What is a Concentration?

*Click on the links on the left to see some examples of Mt. Eden Student’s concentrations. I’ve grouped them by topic: Some Portrait Concentrations, Some Hands Concentration, etc.

1. A concentration is a group of related works describing an in-depth exploration of a particular artistic concern. 

2. It should reflect a process of investigation of a specific visual idea To me, this means that there must be a visual thread that connects all the pieces in your concentration, not just a concept. I use the term “visual theme”such as PORTRAIT, LANDSCAPE, STILL LIFE, etc. The direction you go in is as broad as your imagination, but the peices MUST have a common visual theme.

3. It is NOT a selection of a variety of works produced as solutions to class projects or a collection of works with differing intents 

4. For this section, 12 digital images must be submitted, some of which may be details. 


I have added a LOOOONG list of possible concentration ideas on a separate page. The list is intended only to provide a sense of range and should not necessarily be considered “better” ideas. And as always, the “easiest” idea is the one you feel the most excited about, the one that moves you, the one with which you have a connection. There’s nothing worse than getting to the 6th conentration and completely running out of ideas and enthusiasm for the topic you chose.


To make the concept clearer I have uploaded a few of my student’s concentrations and have organized them thematically by Portrait Concentration, Hands Concentrations and Still Life Concentrations. Each student dealt with their topic in a unique way, but I grouped them so you can see how different students tackled a similar topic. You can see them by clicking on the links above. I’ve only included a few pieces from each student’s concentration, rather than all 12. And I’ve only chosen students who scored a 4 or 5. Also, I’ve added excerpts from each student’s written commentary so you can see the development of their ideas.


Because this section is concerned with a process of growth and discovery, the work presented may
span a range of levels of achievement. If this is the case, the higher level that is reached should be
acknowledged in the score that is given.Key Scoring DescriptorsA. Integration of the Topic of the Concentration and the Work PresentedB. Decision Making and Discovery through Investigation

C. Originality and Innovative Thinking

D. Evocative Theme that Engages the Viewer

E. Growth and Transformation

F. Technical Competence and Skill with Materials and Media

G. Appropriation and the Student “Voice”

H. Understanding the Use of Digital or Photographic Processes

I. Image Quality (for Weak and Poor Concentrations only)

J. Overall Accomplishment and Quality

In applying these descriptors, consider the content, style, mark-making, and use of media in the


Some Concentrations with Scores

Click Here for a sample Drawing Concentration from the College Board’s 2014 AP Studio Art Student Portfolios  (Student 1, score 6/6)

Click Here for another sample Drawing Concentration from the College Board’s 2014 AP Studio Art Student Portfolios  (Student 2, score 4/4)

Below is a pdf of a PowerPoint presentation I made that includes several AP Studio Art student’s concentrations and their scores as well as the REASON they received those scores.

Drawing Concentrations

 *While the vast majority of the images on this website are from my own AP Studio Art students, I have also included some work from master artists, as well as images from AP Central, the College Board website. I have attempted to separate them within each page.  I’m a high school teacher and this website is for educational purposes. I’m not selling anything nor do I claim to own any of the work on the site.

Other Topics

There are a limitless number of topics and many students choose to develop their own concept that don’t fit neatly into traditional genres. Below are some “other” concentration topics.

Jason Lee, Class of 2013*JasonConcentration

*JasonWC C-Re-anorexia c-Re-Celena-Portrait C-Re-Feminism C-Re-Homophobia C-Re-Identity C-Re-Monicahung C-Re-MonicaTV C-Re-Seal-club C-Re-sexsells C-Re-Social-Issue C-re-steryotypes C-Re-violence


Angel Santos, Class of 2013

*AngelConcentration *AngelWC C-BatteryBush c-Detail 3 C-detail1 C-detail2 C-DSC_0265 C-DSC_0267 C-DSC_0273 C-DSC_0274 C-DSC_0285 C-DSC_0607 C-DSC_9878 C-Forever21 C-Skyview

Jankley Garcia, Class of 2012


First, I started with the clearest concept of civilization, urban cities. It is easy to look at our modern cities and admire how breathtaking they are, as seen on image#(tree girls on city). On the other hand, that is when we start loosing respect and admiration towards nature. With the first few pieces I wanted to revive that respect towards nature, and remind us that it can be breathtaking as well.

     After that, I focused on symbolic structures, as seen on image#(statue of liberty). My plan was to illustrate how nature’s beauty can make our most beautiful structures look like nothing but old, forgotten buildings. The idea was not to diminish the hard work that was put on those monuments, but rather shift our gaze from our own structural achievements, for a while, and focus it on the beauty of simple little flowers.

     Finally, I decided to go a bit deeper and tackle the aspects of our society, such as our education system, public transportation, war, and even modern technology. With this particular area, I wanted to illustrate how the things that we usually do in society have very little significance. How in the end we wasted so much time developing new technology, fighting unnecessary wars, and even centering our lives on money, that we forgot of the splendor that is out there in our own front yards.                                                                                     

Rebecca Kephart, Class of 2012

Becca Concentration C-1at bart station C-2conversation C-4josh blue maps C-5maria subway C-6looking out the window C-7looking away C-bart peoples C-bus door open C-four ignoring C-headphones and shades C-pointing at directory C-sleeper

Tiernan Kang, Class of 2010

C-Bass cove2 C-Blue net2 C-down rigger2 C-Flyfishing bridge2 C-Green river2 C-Kayak2 C-Owens river3 C-Surf fishing3

Rachel Rojas, Class of 2010


My concentration is an exploration of vessels with an emphasis on texture. 

I began my concentration by focusing mainly on geometric form of the vessel as you can see in image number (perfume bottle).  I also experimented with a variety of different textures to achieve physical contrast in the surface texture.  Using texture pads, carvings, and different forms of ridges, I carefully made each crevice and mound to complement the entire piece, as seen in image number (pitcher).  As I journeyed through my concentration, I began to explore more organic forms and created visual contrast using glazes as you can see in image number (flower vase).