Should you Include Text-Based Art in your ART PORTFOLIO?

Text-based Art in you ART PORTFOLIO

When we think of what you should put in your Art Portfolio we think of Still Lifes, Observational Drawings, Portraits, Landscapes/Cityscapes and Self Portraits. To include examples of each of those types of work is important, another type of work you can add to your portfolio is Language art or text-based art, which is art that incorporates language in some way such as spoken word, poetry, written statements or alphabetical or numerical symbols. 

The basis of this idea is that you use language as an artistic element – an element and principle that communicates ideas and meaning to the viewer in a composition. 

Ashcan Art Portfolio Prep Classes are individualized, so students work independently on their own projects with an Ashcan Instructor. Some Ashcan Art students become interested in making a text-based work for their Art portfolio. So we have them look at artists like Joseph Kosuth, Sol LeWitt, Louise Bourgeois who were some of the first to give words a central role in their work.

And also Contemporary Artists such as Tracey Emin, Wayne White, Jenny Holzer, Ed Ruscha and Harland Miller. 

Text- Based Mixed Media Work by Ashcan Art Portfolio Prep Student

People tend to have very different or slightly different, visual associations with a word or series of words, even when we share a common language. Ashcan Art students come from so many different countries and have identities tied to different places, adding to the range of linguistic and numerical symbols and meanings, for the student creating the work and the viewer.

Making text-based art for your Art Portfolio is one way to make your work stand out to College Admissions Counselors.  Try experimenting with the visual capabilities of text and numbers in your notebook–– working with words to devise configurations, semiotic imagery, and poetry or statements.

Text- Based Ink Sculpture by Ashcan Art Portfolio Prep Student
Check out this video of an Ashcan Art student project titled “Voice”
It’s a sculpture is made up of the faces of some of their favorite queer activists who have helped them understand themself and others better. When a hand hovers above one of the faces it triggers an audio clip from that activist to play.
They speak about their experiences growing up queer and what they learned about their place in the world/society at large.


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