Senior Capstone A Self Driven Focused Study of choice

What is a Capstone?

Also called a capstone experience, culminating project, or senior exhibition, among many other terms, a capstone project is a multifaceted assignment that serves as a culminating academic and intellectual experience for students, typically during their final year of high school. Yippy! For you, the Capstone will be a body of work (a concentration), an artist statement, website with brand items and a presentation to an audience made up of Visual Arts majors, teachers and/or administration.

Your Capstone Project is an in depth investigate of your choice, reflective of your interest. You control your destiny, you forge your own unique path. Your teacher is a resource to be tapped into but will not lead your pursuit. Your classmates are equally valuable as a resource and you should use them well. The Studio Arts Capstone project is aligned with the AP Studio arts course "concentration" and much of the description is coming from the college board site, use this resource.

What is a "Concentration?"

A concentration is a body of related works that demonstrate a student’s sustained and thoughtful investigation of a specific visual idea. It is not a selection of works with differing intents. You are encouraged to explore a personal, central interest as intensively as possible; you are free to work with any idea in any medium that addresses drawing, design, and art making issues. The concentration should grow out of the student's idea and demonstrate growth and discovery through a number of conceptually related works. In this section, assessment if made not only in the work presented but also in visual evidence of the student thinking, selected method of working and development of the work over time. You are encouraged to include images that document processes of thinking and creating.

10 or more digital images must be submitted from the concentration. They may include detail views, process documentation, as well as finished pieces. Regardless of the content of the concentration, the works should be unifed by an underlying idea that has visual and/or conceptual coherence.


A concentration should consist of a group of works that share a concept — for example, an in-depth study of a particular visual problem or a variety of ways of handling an interesting subject. Some concentrations involve sequential works, such as a series of studies that lead to, and are followed by, more finished works. If a student uses subject matter as the basis of a concentration, the work should show the development of a visual language appropriate for that subject. The investigation of a medium in and of itself, without a strong underlying visual idea, generally does not constitute a successful concentration.

The list of possible concentration topics is in infinite. Below are examples of concentrations. They are intended only to provide a sense of range and should not necessarily be considered “better” ideas.


• A series of works that begins with representational interpretations and evolves into abstraction

• An exploration of patterns and designs found in nature and/or culture

• Design and execution of pages for a book or graphic novel

• Development of a series of identity products (logos, letterhead, signage, and so on) for businesses

• A series of cartoons using current events and images.

• Fashion Design - a few outfits on a theme, with drawings and or accessories.

• A series of fabric designs, apparel designs or weavings used to express a particular theme


• A series of expressive landscapes based upon personal experience of a particular place

• A personal or family history communicated through the content and style of still-life images

• Abstractions from mechanical objects used to explore mark-making

• Interpretive self-portraiture and figure studies that emphasize exaggeration and distortion

• An exploration of interior or exterior architectural space, emphasizing principles of perspective, structure, ambiance created by light, etc.

• A series of figurative works combining animal and human subjects — drawings, studies and completed works

Whatever the topic the contentration should also reflect the learning and integration of technology into the Studio Arts.

Kaitlin McKain ‘18

Because the range of possible concentrations is so wide, the number of works the student creates should be dictated by the focus of the investigation. The chosen visual idea should be explored to the greatest possible extent. In most cases, students will produce more than 10 works and select from among them the works that best represent the process of investigation. If a student has works that are not as well resolved as others, but that help show the evolution of thinking or the process of developing the work, the student should consider including them. The choice of works to submit should be made to present the concentration as clearly as possible. - http://media.collegeboard.com/studioarts

The Artist Statement

1. Clearly and simply state the central idea of your concentration.

2. Explain how the work in your concentration demonstrates your intent and the exploration of your idea. You may refer to specific images as examples.

Ethics, Artistic Integrity and Plagiarism

Any work that makes use of (appropriates) photographs, published images and/or other artists’ work must show substantial and significant development beyond duplication. This is demonstrated through manipulation of the formal qualities, design and/or concept of the source. The student’s individual “voice” should be clearly evident. It is unethical, constitutes plagiarism, and often violates copyright law simply to copy another artists’ work or imagery (even in another medium) and represent it as one’s own.


In May there will be a presentation of your Capstone to an audience made up of Visual Arts majors, teachers and/or administration. You will be presenting your concentration, your artist statement and your backstory all tied up in a neat presenation format. Backstory? when you present your work to the audience, you will add another 6+ pieces which show your development from Freshman year to Senior Capstone, your "backstory." Your presentation can be formatted how you best see fit. You could deliver it in a webpage, an iMovie, a Keynote(boo hiss, try to push further) any app/format you choose. Remember, presentation counts! You may talk your way through the presentation or record your voice, but you need to have a voice. At the end of your presentation audience will have a brief opportunity to comment, and or question.


Research: Go online and look for examples of bodies of work. Google things you are interested in, topics, art genres, materials, etc. Go to Pinterest there are plenty of AP boards as well as student portfolio and artists portfolios. Go to THE AP Board, they have examples of student portfolios. Take note, save images, get inspired.

Share: You will regularly share progress with your classmates. Break out of your "friend group," there is a lot of talent and valid opinions in our classroom, be open to others and be giving. Like High School Musical, "you are all in this together."

Plan: Plan your journey. Set Goals. Make Deadlines. Plan how to meet the deadlines and what happens if you miss a deadline. Plan some more. Plan to make changes when necessary. Plan to be challenged. Plan to be frustrated. Plan to Fail. Plan to Learn from that failure. Plan to want to quit. Plan to lean on others. Plan to start fresh. Plan to make AWESOME work. Plan to ultimately Succeed. Plan.

Do the WORK: Everyday. Use your time and your resources. You HAVE homework.

Reflect: Written(or other) reflection will be do with each finished piece. Reflect, get feedback and make revisions.

Document: Document progress and process. Keep sketches, notes, video, time lapse, photos. Document the journey.

Write Your Artist Statement: More specifics to come

Prepare to Present: Script, images, container.

Share and Celebrate.

Created By
laurie doran


Created with images by e r j k . a m e r j k a - "1967 | Chartiers Valley" • rawpixel - "untitled image" • UCFFool - "Integrity" • fancycrave1 - "art creativity drawing" • nidan - "fireworks sky party"

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