About the Concentration Portfolio
A Concentration is a body of related works that demonstrates a student’s commitment to the thoughtful investigation of a specific visual idea or theme. It is not a selection of a variety of works produced as solutions to class projects or a collection of works with differing intents. Students are encouraged to explore a personal, central interest as intensively as possible; they are free to work with any idea, in any medium that addresses drawing issues. The concentration should grow out of the student’s idea and demonstrate growth and/or discovery through a number of conceptually related works. The evaluators are interested not only in the work presented, but also in the visual evidence of the student’s thinking, selected method of working, and the development/evolution of the work over time.
The choices of technique, medium, style, form, subject and content are made by the student in consultation with the teacher. Regardless of the content of the Concentration, the works should be unified by an underlying idea that has visual and conceptual coherence.
Examples of Concentrations
A Concentration could consist of a group of works that share a single concept — for example, an in-depth study of a particular visual problem, or a variety of ways of handling an interesting subject. Some concentrations involve sequential works, such as a series of studies that lead to, and are followed by, more finished works. If a student uses subject matter as the basis of a concentration, the work should show the development of a visual language appropriate for that subject. The investigation of a medium in and of itself, without a strong underlying visual idea, generally does not constitute a successful concentration.
The list of possible concentration topics is infinite. Below are examples of concentrations that have been submitted in the past. They are intended only to provide a sense of range and should not necessarily be considered “better” ideas.
Because the range of possible concentrations is so wide, the number of works the student creates should be dictated by the focus of the investigation. The chosen visual idea should be explored to the greatest possible extent. In most cases, students will produce more than 12 works and select from among them the works that best represent the process of investigation.
Due on the First Day of School
A one-page paper that explains your top 3 ideas for your concentration.
Step 1 - Research: Read the information below regarding the Concentration Portfolio. Visit the AP Website and view examples of student portfolios, notice the judges scores and the reasons given for their scoring.
Step 2. Brainstorming - Make a list of 10-20 Concentration Ideas. (This can be done in your sketchbook)
Step 2 - Narrow Down Your Choices. Choose your top 3-5 Concentration Ideas. Write a paragraph or two going into further detail about the theme/central idea of each of your top concentration topics. Give examples for your first three pieces and how you plan to implement them.
Step 3 - Share and Get Feedback - Be prepared to share your top 3-5 ideas with the rest of your classmates in a group discussion. We will discuss each others’ ideas and provide feedback and suggestions.
Take some time to familiarize yourself with all three sections of the AP Art Portfolio: Quality, Concentration, and Breadth. All three are required and carry equal weight.