putting forth best effort each day, being on time and prepared with materials.  Points may also be deducted for late Sketchbook Assignments, class disruptions, misuse of materials, safety violations, lack of participation during class discussions or critiques and not putting forth best effort in class.

Contest Requirements

High School students are responsible for participating in 2 shows or contests during the course of the entire school year. These are contests they had to submit work to and must document. The Contest Documentation Form is on the website under VA Forms.

Work outside of class is required

There will be a final exam in the course.

AP Breadth Coursework for Visual Arts Advanced 1

Work at the advanced level is independent in design within a framework of structured assignments, peer dialogue and formal critique with instructors.  Higher level thinking skills of observation, comprehension, reflection, invention, connection and transfer in addition to advanced artistic skill are encouraged and expected from all students.  Discipline, a strong studio work ethic, and work outside of class are required for growth and success.

The Breadth Portfolio

Students will complete 12 highly resolved works displaying artistic mastery of a variety of themes, genre’s, media’s techniques, and styles.  Works should also demonstrate understanding of the basic art elements and design principles.  Completion of this portfolio in the junior year prepares students for sophisticated choices for specialized work to pursue for the concentration portfolio and senior show.  This is the first part of the AP Studio Art Portfolio and can be submitted in the senior year for AP credit.

 Step One

Students work together with peers and teachers to review examples of their completed high school work from the past 2 years.  They check off categories on the Breadth Chart found in these pieces.

Step Two

As assignments are given through the school year, students use the chart to select areas where they do not have checks.    The goal is to fill in as much of the breadth chart as possible so they can exhibit a finished portfolio demonstrating a depth of skill and experience.  Students continue the review process in Step One throughout the year, replacing older examples with better work if they reach the 12-piece minimum.

Art History

Students will explore the work of specific, self-selected artists to identify style and mark making tendencies in a variety of subjects.  Students will explore the meaning of “style.”  Students will survey contemporary art forms in an attempt to understand the notion of creating visual “ideas” over “images.”

Drawing and Painting Skills for the Semester

Students will build on fundamental art concepts and rendering skills with additional experimentation in the following areas:

Exploring mark making in a variety of media

Responding to the human form as subject mater

Definition of form through subtle and dramatic value changes

Still life, portraiture, personal identity in portraiture, narrative drawing

Study of negative vs. positive space in design

Development of personal voice and content

Graded Activities and Assignments

Weekly sketchbook assignments, submitted on Mondays for class critique

Three required written assignments

Mandatory attendance at both VA quarter art exhibitions

Class critiques and small group discussions

Classroom Procedures 

Be in your seat when class begins.

Be open to trying new techniques, receptive to learning about all areas of art and maintain a positive, inquisitive attitude.

Critique participation is an important part of art school process and all students must fully participate

Be open to trying new techniques and receptive to learning about all areas of art.

A positive, inquisitive mind-set is expected from all students.

Critique participation is a major part of the art school process.

Care for the studio space, equipment and supplies in a cooperative and responsible manner. Clean up and replacement of tools is a group responsibility.

NO FOOD (except water bottles with screw lids) is permitted in VA classrooms. Drink cups or cans left at the studio door will be thrown away. Repeated offenders will be assigned cleaning duties in the studio after school.

Students are not allowed in the middle room or Jewelry studio without teacher permission.

Focus for the full block-period without excessive noise or horseplay.

Respectful behavior toward the instructor, peers and the artwork of others

The computers in this lab are not yours. Do not change anything as other VA students use these each period.

Do not save anything to the desktop or computer.

Computers may be used for research as directed by teacher. Each student is responsible for keeping their assigned device secure and safe from falls, spills, etc. and returning the laptops and other digital devices at the end of class.

Cell Phones-may not be used for viewing reference photos or conducting research.

No texting or voice communication during class.

No cell phone use of any kind during testing or critiques.

Cell phones and headphones are a distraction to the learning process and will not be permitted in class. When the bell rings all devices are put away unless otherwise noted.

There will be no use of headphones or ear buds during instruction. Students may listen to music with teacher permission once the class is working independently as long as it is not a distraction to others and you can still hear me if I need to address the class.

Raise your hand if you have a question or need help.

All artwork must be original work created by you. No copy work.

If it is not yours do not touch it.

Clean up materials and the area you are working in, put away your artwork and tool boxes before you leave the Visual Arts room.