Visual Arts

Visual Arts Audition Requirements for 2019-2020 Admissions

All applicants must thoroughly read and follow the 4 step application/audition process on the Admissions homepage.

Jim Cliff and Marty Loftus

Click Here

November 5, 2018 – January 4, 2019 at 9:00 am

Wednesday, January 9
6:00 pm
Schomp Theatre – DSA

DSA does not have a shadow program.  Instead, we have 5 Preview Mornings.  Preview is from 7:40 am – 9:30 am.  It is for both parents and students.  Everyone will spend the first half of the time in one large group hearing from the DSA principal.  After the large group session, students and parents will receive a tour of the school from a DSA parent who is in the same major you’re interested in auditioning for.

To sign up for a Preview Morning, click HERE

Your specific audition time will be given to you at the preaudition meeting.  Audition dates are:

February 9
February 16

If your student needs accommodations for the audition, as written in a 504 or IEP, please provide a copy of the 504 or IEP to Assistant Principal Aspen Burkett ONE WEEK before your student’s audition date.


You will receive an audition number, date, and time at our Pre-audition Meeting on January 9th at 6:00 pm.  The audition date and time is pre-selected for you and you must be able to come at the prescribed time.  Applicants will only be assigned one audition day.    Call back details for interview and specific portfolio information will be given at the mandatory Pre-Audition Meeting. The dates are not negotiable.  Please keep these dates/times open on your calendar for both the audition and interview days.

Call backs for audition finalists will be posted on our website by noon on Tuesday February 12th with an appointment time for your interview.   Audition numbers are posted next to initials only.  Your initials and number must match.  If your student is listed as a callback, they must return for an interview and portfolio review on Saturday, February 16th at their appointed time.  If you are not listed as a call back you are “denied” and will receive no further communication from us.

VA teacher recommendation form – due by Wednesday, February 6, 2019

  • Forms must be mailed directly to the DSA VA Department by your teachers
  • All Recommendation letters must be received by February 6, 2019
  • Provide your teacher with a stamped, self-addressed envelope to insure timely delivery.
  • Your letters must be received by the due date, so give teachers plenty of notice — keep checking to be sure they fill out and send the form to us.
  • Be sure to ask a teacher who knows you well and can speak to your interest/ability in art as well as your work ethic.  Be sure the teacher agrees to write the recommendation.  You may need to remind them.
  • No late letters will be considered in your score.

Drawing Audition
One Still Life Drawing and One Creativity Exercise to be completed in a one hour audition session, you will draw in groups of approximately 23 students.

  • Bring Your Resume to the Audition with your full contact information
  • DO NOT bring your portfolio. Portfolios are NOT due unless the student receives a call back
  • all art materials will be provided
  • arrive 10 minutes early to check in.   Late students do not get extra drawing time.

Typed Resume (Due at Audition Check in)

  • Include name, age, address, phone numbers, parent e-mail, schools attended, extra curricular activities, classes and workshops attended, awards, exhibitions and special interests/talents.  Resumes are in outline form and must not exceed one page.    We will keep one copy of the resume, so save a copy for yourself
  • Do not include certificates, grades or other papers.  We do not require an essay.
  • audition drawings will be scored for call back interviews. and those numbers will be posted on the VA web page and the school office at 12:00 noon,  Tuesday, February 12 with an interview appointment time.

Callbacks are posted on the DSA Visual Arts web page with your initials, audition number, and an appointment time for an interview on Saturday, February 16thMany students have the same initials so your initials and audition number must match.   Please do not call the office or VA classroom if your number does not match the initials.

Call Backs for Interview and Portfolio Review

  • Approximately 50% of all applicants  (highest scores) will be “called back” with an assigned interview appointment time.
  • Interviews are conducted without parents by a panel of 3 – 5 teachers, artists, and students for 10 – 15 minutes.  Plan to arrive a few minutes before your appointment time.
  • Be prepared to show your portfolio and talk informally about your work and your interest in art.


Portfolio” refers to a body of work, not the container it is presented in.  Cardboard is a good way to support and hold your work.  Do not wrap individual artworks to be shown as unwrapping takes time from your interview.

  • You may show photographs for large pieces or 3D work
  • Bring 8- 10 examples of your best work created in the last 2 years.  Any media is acceptable, show your greatest strengths and passion for making art.
  • Show evidence of your thoughts, ideas, creativity, invention, and a few examples of observational skill.  Observation is from life, not photographs.
  • Applicants to the high school program must show evidence of skill and experience equal to our current students at that grade level.  Include a variety of media if applying to high school.
  • You will take your portfolio home at the end of the interview.
  • Quality of work is more important than diversity
  • If you keep a sketchbook or journal, it can be counted as one of your portfolio pieces, but please do not make a sketchbook specifically for this interview.

All artwork in the portfolio must be original and not derivative of existing comics, characters, or photographs.  Internet images and photographs taken by others may be used as reference but should never be directly copied for portfolio submission. Drawing from photographs is not “observational” drawing.


Resume (Due at Audition) – 2 points

Neatly typed, Clear primary contact information for call back
Name, education, special activities/interests or awards present

2 Letters of Recommendation — 3 points

Received by Wednesday February 6, 2019, no late letters will be considered in your score
Required information addressed, appropriate person selected for letter

Creativity Assignment – 15 points

original work not derivative
Imagination, creativity, self-expression, humor
personal voice/style
Variety of art elements and design used: form, shape, line, texture, value, size variation

Still Life Drawing – 15 points

Name, date and next year’s grade on back, lower right
At least 3 objects included as observed from still life
Use of the entire page, thought given to whole design of page
Ability to record shapes and sizes accurately
Variety in texture, line quality, shading
Ability to focus on drawing for full session
Strong individual style or technique

Portfolio – 10 points

8 – 10 pieces including some observational work
Original work, no copies of photographs or comic characters
Skill in drawing or handling of selected media
Personal voice, evidence of individuality, creativity
work goes beyond simple class assignments

High School Applicants
Evidence of advanced skills and knowledge equal to DSA VA grade level.  Strong evidence of personal voice, passion and interests

Interview – 5 points

Student communicates interest and passion for art
Student communicates desire and interest to be at DSA
Student is able to speak clearly about the works presented in their portfolio
Positive attitude, student communicates work ethic and determination

TOTAL         _____ /50