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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. The central idea of my concentration is a visual exploration of space and form through the lens of architecture. Through experimentation with the quality of light, composition, mark making, and abstraction, I am able to convey the voice of each space in my work.
  2. My concentration begins with piece 1, a literal representation of architecture. While still using references, pieces 2-6 move toward a more abstract focus, as I explore how I can alter the architecture of a space. I create the feeling of movement from an otherwise rigid column structure, implying a shift in reality in piece 4. In print series 5 the space is first represented literally as a stairwell, and then reconstructed into a confounding labyrinth, challenging the intended purpose of the stairwell. Through my concentration I am free to push the boundaries of what can be defined as a space and can explore new realities with architecture. The last 6 images demonstrate spaces that are derived from my imagination; instead of transforming a previously existing space, I am creating a space that is completely new, using the skills that I developed in the first half of my concentration. In piece 7 I took initial sketches from the pantheon and created an entirely different space. I focused on the process and less on the outcome in my final piece (12), which synthesizes ideas from my well-crafted early work to my more imaginative later work. Throughout the course of my concentration I have grown out of my comfort zone and opened up to experimentation, and I now feel much more prepared to enter my chosen major of architecture.

Rationale for Score

  • The topic—“a visual exploration of space and form through the lens of architecture”—is successfully integrated with most of the work presented.
  • The investigation of the topic provides evidence of thoughtful decision making. There is clear decision making related to composition in images 1, 2, 3, and 4. Work with light and shade can be seen in images 3 and 4. See also the choices related to mark-making in images 7, 8, 9, and 10. There is evidence of discovery in images 7, 10, 11, and 12.
  • The sustained investigation generally demonstrates original and innovative ideas, such as the multiple views and mark-making in image 9 and the fractured images depicted in numbers 11 and 12.
  • An evocative, engaging theme is clearly present in much of the work, visible through the composition, mark-making, and line quality used to explore interior and exterior architectural spaces.
  • The work generally conveys a sense of transformation and growth. For example, images 5 through 9 explore architecture through a variety of grids, and image 7 shows “initial sketches from the pantheon and...an entirely different space.”
  • The work is technically strong; materials and media—for example, charcoal to render form and create light and shade (see images 1 through 4); colored pencil to render form (see image 6); printmaking to explore the illusion of depth (see image 5); pen (images 7 and 8), and pastel (image 9)—are used effectively to express ideas.

Rationale for Score

  • The work demonstrates thoughtful investigation of a range of visual concepts, depicting faces, figures, objects, and a landscape, which are observed and abstracted in a variety of compositions.
  • The work demonstrates a range of original (see image 8) innovative ideas (see image 3) and effective manipulation of the elements and principles of design, such as, figure ground relationships (see images 5 and 8), rhythm and repletion (see images 6 and 7), and emphasis (see images 7, 8, and 9).
  • The work demonstrates a variety of intentions or purposes with close-up and perspective views from observation both rendered realistically and abstracted.
  • Most of the work engages the viewer with expressive and evocative qualities. For example, note the color in images 3, 6, and 8; the line quality in image 12; and the compositions in images 5, 8, and 9. In images 1, 4, 8, and 9 the compositions suggest confidence, as do the mark making and line quality in images 5, 7, 9, and 11.
  • The work is technically strong. In images 1 and 4 through 10, drawing materials like graphite, charcoal, pastel, colored pencil, and pen are used to render form and demonstrate light and shade. In images 3 and 11, watercolor is used well to create the illusion of depth and to express ideas.