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Course Description

This hands-on portfolio development course empowers pre-college students to re-envision their current body of art and design work as they create portfolio presentations for the college admissions process. Students meet online daily with Parsons faculty and an international cohort of peers for real-time explorations of content creation and curation, art direction guidance, creative and technical design instruction, verbal and written communication skills, and group and individual critiques. Live instruction is supplemented with digitally archived project support and reference resources. This exploratory course incorporates structured “away time” from the computer in which students research art and design disciplines, investigate prospective art and design schools, and hone creative and technical skills through a series of assigned projects and exercises. Students learn photo and video documentation and archival best practices, digital image editing, presentation layout design for a variety of portfolio formats, analog and digital techniques for reimaging prior work and creating new work, visual storytelling in a variety of formats, and tips for communicating their creative process. Digital tools, including the Adobe Creative Cloud, are introduced. This three-week course includes guest speakers and virtual field trips. From the start of the course students keep an online journal and complete a series of rigorous projects and exercises to guide the design of a well-edited portfolio that communicates a cohesive visual narrative and showcases their talent and personal voice. Prerequisite: art and design experience.

Learner Outcomes

  • Show an understanding of the virtual art/design studio environment and practice by participating in a variety of synchronous (real-time interaction) and asynchronous (away-time) activities including lectures, demos, and discussions; individual and collaborative exercises and projects; and self and peer critiques.
  • Gain a deeper understanding of the practice and application of primary and secondary research and its impact on creative and technical processes, including themes derived from observing and interpreting world events, social issues, and personal experiences.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the iterative creative process by maintaining analog and/or digital process journals/sketchbooks documenting research, ideation studies, resolved art/designs, commentary, and self-reflection.
  • Acquire the skills to create and curate a cohesive body of art/design work that supports a visual narrative expressive of an individual and evolving art/design identity.
  • Apply practical skills to prepare and photograph visually-striking, quality images of work samples
  • Develop self-generated concepts in detail through the media of their choice
  • Understand how to document work digitally through a wide range of techniques.
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