Visual Arts Requirements

CSSSA Visual Arts Required Assignments – 2021

Applicants to the Visual Arts Program must submit a completed application, teacher recommendation forms and upload the following REQUIRED ASSIGNMENTS:

A. Choose any issue that interests you (something personal, political or social). Use whatever materials, techniques and processes work best to express your views on the chosen issue. Upload an explanation of the work in a separate document.

In this assignment we are looking for your ability to communicate a personal view on a particular issue through a work of art.

B. Create an original art piece that reflects who you are. Use appropriate materials and techniques to interpret your idea. In this assignment, we will look at how you creatively interpret the problem, and how you make artistic choices.

C. Choose a piece of your artwork that you feel best demonstrates your technical skill and understanding of your favorite medium. In this assignment, we want to see that you have developed the skills needed to succeed in this advanced program.


Applicants who attended the California State Summer School for the Arts previously must submit in writing a one-page essay stating their reasons for wishing to return to the school and their learning objectives for a second summer. ALSO NOTE: Assignments A through C MUST be new, original submissions that show your development and growth since you attended our program. DO NOT submit work you created during the previous summer session. The essay and your progress as an artist will be seriously reviewed. If you attended CSSSA in a different department, you must also submit a recommendation by a CSSSA instructor from the department that you attended previously.


There are a limited number of spaces for Digital Media and Painting and not all requests can be accommodated. Do not expect to participate in both. If you indicated Painting as your first choice, you must then select a second-choice that is NOT Digital Media.

Do not submit class assignments from school! We want to learn about YOUR ideas, and see how YOU solve problems.

One of your submissions must reflect your first choice.

Upload no more than three images total, one per assignment. Only .jpeg file types will be accepted.

Please save your assignments with your first initial and last name followed by the appropriate letter for each of the submissions. For example, John Smith would save his work as follows:

  • jsmith_A
  • jsmith_B
  • jsmith_C