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Please note that the Sustained Investigation and the Range of Approaches sections below are from two different students’ portfolios.  

Sustained Investigation (Concentration) Statement

  1. My concentration revolves around using a variety of materials in order to evoke repetition as unity through architectural forms. My artworks are encompassed by carvings, light/negative spaces, distinct proportions, and the embellishment of different colors that play the role of unifying the pieces, along with geometrical shapes and balance. Math has kindled me to create pieces that manifest architecture since precision leads a piece towards stability, intricateness, and a clean form.
  2. The works of art that create my concentration demonstrate the exploration of my idea as exact measurements were taken to bolster the effect of distinctive structures with different proportions along with negative space in between as perceived in image 9. This image displays an acute triangle with ladder forms in the sides and a linear heart form that contains rectangular carvings in the middle. Behind the first two triangles, there is another triangle which faces the opposite direction in a smaller version but with congruent designs. As one looks at the piece from different angles, negative space becomes evident as the individual slab pieces distance themselves with the use of straws. The straws impact the piece as a whole by sustaining the middle slabs that are vital for the outer slabs to keep standing and displaying unification through the order of the colors and its horizontal positions. Image 11 also exhibits measurements throughout the process of building. Eight modulars of rectangles make the upper half of the piece while other 3D forms were created so negative space would permeate through the bottom half, where ladder forms are discerned. With a yellow base, red inundates the left side while blue inundates the right side. As they get near the middle, the rectangles get smaller and the faded colors clash.            

Rationale for Score

  • There is a sense of a concentration, but the integration of a topic of investigation and the work is unclear. The statement claims that the work “revolves around using a variety of materials in order to evoke repetition as unity through architectural forms.” A strong central idea or theme is difficult to extrapolate from the statement; writing focuses on descriptions of visual aspects of the work produced — acute triangles and ladder forms, for example. Measurement is mentioned several times, but artistic goals and intentions are unclear. 
  • The work is mostly well photographed with good lighting and neutral, solid backgrounds, allowing the viewer to focus on sculptural forms presented. Understanding and application of 3-D Design principles are tentative. Repeated shapes and forms comprise each piece. Images 1 and 2 and images 3 and 4 show objects that are very similar; the color and the media are the only variations. The structure shown in   image 8 is among the more successful, with some activation of space. The rough texture of the wood in pieces that precede it detracts from the simple geometry of line, shape, and form. Glossy and multicolored (spray painted?) surface treatments of work shown in images 1,2,9,10,11, and 12 have a similar diminishing effect.  
  • The structure shown in images 1–4, wood constructions seen in images 5–8, and the final two forms don’t seem to be related to each other. A decision to investigate one of these approaches — perhaps the more visually engaging triangular forms — could support thorough exploration of a concept such as architecture or measurement/proportion. This could also allow more demonstration of growth and transformation. 
  • Overall the work demonstrates emerging technical competence. More skillful cutting and refined surface refinement of the wood pieces would better support the aims described in the statement (e.g., precision, a clean form, unity, and exact measurements). Some skill with construction paper construction is evident; the surface of forms shown in images 3 and 4 is a bit uneven, but the cubes that comprise the final structure demonstrate the most effective craft among the pieces.  

You can also download these images and score rationale as a PDF portfolio. Please use Internet Explorer or Safari to open the link. 

Rationale for Score

  • The work shows a weak application of 3-D Design principles to a range of design problems. Images 1 and 2 (wire sculpture), 13 and 14 (arms), and 15 and 16 (glazed tiles) represent either 2-D form (tiles with 2-D imagery), nearly 2-D form (wire sculpture), or 3-D form presented in a way that minimizes 3-D qualities (arms). Pea pods, bacon and egg, and cat forms (images 5–6, 7–8, and 11–12, respectively) are also either relatively flat constructions or are presented in a way that makes it difficult to recognize a spatial presence. Other images show more successful activation of space, such as 3 and 4, (soft sculpture) and 9 and 10, (textured ceramic figure). Both of these works also show surface manipulation.
  • Soft sculpture with fabric, wire, and clay are the predominant media used, demonstrating some variety of approach, as does the color and pattern seen in some works. It appears there was intent to represent objects from life (pea pods, bacon and egg, cat). The expressive forms (images 3 and 4, 9 and 10) depart from direct representation of everyday subjects.
  • The majority of the work conveys a tentative exploration of subjects and materials. Technical competence is an issue; confident skill in stitching, construction of 3-D form, ceramic hand-building, and glaze application is, for the most part, yet to be developed. The unexpected, expressive forms (images 3 and 4, 9 and 10) are more engaging, with intriguing content distracting from technical limitations.
  • Many images are difficult to see because they are poorly lighted and/or unfocused. Effective lighting is essential when photographing 3-D work. The contrast of light and dark defines occupied and unoccupied space and reveals details such as texture. Capturing images outdoors in sunlight is an easy way to achieve successful outcomes. Folds in the background material are distracting in many images; the solid background of the feline figure is preferable. Photographing work to show a sense of scale would also inform the viewers’ understanding of the works. With different lighting and positioning of the wire sculpture in images 1 and 2, 3-D form might become more apparent. The cup used as a prop in image 15 obscures the surface of the featured work (ceramic tile).     

You can also download these images and score rationale as a PDF portfolio. Please use Internet Explorer or Safari to open the link.