CFPA Visual  Arts

The Visual Arts Concentration area is a four-year program designed to train and expose students to all facets of the fine arts.

In addition to the required fine arts courses: CFPA Art I, CFPA Art II and Art Portfolio Prep, students will explore media studies in two and three dimensional design in painting/printmaking, sculpture/ceramics, photography or computer art. Students seeking rigorous advanced levels of production are encouraged to study one of the three A.P Studio Art courses offered their senior year: A.P. Drawing, A.P. 2-D Design, or A.P. 3-D Design. Students are expected to prepare and exhibit their artwork within the school and the extended community as well as participate in contrasting competitions offered throughout the year. Seniors are expected to prepare, assemble and present a personal exhibition that reflects breadth and depth in their artistic productions in a Senior Showcase.


Ms. Burns, CFPA Art Director
Ms. Burns
[email protected]

Visual Arts Audition Requirements

The Portfolio: 60 points

  • Portfolio should reflect a wide variety of subjects, media, and fine art processes
  • 7 original Works of art should include at least 1 sculpture and 1 observation drawing
  • Assessed on technical merit  and creative expression
  • Looking for strong shading skills as well as color blending ability

Personal Sketchbook: 10 points

  • Variety of subjects reflecting personal interpretations
  • Variety of media reflecting risk taking

Virtual Observation Drawing: 20 points

  • Students have 1 hour to complete their drawing to the best of their ability using pencil
  • All students will select 5 objects from around the home: one metallic, one clear container with water, one ceramic, and 2 personal objects
  • Specific information will be provided with audition letters

Four Areas of Assessment

  1.  COMPOSITION- arrangement of provided objects conveying the student’s understanding of  their effective use of space
  2. PROPORTIONS- accuracy of drawn proportions
  3. SHADING- a wide range of values that define the depth & contours of the objects
  4. CREATIVITY- creative arrangement of objects and creative marks to define textures

Audition Interview: 5 points

Students will address frequently asked questions that are usually asked during their interview by discussing their artwork in the portfolio selection of their slide presentation.

  • Articulation of art vocabulary related to specific works of art in student portfolio as described in slide presentation (1 point)
  • Ability to explain artist intent/personal meaning in their works of art (1 point)
  • One statement for each of the 7 required works of art in the Portfolio Section of the slide presentation (2 points)
  • Organization of slide presentation (1 point)

Letter of Intent: 5 points

  • Articulation of desire to be accepted into the program
  • Discussion of what student hopes to gain in training from the program, artistic growth
  • What student plans on contributing to the program, active role in program
  • Spelling/grammar
  • Sentence/paragraph structure

Digital copies of BOTH FORMS must be submitted to the Fine Arts Coordinator - Mrs. Burns for audition at [email protected]

  • Qualifications Forms
  • Signed Enrollment Agreement Form


Requirements in the Program

  • EACH YEAR attend 4 or more MASTER CLASSES , at least 2 in  Visual Art
  • Be involved after school and in CFPA events
  • Participation in area competitions including attending opening ceremony
  • Complete 5 classes in your concentration by the end of senior year
  • Submit a digital portfolio each year of best works of art
  • Maintain a “B” or better in your concentration classes
  • Maintain a 2.0 / “C” or better overall (GPA, combination of all classes)
  • Senior Art Show, each student presents their own display of best works of art

Online Audition Packet Information and Scoring Rubric

Is there a photography program at Colgan?

We offer Photography studies along with Computer Art at Colgan High School, but we are a fine arts program that focuses predominantly on traditional media such as drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpting and ceramics.

Can I submit a portfolio with mostly anime?

It is critical to follow the guidelines provided for auditions which states you may submit one animated work of art and it must be an original design. These guidelines are posted on the Colgan website.

What if I don’t have a piece of sculpture for my portfolio?

It is important to make sure all requirements of the portfolio are submitted to earn the highest score possible.  We suggest creating a sculpture out of paper, cardboard or found objects. Materials easily found around the house.

What if I don’t draw in a sketchbook?

Sketchbooks are a critical tool for students to explore their own interests and experiment with media of personal interest. Submit drawings you have created that meet these criteria even if they aren’t in a bound sketchbook.

How many students will be accepted for Visual Arts?

There is no set number of students we accept. In the past 4 years, we have averaged about a 50% overall acceptance rate for Visual Arts. It depends on the total number of applicants and the space available in the school.

Does it hurt that I am not taking Art in school?

Artwork is assessed both creatively and technically regardless of whether it was created under the instruction of a teacher. Submit examples of the best work you have created.

Do I need a specific type of camera to photograph my work?

Any camera will do, but make sure to use quality lighting and to crop away distractions from around the artwork. For sculptures take 2 photographs from different angles to capture as much of the sculpture as possible. Photograph the sculpture on a solid surface with a solid background.