AP 3D Design

AP Studio Art: 3D Syllabus


*** You will need 25 completed pieces of Art Work by the end of trimester two! ***

** You will be required to write in this class! **


Course Description


AP Studio Art is a college level course offered to students who have an exceptional desire to pursue higher levels of development and mastery in concept, composition and execution of their ideas in visual art. AP Studio Art sets a singular national standard for high school art students across the nation.  Success on the AP Studio Art examination can enable students to earn college credits and placement in college programs.  During the first week of school, the course is outlined to the students. The individual sections of each portfolio – Quality, Concentration and Breadth-are discussed in detail. The students will also review the images and instructions from the AP Studio art poster.


AP Studio Art is a chance for the visually gifted to excel and receive recognition on a national scale. It allows students to compare their work with other high school students throughout the nation, and helps them prepare an excellent portfolio for study at the college level. All students enrolling in the course are expected to submit a portfolio for the AP Art Studio Examination.


The AP Studio Art portfolios are designed for students who are seriously interested in the practical experience of art. AP Studio Art is not based on a written examination; instead, students submit portfolios for evaluation at the end of the school year. It is vital that you plan far enough in advance so that you can complete the portfolio on time.



3-D Design Portfolio


This portfolio is intended to address sculptural issues (three-dimensional (3-D) design issues). This portfolio involves purposeful decision making about how to use the elements and principles of art in an integrative way. The principles of design (unity/variety, balance, emphasis, contrast, rhythm, repetition, proportion/scale, figure/ground relationships), articulated through the visual elements (line, shape, color, value, texture, space), help guide artists in making decisions about how to organize the elements in three-dimension in order to communicate content. Effective design is possible whether one uses representational or abstract approaches to art.


For this portfolio, students are asked to demonstrate mastery of 3-D design through any three-dimensional medium or process. This including, but not limited to, figurative or nonfigurative sculptures, architectural models, metal work, ceramic, and three dimensional fiber arts.

The elements and principles of design will be used to investigate the three areas of the portfolio. Students will be expected to develop mastery of their concepts and the execution of the desired processes used to develop their ideas into three-dimensional forms. The AP Studio Art: 3-D Design course consists of further investigation of various forms of expression and techniques using a variety of materials. You will be introduced to a variety of artist and they will show more sophisticated techniques as points of departure to create work that reflects your spirit and your vision. By exploring the ceramic medium and traits particular to clay, you will be able to develop a body of work that reflects a range of personal ideation and indicates mastery in the execution of your ideas. We will research, keep art journals/sketchbooks, have class critiques (at the onset of a project and at the completion of a project), and have individual critiques (as you are working), and engage in artistic dialogues that hopefully will inspire you as.


It is important that you learn to express yourself in your own personal style.  Critiques with peers and teacher will be an ongoing process and form part of the assessment grade for the course.  Other assessments will be formative and summative as requirements are completed.


Ethics, Artistic Integrity and Plagiarism


Originality and creativity are important components of this course.  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 an image (even in another medium) that was made by someone else and represent it as one’s own.


Digital images of student work that are submitted for the 3-D Design portfolio may be edited. However, the goals of image editing should be to present the clearest, most accurate representation of the student’s artwork, and to ensure that images meet the requirements of the Digital Submission Web application. When submitting their portfolios, students must indicate their acceptance of the following statement: “I hereby affirm that all works in this portfolio were done by me and that these images accurately represent my actual work.”



AP 3D Requirements for the Portfolio



Section I: Quality



Quality refers to the mastery of 3-D design principles that should be apparent in the concept, form, and execution of the works, whether they are simple or complex.


The Quality section contains the best work you have produced. It does not have to illustrate variety—only your best work.




Five actual works /10 slides/ Two views of each.



For this section, students are asked to submit digital images of their best 5 works, with 2 views of each work, for a total of 10 images. Students should carefully select the works that demonstrate their highest level of accomplishment in 3-D design. The second view of each work should be taken from a different vantage point than the first view and could be a detail if it informs the viewer about a particular aspect of the work. All images should be labeled with dimensions (height x width x depth) and material. The Web application incorporates space to include this information.


Remember that five works from the Breadth or Concentration section may be used for the Quality section of your portfolio.


The works submitted may come from the Concentration and/or Breadth sections, but they do not have to. They may be a group of related works, unrelated works or a combination of related and unrelated works.



Section II: Concentration




A concentration is a body of related works that demonstrate a student’s commitment to the thoughtful investigation of a specific visual idea. It is NOT a selection of a variety of works produced as solutions to class projects or a collection of works with differing intents. Students should be encouraged to explore a personal, central interest as intensively as possible and are free to work with any idea in any medium that addresses three-dimensional design 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, the evaluators are interested not only in the work presented but also in visual evidence of the student’s thinking, selected method of working, and development of the work over time.



12-slides/some details/10 to 12 works submitted.


Students will submit 12 images, some of which may be details or second views. All images should be labeled with dimensions (height x width x depth) and material. The Digital Submission Web application incorporates space to include this information.


After you have completed your eight Breadth pieces, you will select an area to focus (concentration) on and create 10 to 12 works that show mastery, development, and growth. You will develop a body of work that grows from an investigation of an idea that is of interest to you. From this idea, you will develop a body of work through a planned investigation. Each student will provide and present an outline of their “plan of action” to the class, perhaps through sketches and dialogue. Your work may be in the form of containers, figures, hand built, slab, wheel thrown, draped, modeled, geometric, organic, coils, extruded, ceramic art dolls, etc. Remember this is a 3-D portfolio, so be certain your work focuses on sculptural form. You may find that as your experience broadens, the focus of your concentration idea may change. It is important to give yourself enough time to investigate an idea and the changes that may occur. You must have 12 artworks for your concentration.


Regardless of the content of the concentration, the works should be unified by an underlying idea that has visual and/or conceptual coherence. The student, in consultation with the teacher, makes the choices of technique, medium, style, form, subject and content.


The Web application for development and submission of the Quality, Concentration and Breadth sections of the 3-D Design Portfolio is available in early February. The Concentration section includes spaces for a written commentary, which must accompany the work in this section, describing what the concentration is and how it evolved. Students are asked to respond to the following:


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


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


The responses themselves are not scored as pieces of writing; they provide critical information for evaluating the artwork. Thus, they should be well written. Students should be encouraged to formulate their responses to the first question early in the year, as they define the direction their concentration will take. Responses should be concise; the space available for them in the Web application is generous, but the number of characters that can be typed is limited.  Responses should be focused on the information requested.



Section III: Breadth




The student’s work in this section should demonstrate understanding of the principles of design, including unity/variety, balance, emphasis, contrast, rhythm, repetition, proportion/scale and occupied/unoccupied space. The work should show evidence of conceptual, perceptual, and expressive development, as well as technical skill. The student should be introduced to problems in concept, form and materials as they pertain to three-dimensional design



16 slides/eight works/two views of each.


For this section, students are asked to submit digital images of 8 three-dimensional works, with 2 views of each work, for a total of 16 images. All images should be labeled with dimensions (height x width x depth) and material. The Digital Submission Web application incorporates space to include this information. Work submitted in the breadth category may be additive, subtractive, and/or fabricated; may include study of relationships among three-dimensional forms; and may include representational or abstract objects.


The best demonstrations of breadth clearly show experimentation and a range of approaches to the artwork. They do not simply use a variety of media but rather combine a range of conceptual approaches and physical means of creating art. It is possible to do this in a single medium or in a variety of media. When a student chooses to use a single medium, for example, if a Breadth section consists entirely of ceramics the work must show a variety of applications of design principles. In this category, relief sculptures or very small works, such as jewelry, should be fully visible and should clearly address three-dimensional issues.


Students may not submit images of the same work that they are submitting for the Concentration section. Submitting images of the same work for Concentration (Section II) and Breadth (Section III) may negatively affect a student’s score.


The assignments listed below will help you meet the requirements of the 3-D portfolio. You may have other ceramics projects that would also fit in this section from previous ceramics classes. In the Breadth section of the portfolio you will experience a variety of concepts and approaches that will help you demonstrate your versatility with techniques, ideation, and problem solving.






The AP Program offers three portfolios: Drawing, 2-D Design, and 3-D Design. The portfolios share a basic, three-section structure, which requires the student to show a fundamental competence and range of understanding in visual problems and critical thinking.  The table below summarizes the section requirements for each of the three portfolios.




  Drawing 2-D Design 3-D Design
Section I: Quality (one third of total score) 5 actual drawings that demonstrate mastery of drawing in concept, composition and execution. Maximum size is 18″ x 24″ 5 actual works that demonstrate mastery of design in concept, composition and execution. Maximum size is 18″ x 24″ 10 digital images, consisting of 2 views each of 5 works that demonstrate mastery of three-dimensional design in concept, composition, and execution.
Section II: Concentration(one third of total score) 12 digital Images; some may be details. A body of work investigating a strong underlying visual idea in drawing. 12 digital Images; some may be details. A body of work investigating a strong underlying visual idea in design. 12 digital images; some may be details or second view.A body of work investigating a strong underlying visual idea in 3-D design.
Section III: Breadth(one third of total score) 12 digital images; 1 image of 12 different works. Works that demonstrate a variety of concepts and approaches in drawing. 12 digital images; 1 image of 12 different works. Works that demonstrate a variety of concepts and approaches in 2D design. 16 digital images; 2 images each of 8 different works.Works that demonstrate a variety of concepts and approaches in 3-D design.


All three sections are required and carry equal weight, but students are not necessarily expected to perform at the same level in each section to receive a qualifying grade for advanced placement. The order in which the three sections are presented is in no way meant to suggest a curricular sequence. The works presented for evaluation may have been produced in art classes or on the student’s own time and may cover a period of time longer than a single school year. Your portfolio may include work that you have done over a single year or longer, in class or on your own. There are three portfolios students can choose to complete, Drawing, 2-D Design and 3-D Design.




This is a collage-level course, it is expected that students spend a considerable amount of time outside the classroom working and completing assignments. All Art students will maintain a sketchbook and a notebook of ideas, writings and notes. The sketchbook will be used for homework, preliminary sketches, and records of ideas and questions.  The sketchbook and notebook will be collected and graded once a week.  Any extra credit will be turned in with the sketchbook. No late homework assignments will be accepted, and will receive a grade of 0.


Most art projects will have ample time set aside for completion during the school day; however, if extra time is needed or you are absent, that extra time may be arranged with the art teacher.  This can be arranged before or after school.




Every other Friday will serve as a critique session.  This time will be devoted to talking about the current artwork students are producing and discussion will be based on constructive criticism.  The critiques should provide students with encouragement, suggestions for improvement and opportunities to realistically look at their own artwork. This also gives students a chance to talk about their own artwork and to strengthen ideas related to sections of the art portfolio. Work is evaluated in progress and in the finished state through critiques with teacher and peers.

Assignments/Evaluations/Grading Policy:

All assignments will be graded on a 100% scale. The following is a break down of how assignments will be weighted:


The following Rubric will be used to grade all art production assignments:


Concept Technique Craftsmanship Originality Effort
20% 20% 20% 20% 20%



The following criteria will result in lowering of grades:


Late Does Not Follows Directions Incomplete Composition



Art Club

Signing up for art club is optional. There is a fee involved if you so choose to sign up. The time is from 3:20 to 5 p.m. on Thursday after school. This is an opportunity to work on projects independently. Occasionally some structure will be given. A schedule of meeting dates will be posted.

Scholastic Portfolio




I expect all of you to submit a scholastic portfolio. The due date is December 10, 2014. You will need to have eight quality pieces of art. The cost is $20. You are also welcome to submit any additional individual images for $5 each.


Photographing art work


You are responsible for photographing and keeping track of your own artwork.


Requirements and Recommendations for Digital Images

All images must be submitted in JPEG format (file name extension .jpg) and RGB color mode. We recommend uploading files that are 72 pixels-per-inch (ppi) because a higher resolution does not add clarity when viewing images on a computer screen. We recommend that you keep copies of your original images.

Image size: The image sizes below are recommendations. Your image sizes may be different.

  • Landscape orientation (h x w):
    • Recommended maximum size: 530 x 780 pixels (7.36 x 10.83 inches)
    • Recommended minimum size: 480 × 480 pixels (6.67 × 6.67 inches)


  • Portrait orientation (h x w):
    • Recommended maximum size: 780 x 530 pixels (10.83 x 7.36 inches)
    • Recommended minimum size: 480 × 480 pixels (6.67 × 6.67 inches)

Maximum file size: 3.0 MB per image. (Your image files will likely be considerably smaller than 3.0 MB.)

Free Disk Space

  • Drawing and 2-D Design Portfolio: Based on the maximum file size of 3.0 MB and a total of 24 digital images, each student would need a maximum of 72 MB of free disk space.
  • 3-D Design Portfolio: Based on the maximum file size of 3.0 MB and a total of 38 digital images, each student would need a maximum of 114 MB of free disk space



Summer Assignments


All summer assignments are due on the first day of school. Your work will be evaluated through critique with teacher and peers.

The summer assignment for this course is designed to inspire creativity, foster good work habits and give students a head start into the preparation of their portfolio.  There are 3 sections for the summer assignment (production, reading and observing).  Students are encouraged to complete as many sketches in their sketchbook as possible, and to take as many personal photographs as possible over the summer break. Work in your sketchbook is a continuous process that will assist you to make informal and critical decisions about your work and progress. Your sketchbook is an opportunity for you to perfect your voice and style as an artist. Your sketchbook is also a way to experiment with a variety of concepts and techniques. I would also like you to have a scrapbook to accompany your sketchbook of at least 50 images that you like. These images could be from pictures that you have taken copies from books, or images off the Internet.



*** You must complete all of the summer assignments or you will need to drop the class. ****

There will be a critique the first day of class.


Clay Assignments

You will be sent home with ceramic supplies over the summer. You must complete the following hand-built assignments:







I want you to keep a sketchbook/scrape book of ideas. I want to see at least 50 plus!

Studio Time in the summer


You are expected to come in and work in the ceramic room August 30. The times you need to come in are 9-2.  Your assignment will be two tea cups with saucer and a matching teapot or pitcher. Start your research and ideas ASAP.





Find three sculptors/ceramist whose work really interests you. Research their work in books, on the Internet, or in person. Describe the issues they explore in their work in your sketchbook and document with drawings and pasted-in photographs. You may choose any sculptors that interest you a list is provided below for your convenience but is not limited to these artists.


Magdalena Abakanowicz , Ana Mendieta, Robert Arneson, Joan Miró, Jean Arp Henry Moore, Joseph Beuys,  Louise Nevelson, Christian Boltanski,  Isamu Noguchi, Constantin Brancusi,  Claes Oldenburg, Marcel Duchamp, Martin Puryear, Andy Goldsworthy, Richard Serra, Julio González , Charles Simonds

Ann Hamilton, Kiki Smith, Eva Hesse , Robert Smithson, Barbara Hepworth James Turrell, Richard Breshnahan, Warren Mackenzie, Danny Saathoff,

Rebecca Horn, Peter Voulkos, Jeff Koons, Fred Wilson, Maya Lin, Jackie Winsor,

Jacques Lipchitz, just to name a few.




Observations and Museum Visit


  1. A gallery or museum visit. Please write a summary of your experience

Students are required to complete one gallery visit and one museum visit (a visit to a working artist’s studio can replace the gallery visit).   Upon completion of the visits, students must complete one of the two optional assignments: a series of sketches (5-6) inspired by art work observed or a 2 page compare and contrast essay about artwork observed (for a visit to an artist’s studio, a one page descriptive essay about the artist’s style and techniques). There is a listed of galleries and museums attached, but it is not limited to those institutions.


American Swedish Institute 2600 Park Ave Minneapolis, MN
(612) 871-4907

Bell Museum Of Natural History 10 Church St SE # 300, MPLS, MN
(612) 624-7083

Gallery 360 3011 W. 50th St. MPLS, MN
(612) 925-2400

Mill City Museum 704 S 2nd St Minneapolis, MN
(612) 341-7555

Minneapolis Institute Of Arts 2400 3rd Ave S Minneapolis, MN
(612) 870-3131

Weisman Art Museum 333 E River Pkwy Minneapolis, MN
(612) 625-9494

Walker Art Ctr & Sculpture 1750 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN
(612) 375-7600

  • Northern Clay Center  2424 Franklin Avenue East, Minneapolis, MN
    • (612) 339-8007




First Trimester

58 days (13 weeks), 63 -68 minute classes.


On the first day of school summer assignments are due, no exceptions. A group critique will follow.


Also during the first week of school, the course is outlined to the students.  This entails discussions focusing on the requirements of the portfolio, the amount of work needed, the three different sections and the particulars of each section, as well as the broad schedule for the class for the year.  Examples of artwork are shown to students from the AP Central website.


The first trimester is devoted towards the breadth section.  Projects in class are designed to be student driven and promote visual problem solving.  One in class project is due every two weeks, and students should be prepared to put in out of class time to complete in class assignments.  After completion of an assignment you are responsible for photographing your own work. Critiques will be every other Friday; dates will be posted in the room.


I will assign a problem, dictate a certain medium or technique and allow students to visually solve the problem with an individual and creative response.  Some of these problems will be specific and others will be broad.


This visual problem solving method allows students to become critical visual problem solvers and navigates students, artwork away from formulaic responses.  Each project will be followed by a class critique in which we examine aesthetic choices made by the artist, as well as the overall success of the work itself.


Out of class, students are to be completing one finished project every two weeks.  These projects are not to be confused with the preliminary sketches for solving in class problems.  These out of class projects are teacher driven, used to promote certain techniques and subject matters. These out of class projects are due the week after an in class project, and the week before the next in class project.


Students will select their concentration theme, and write a one-page essay detailing their concentration idea and outlining initial project ideas.  Students will also organize the breadth section of their portfolio.  Students will narrow down their breadth work to the 12 strongest examples of 3-D design and discuss the strong points and weak areas of the breadth section of their portfolio with the teacher.


Trimester One Assignment: Breadth

#1        Elements and principles –

#2        Gedenk –  The Jewish Holocaust began with commonplace acts – simple turns of intolerance, prejudice, and bigotry between neighbors – that many of us are used to seeing and ignoring every day. Over time, however, these unchecked actions became something larger, and immensely more destructive, eventually resulting in the systematic murder of 6 million Jews and decimation across Europe.

The Gedenk Award for Tolerance, sponsored by the Gedenk Movement, asks us to consider what we can all do to learn from humanity’s mistakes. Through this special award, Gedenk asks students to create original works of art or writing and consider their own role in cultivating tolerance. The work should reflect upon the lessons learned from the Holocaust and other genocides, and attempt to raise awareness of the importance of increasing tolerance to safeguard a peaceful society.

#3        Personal Voice/ Self Portrait

#4        Create an image that the space tells a story—literal, symbolic, or metaphorical.

#5        Create a three-part piece inspired by work of Jim Dine: In the first piece the students are asked to render an ordinary object or tool, bigger than actual size, making it the dominant aspect of the composition. The students are also directed to blur the distinction between positive shape and negative space. In the second piece, on a larger surface, the students are to create three distinct images of the object, while making the whole piece work. In the third piece, the students have to include an actual object, though it does not have to be the object they have been working with. It can be a different object that is related to it—literally, metaphorically, or symbolically

#6        Abstraction of an object or person

#7        Worldly Treasures

#8        Analogous or complementary color scheme

#9        Out of the hat

#10      Artist inspired piece.

#11      Show me your best (choice)

#12      Scholastic entry.






1. What is the central idea of your concentration? (500 characters maximum)
2. How does the work in your concentration demonstrate the exploration of your idea? You may refer to specific images as examples. When referencing specific images, please indicate the image numbers. (1350 characters maximum)



Second Trimester:

58 days (13 weeks), 63 -68 minute classes.



The Second trimester will focus on the concentration section of the portfolio.  In class projects will continue to be due every two weeks, however, in class projects will be individual studies focused around the student’s concentration idea, with support and constructive criticism offered along the way.  After each in class project is completed, there will be a class critique analyzing design strengths and weakness of the artwork.


Out of class assignments will also continue to be due every two weeks, these assignments will focus on the student’s concentration idea as well.  In class projects will consist of mediums that students may have trouble acquiring on there own, such as paint and certain printmaking methods of working.  Out of class projects will consist of materials students have readily at hand.


In the beginning of March, students will select the 12 strongest works from their concentration series.  Students will have taken digital images of their breadth and concentration portfolio sections.  Students will revise their concentration statements from the midterm exam, focusing on their theme, explaining the progression of their work and thought process.  Students will exam the breadth and concentration artwork and choose the five art works that best describe their style and show a variety of accomplished technical skill and aesthetic thought processes.




Trimester Two Assignments: Concentration


  1. Essay due – Concentration resolved


#1        Concentration

#2        Concentration

#3        Concentration

#4        Concentration

#5        Concentration

#6        Concentration

#7        Concentration

#8        Concentration

#9        Concentration

#10      Concentration

#11      Concentration

#12      Concentration


#13, #14, #15, #16, #17 Quality Images due on the last day of class.




Power Point Presentation – Due the last three days of class.


You will create a power point presentation of your portfolio. It should be divided up into three sections: Breadth, Concentration and Quality. The commentary needs to be included.

  1. What is the central idea of your concentration? (500)
  2. How does the work in your concentration demonstrate the exploration of your idea? You many refer to specific images as examples. When referencing specific images, please indicate the image number (1350)



Third Trimester

58 days (13 weeks), 63 -68 minute classes.


Class does not meet, but you are expected to upload and send off your portfolio by May1, 2015. This is your responsibility – not mine!.


 Examples of Concentrations:

A concentration should be a group of work that shares a single theme. An example of a concentration would be 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. Students should not submit group projects, collaborations, and/or documentation of projects that merely require an extended period of time to complete.


Below is a list of possible concentration ideas. The idea of this list is to help you to begin to generate ideas for your concentration.


  • A series exploring cultural
  • A series about ritual and self-portraits
  • A series about weaving with nontraditional and traditional materials that

evolve into objects

  • A series of animal- or plant-inspired forms that evolve into formal objects
  • A series of wire figures in various environments
  • A series about changing the function of common objects
  • A series exploring rhythm and movement with common materials
  • A series giving human qualities to common objects
  • A series using elements of the urban landscape as a basis for three-dimensional


  • A series of abstractions from natural objects
  • A series using multiples to create formal three-dimensional design
  • A series of personal icons
  • A series of enlarged common objects constructed from unusual materials
  • A series of interpretive busts or figure studies that emphasize expression

and/or abstraction

  • A series of architectural models for homes, public buildings, or


  • A series of assemblages that juxtapose the coarse and refined qualities of a


  • A series of multiples/modules to create compositions that reflect

psychological or narrative events

  • A series of sculptures that explore the relationship between interior and

exterior space

  • A series of personal or family history communicated through the content

and style of narrative assemblage

  • A series of figures exploring aspects of self


Examples of Breadth ideas


  • Plaster casts of simple structures embedded with industrial or organic materials.
  • Work that suggests rhythm through structure.
  • Work that employs line, plane, mass, volume or motion to activate form in space
  • Abstract and stylization of an architectural models.
  • Use light or shadow to determine form, with particular attention to surface and interior space.
  • Work that demonstrates an understanding of symmetry and asymmetry
  • Assemblage or constructed work that transforms materials or object identity through the manipulation of proportion/scale.
  • Clay slabs in which the color and texture unify or balance the overall form of the piece.
  • Work that explores the transition from organic to mechanical form.
  • Figures that are constructed from clay, paper, metal or wood.
  • Creation of clothing from nontraditional materials.














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