Visual Arts Requirements


The Visual Arts Department welcomes students with a large variety of interests, learning styles, and ways of expressing their creativity. Applicants are encouraged to be themselves when completing the following prompts, and we hope to see your unique voice come through.

Applicants must submit a completed online application, provide the contact information for two teacher recommenders, and upload the following required assignments.

A. Choose any issue that interests you (for example, something personal, political, or social). Use any materials, techniques, and processes that work best to express your views on the chosen issue. Upload an explanation of the work in a separate document. It can be just a few sentences up to a few paragraphs. Most importantly, we are looking to see how you communicate your viewpoint through this work of art.

B. Create an original art piece that reflects who you are in some way. Choose materials and techniques that best express your idea. In this assignment, we are looking for your own unique interpretation and artistic choices.

C. Choose a piece of your artwork that you feel best demonstrates your technical skills and understanding of your favorite medium. In this assignment, we want to see that you have the potential to succeed in CSSSA’s intensive 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.


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

Please 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: