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To ensure that all of our current middle school students and families have the most up-to-date high school enrollment information and the vital support needed to navigate the application process, each of our rising 7th graders, in addition to their regular adviser,  is appointed a high school counselor prior to entering the 8th grade. Through advisory lessons, personalized one-on-one student meetings, informational workshops and continual family contact, our guidance department takes the mystery out of how to apply to high school in New York. While UAI has a very successful high school and a majority of our middle school students remain at UAI for their four years of high school, it is important to us that we educate our students about ALL of their academic options. 

Specialized High School Portfolio Prep For Fine Art 

The following information may be used to cover requirements asked for by the  majority of Art High Schools. Please be sure to read all information in the High  School Guide, and be sure that your child follows the instructions for the best chance  of success! 

Basic Portfolio Requirements 

Self-Portrait (I recommend a ¾ pose) Created in class. 11”x14” 

Color Still-Life created in class 11”x14” 

Room Interior in perspective (B&W or in Color) CREATED AT HOME 11”x14” or  larger suggested.  

Beyond these required drawings I suggest an additional 9 pieces with a wide  selection of media, and subject matter!  

Full Body Portrait (human) 

Building Portrait. 

Surreal or Fantasy  

Architecture, Product, or Clothing Design 

Cityscape or Landscape 

Extreme close up of any object (made to look abstract although created from  observation) 

Portraits of friends and relatives 

Drawings on location (on vacation, at the park, visiting a friend’s house, etc.) Collage based on a theme  

Original Cartoon, Editorial/Political Cartoon)  


Sculpture (mixed media, plaster, wire, clay, paper, wood , soap, etc.) Ceramics 

Original Clothing/textile work 

Suggested Media 

3-D 2-D Media 

Clay Pencil Tempera Paint Wood Pen/Ink Ink wash Paper Conte Crayon Printmaking  Carved Soap Oil Pastel Charcoal Mixed Media Colored Pencil Chalk Pastel Paper Mache Watercolor 

Metal Acrylic Paint Oil Paint Wire Collage Mixed Media Plaster Marker Crayon Woven Fabric Tape Collage Computer Generated  Sewn Fabric Architectural Models VARIETY IS THE KEY!!!


The Following 4 drawing tests should be practiced. It is common for 3 tests to be  given on the day of the portfolio review. Typically 30 minutes or less are given for  each and are created on a page of 8½”x 11” sheet of computer paper. (“do-overs”  

not allowed) The tests must be completed by the end of the time given. Some may  require backgrounds others without. Shading and a bit of a creative approach to the  subject help the judges find the artists who stand out the most!!! 

  1. Draw a person sitting in a chair from head to toe. Chair included, no background.  (In Pencil) Faces are often times not a big concern but should be attempted if   time allows. SHADING COUNTS! 
  2. Draw your hand holding a crumpled piece of paper (In Pencil) Shading and   drawing the objects with accuracy count. (Try to draw the hand so that the  texture or shading is different from the paper) 
  3. Draw a Still Life from imagination with a list of 3 objects including a setting. (In   Pencil) 

A plant, a cup of coffee, and a table near a window. (Be creative, shading) For  example What type of plant, table or style of coffee cup would you choose to  stand out? 

  1. Draw a given scene from a particular time of year in the colors of the season or A parade in the city on a cold winter day. (Oil Pastel/Craypas!) Drawing People may be required if this is not a strong suit of the artist draw from the back or another angle. (No stick figures!!!!) 

You should have at least 10-12 very strong works of art in your portfolio. They  should be 9”x12” or larger if possible. Multiple small works from a sketchbook or  another source can be mounted on a large board to equal one piece. All work should  be presented in a neat and organized fashion preferably in a portfolio case. Work  should be mounted or matted on a board (black is the preference) with your name,  grade, type/style of work, supervised or independent work, and whether it was  created from imagination or observation or both.  

Watch this video from the DOE on the selection criteria for both the Specialized High Schools and Laguardia