Visual Arts

Idyllwild Arts Academy

Visual Arts

Roll Up Your Sleeves and Stretch Your Imagination.

The Visual Arts program at Idyllwild Arts emphasizes formal skills, personal vision, creative insight, and character development; so that graduates from the program embody all these characteristics as mature, creative and engaged young adults.

Development of formal skills is integral to the program, but is a specific focus in the first two years. All incoming freshman are required to take Art Fundamentals, which is an overview of foundational principles, of which drawing is the most important. Without these formal skills we feel that students will not be able to fully explore the second aspect of their development as artist/scholars: a personal vision.

So as part of this exploration our students are encouraged to choose from a wide range of disciplines including: painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, printmaking, computer graphics, art and technology, photography and art history. They are also able to take classes in other departments, which includes fashion. This experimentation is part of an overall goal which is to develop a strong and informed personal voice, and culminates in a senior show, a capstone project, and for some a reflection on their time at Idyllwild Arts.

As Juniors students start to focus on portfolio development for college applications, and with it the ability to talk about their work. This is expanded on in Senior Seminar class which is also a forum to prepare for college. As part of this process all the top colleges send representatives to the school to give presentations and review portfolios. During these reviews students are asked to support their work in a thoughtful and informed way.

As our guiding philosophy we believe that being fully immersed in an art practice is integral to positive personal growth, and we have a highly qualified and engaged faculty of artist/educators who hold this as a guiding principle for their own teaching practice

This is a brief overview of the visual arts program, but cannot fully reflect what occurs everyday in the studios as students and teachers engage in this transformational practice.

David Reid-Marr
Visual Arts Chair

Application Requirements

The Visual Art major emphasizes the practice of studio art by helping students develop a sensibility and commitment to the hands-on, experiential process of art making. Students are exposed to a variety of ideas, methods and materials to promote an expansion of their visual literacy. Students are also asked to enter into a critical and analytical investigation of the meaning and practice of studio art. All courses supplement studio practice with study of the historical, cultural and philosophical backgrounds of various periods and styles. The department also works to have students understand that art is a way to think critically and creatively about the world in which they live. The emphasis is on small classes and one-on-one interaction with a diverse, professional faculty.

Applicants must submit a portfolio of a representative number of works (approximately 10-20 pieces) that embody their own work. All submitted work must be the candidate’s original work and not in the Anime or Manga style. No modified or altered pieces will be accepted. Each piece must include a description of the type of project and/or title, description of mediums, and size and date. Images of art works should be submitted via email, on a CD (no more than 200 dpi) or as digital photo images of work in a bound folder.

Please note if you submit a portfolio via email: we have an allotted space of 1GB reserved for your entire portfolio submission, so be mindful of the size in megabytes of your upload. The dimensions (height and width) of your images should be kept to a manageable size to facilitate easier viewing. Please do not submit original works.

The portfolio must include approximately seven drawings of objects from direct observation—that is , not from photographs; three of these seven must be figure drawings. The portfolio must also include five other works that investigate a specific theme; these can use any medium as long as the works suggest a consistent investigation of your idea. The following questions must be answered:

  1. Describe your beliefs about the role of the artist in today’s world.
  2. What do you expect to gain from your experience at Idyllwild Arts?
  3. Do you intend to pursue visual arts in college and/or as a career?
  4. Describe some of your previous experience with visual arts classes, projects, summer programs and/or media you have an interest in.

For specific questions regarding the Film Admission Process, please contact:
Jara Ruiz-Anchia at 951.659.2171 x2347 or

Visual Arts Chair
Visual Arts Faculty
Dorm Leader/Trainer, Visual Arts Faculty
Visual Arts Faculty, Dorm Parent
Visual Arts / InterArts Faculty
Visual Arts Faculty
Visual Arts Faculty
Visual Arts Faculty
Parks Exhibition Center Manager & Visual Arts Faculty