Instructor:  Anita Bates

Course Title:  Senior Portfolio 

Academic Year: 2017-2018

Meeting Days/Times:  Daily 75 minute periods; 8:00 a.m. -3:05 p.m.

Location/Room #:  Fourth Floor HFA:SCS room 423

Instructor:  Anita Bates   

Phone:  313-485-4000


After School Office Hours:  TBD  or by appointment


This syllabus is posted on under the Classroom tab



Course Description


Senior Portfolio is aimed at helping students strengthen their skills obtained at HFA:SCS in preparation for their senior art defense.  


Detailed Description


This class is structured around three major units—Intro to Senior Portfolio and Building Skills; Senior Thesis; Senior Art Defense Development and Presentation.  The first unit, Intro to Senior Portfolio and Building Skills, involves preparing previous years’ artwork for presentation; digital literacy with respect to capturing and uploading images; basic color theory, visual thinking strategies; research and writing  and the critique process.  The second unit, Senior Thesis involves student exploration of individual passions.  The culminating activity will be a creation of a series of related artworks that reflect those passions.  The Senior Thesis involves a degree of research as well.  Students will be held to the highest standards of scholarship for this project as it will be an integral portion of the final art defense.  The final unit, Senior Art Defense Development and Presentation, serves as the logistical and display preparation for the Art Defense.




Learning Outcomes


During this course, students are expected to

    •    Constructively critique works of art using art vocabulary

    •    Work collaboratively in teams

    •    See shared experiences through art

    •    Evaluate Art; Personal and the Art of others

    •    Examine the way that art impacts their day to day experience

    •    Articulate art and design vocabulary (Elements and Principles, general and specific to media)

    •    Develop creative problem solving skills

    •    Operate technology in media of choice appropriately

    •    Identify varied art styles

    •    Analyze and differentiate various art styles and movements

    •    Use and see art as symbolic; an avenue to convey messages via Visual Thinking Strategies

    •    Be able to Explain “or Teach” valued concepts to peers

    •    Understand the difference between Fine and Commercial Art

    •    Argue how art impacts the world

    •    Investigate growth as a creative being

    •    Express a multitude of emotions via art-making

    •    Utilize the design thinking process in everyday situations

    •    Formulate their own artist/designer voice

    •     Investigate the process of creation

    •    Think in a socially conscious mindset



Senior Art Defense

The Senior Art Defense is required for graduation from HFA:SCS  and is comprised of two essential components—

1.The process will begin with a review of the knowledge gained during the students’ creative study at HFA:  SCS by way of artifacts created during their previous years of art instruction.  

2. This overview will lead up to a longterm self-reflective project which requires scholarly research and production of a series of related artworks, culminating in a live presentation.  The final presentation/defense will take place in front of an audience of the student’s peers, CCS alumni and professors as well as various stakeholders in our educational community.  The format for the up-coming defenses will take place in a public space as opposed to the classroom format of years passed.  To help ready students for this process, seniors should be prepared in week 2 of this semester to bring in [4-6] artworks that represent their artistic journey over the years at HFA:SCS.  A more in-depth explanation of the larger project will be provided during the first few weeks of the school year. 

Additional Requirements and Standards


Emphasis will be placed on HFA:SCS’s commitment to Deeper Leaning values and principles.  These are:

  1. Developing an academic mindset

  2. Working collaboratively

  3. Communicate Effectively

  4. Think Critically

  5. Master Academic Content

  6. Learn how to Learn

  7. Solve Complex Problems




Materials and Supplies


  • Sketch book (a grade will be given periodically)

  • Erasers

  • Hand sharpeners

PLEASE NOTE--HFASCS supplies most of the materials needed to create in the art studio.  While some students prefer to bring their own colored pencils and pens, we do not assume liability for lost or stolen items.





All classwork will be graded objectively using a detailed rubric.


Grading Scale

A      94-100            C     73-75

A-     90-93            C-    70-72

B+     86-89            D+   66-69

B       83-85            D     63-65

B-      80-82            D-    60-62

C+     76-79            F      59 or below









Attendance Policy 


Each meeting of a class is considered a session. Attendance is taken at the beginning of each class session. It is expected that students report to class on time.


Electronic Usage


Appropriate use of technology(i.e. cell phones, tablets, computers) is expected at all times in the learning studio.  Recognizing that you are young adults and situations pertaining to jobs and home may occur, please be courteous and excuse yourself in the proper manner if you have a phone emergency.  

Because it is partly my responsibility to help you navigate social norms in using electronic media, the following will be observed while in the learning studio:

  •     Phones and tablets may be used as a means of taking pictures or gathering data         for assignments.

  •     Electronic alerts should be silenced

  •     Individual music is allowed during work as long as there is no group instruction         occurring.

  •     No sharing of earbuds

  •     Music should not be public (I should not hear it and you should ALWAYS be able         to hear me)

  •     Pornography is prohibited

  •     Electronics off and away if a speaker has the floor


Restroom use and Leaving Class


Students must sign out and take a pass at all times


Learning Challenges


Students with learning challenges will receive appropriate modifications and /or accommodations.


HFASCS email


Please contact me at the above address.  I will do everything in my power to respond within 24 hours.


Academic Honesty (Plagiarism)


Plagiarism and cheating are serious offenses that erode the academic environment. Plagiarism includes but is not limited to—

  •     Passing off another student’s/ artist’s work or image as your own;

  •     Knowingly placing your name on another person's artwork or project;

  •     Cutting and pasting information without crediting the source.


Deletion/Destruction of Student Work


The deletion or destruction of digital files, or another student’s artwork is not acceptable.


Tools and materials 


Students are expected to use extreme care with respect to all tools and  materials.

Students are expected to view the learning studio as their community, thus, everyone plays a part in keeping the community clean.

Students are expected to take responsibility for mishaps by alerting someone that there has been an accident.




The term ”solvent” is applied to many different liquids to dilute paints, inks, marking pens, adhesives, aerosol sprays, and the like.  Always work in a well-ventilated area. Whenever airborne materials such as spray fixatives or spray adhesives are used, Consult the adult in charge. Please read all safety and cautionary statements on the labels before using the spray mount.

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