Art Portfolio Preparation Program

During this intensive portfolio preparation online course students will carry out a series of drawing, design and three-dimensional projects that will promote creative investigation, experimentation with materials, risk-taking and critical dialogue. These creative practices will serve to engage students in a foundational experience, to develop intellectual and practical skills and elicit the confidence necessary to do so
Designed for

Students who have background knowledge in visual arts, want to produce a portfolio and intend to participate in art competitions.


High school students

Class format

One-on-one and small group (Max. 7 students/class)

Class Introduction

This eight-week workshop looks through the contextual lens of identity to understand art and aesthetics influenced by social processes and cultural values. Identity is how we perceive and express ourselves and influences the decisions that we make daily, such as the friends we have, the clothes we wear, and our political beliefs. Many artists use their work to express, explore, and question ideas about identity. Students will be introduced to artists such as Nick Cave, Frida Kahlo, and Zhang Xiaogang and learn how identity influences their art.

Students are challenged to explore and create artwork that expresses their own identity as they see themselves and how they perceive themselves to be seen by others during this course. Through lectures, assigned research, online discussions, and assignments, projects will focus on the traditional material investigation and repurposed found objects in both 2D and 3D art and design prompt aimed at the ability to communicate individual concepts confidently.

Course Content


  • Portfolio Development
  • Lecture: Alexander Calder 
  • Blind contour portrait sketching exercises
  • Review/Critique of blind contour portrait sketches
  • Pick one portrait to make a wire sculpture
  • Homework Review
  • Lecture: M.C. Escher, EYE
  • Self-portrait brainstorming
  • Self-portrait structure exercise 
  • Homework Review
  • How artists explore identity
  • Still life portrait brainstorming
  • Homework Review
  • Lecture: Nick Cave Sound Suits
  • Demo: How to work with found objects
  • Homework Review
  • Zhang Xiaogang’s surrealist-inspired, stylized portraits
  • Demo: How to process photographs digitally
  • Homework Review
  • Lecture: Cultural Masks
  • Final Project Brief: Masks and Identity
  • Mind map/ visual design thinking
  • Homework Review
  • Demo: Materials used in mask making, Impact of Editorial Photos, Portfolio expectations
8Class critique of Masks and Identity PPT or PDF including editorial photographs as well as process photos.

Students and their parents will receive brief feedback after each class regarding the student’s general participation in class. Students will also receive feedback on graded assignments via email. 


16 hours of classes, 120 minutes/class

Need to prepare?

To best prepare for this program, we recommend reading:

2024 Summer Group Classes: Open for Registration

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