Visual Arts

Idyllwild Arts Academy

Priority Application Deadline for Fall 2019: January 15, 2019

Living Art

In the Visual Arts Department we make art, together. We emphasize formal skills, personal vision, creative insight, and character development. As we progress through the program we become more confident and competent in our practice of teaching and learning, so that graduates from the program go in to the world as creative, engaged young adults. During this process Art and Life become seamless. This synthesis is transformative, and in turn is capable of affecting positive change in the World. It is Living Art

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

Portfolio Requirements

Applicants must submit a portfolio of a representative number (10-20) of 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. Images of art works should be submitted via email, or as uploads to their online application, or as digital photo images of work in a bound folder.

Do not submit original works since we are unable to mail them back to you.

The portfolio must include:

      1. 4 drawings of objects from direct observation (not from photographs)
      2. 3 full human figure drawings from direct observation (not from photographs)
      3. At least 5 other works, using any medium, that focus on a single specific theme
      4. Brief responses to each of the following:
        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.

Each portfolio piece must include a description of the type of project and/or title, a description of the medium, and the size and date.

For specific questions regarding the Visual Arts admission process, please contact:
Jara Ruiz-Anchia at 951.659.2171 x2347 or

Visual Arts Chair
Visual Arts Faculty / Dorm Parent
Visual Arts Faculty
Visual Arts / InterArts Faculty
Visual Arts Faculty
Visual Arts Faculty
Visual Arts Faculty / Dorm Parent
Visual Arts Faculty / Small Dorms Head
Parks Exhibition Center Manager