The Sustained Investigation section of your portfolio should show a body of related works that demonstrate an inquiry-based sustained investigation of materials, processes, and ideas through practice, experimentation, and revision.
You’ll submit 15 images, some of which may show details and process documentation. Images can include fully resolved works and forms as well as sketches, models, plans, and diagrams.
Choose Your Images
To build your Sustained Investigation section:
- Carefully select 15 images that demonstrate your inquiry-based sustained investigation of materials, processes, and ideas done over time through practice, experimentation, and revision.
- Ensure that your images also demonstrate skillful synthesis of materials, processes, and ideas.
- Note that there is no preferred or unacceptable material, process, idea, style, or content.
When you upload your images for submission, you must identify the following for each image:
- Materials used (100 characters maximum, including spaces).
- Processes used (100 characters maximum, including spaces).
- Dimensions (height x width x depth, in inches). For work that is flat, enter 0 for depth. For images that document process or show detail, enter NA. For digital and virtual work, enter the size of the intended visual display.
Image citation (100 characters maximum, including spaces). Proper attribution and/or citation of all pre-existing material(s).
Complete Written Evidence
You must also describe your investigation by submitting responses to these prompts:
- Identify the inquiry that guided your sustained investigation. (600 characters maximum, including spaces).
- Describe ways your sustained investigation developed through practice, experimentation, and revision. (600 characters maximum, including spaces).
Your responses to the prompts are evaluated along with the images you submit:
- The most successful responses in relation to the assessment criteria used here are clearly related to the images of work submitted, directly and completely address the prompts, and provide further evidence of inquiry-based sustained investigation through practice, experimentation, and revision.
- You must identify all pre-existing work(s) in the Written Evidence portion of your portfolio. Review the Artistic Integrity Agreement for more information.
- Although responses are not evaluated for spelling, grammar, or punctuation, you should make sure your responses are written clearly (e.g., don’t use extreme text speak or eliminate spaces between words).
Keep in Mind
As you create artwork over the course of the year, be sure to:
- Start formulating questions to guide your sustained investigation at the beginning of portfolio development. This inquiry should be based on your own experiences and ideas. Document these guiding questions and continue to develop them throughout your sustained investigation.
- Visually, and in writing, document your ongoing practice, experimentation, and revision in your use of materials and processes as your work develops. Consider how these choices can best demonstrate a skillful synthesis of materials, processes, and ideas.
- From this ongoing documentation of your work, select images and writing to include in your portfolio that most effectively demonstrate your inquiry-based sustained investigation according to AP Art and Design Portfolio Exam assessment criteria.
- Keep in mind that process documentation images included in your portfolio should provide insight on your inquiry, thinking, and making. Detail images should be submitted only when it’s important to see a close-up view of a work as evidence of practice, experimentation, and revision or of skillful synthesis of materials, processes, and ideas.
- Carefully consider the sequence of images you submit to demonstrate your sustained investigation. There is no required order; images should be presented to best demonstrate an inquiry-based sustained investigation through practice, experimentation, and revision. Also carefully consider the relationship of your images and the written information you submit. The written information you provide should be clear, specific, and concise, providing insight about your work.