Visual Arts

Students currently in 8th-11th grades may apply.

The Visual Arts Department creates a supportive and challenging arts environment that enables students to experience, first-hand, the discipline, knowledge and dedication required in the visual arts field. Artist-teachers and visiting artists serve as mentors to the student artist, introducing students to art history, contemporary art, and the principles of artistic form. In two- and three-dimensional studio classes, students are encouraged to concentrate on technical proficiency, creative problem solving and self-discovery. This focused curriculum increases confidence and skill, and allows students to explore new possibilities and become increasingly self-directed. In critiques, students are able to exercise their aptitude at art analysis and more accurately assess their own work and the work of others.

Include with your completed application:
Upload a picture(s) of the following TWO completed activities:

Activity ONE:

Create a drawing from direct observation. Drawing from “direct observation” means creating a drawing while looking at the real objects (not from a picture). The drawing should be drawn in pencil on an 8½” by 11" white piece of paper (regular copy paper). We recommend that your composition fill the whole page and that you use a full range of value (value means adding the lights and darks you see, using shading in your drawing). It is also suggested that you light the subject with a strong, direct light source to create highlights and shadows. Upload a photo of your completed drawing with your application.

Choose ONE from the following options to draw:

    • Draw a pair of your favorite shoes, hi-tops, sandals or dress shoes.
    • Draw an arrangement of two or three things that you like to collect.
    • Look around for, and then draw, a subject that is challenging and complex– such as a stack of glass cups, kitchen gadgets or an interesting plant.
    • Create a self-portrait with dramatic lighting, by looking in a mirror (you could include your favorite sunglasses or hat).

NOTE: A second OPTIONAL drawing may be included. The subject of the drawing can be anything you would like to draw.

Activity TWO:
Starting with a piece of white copy paper, alter it to change its shape from a 2-dimensional to a 3-dimensional form (2-dimensional means flat, only having height and width, while 3-dimensional means the object also has depth, like a sculpture). You can cut, fold, tape, glue, or do anything else that you want to the paper. We want to see your creative solution, so avoid following a pattern that someone else designed, (like an origami piece for instance). You may want to light your finished piece with a lamp to bring out the highlights and shadows. Take two or three pictures of your piece, with your phone or a camera, from different angles so that we can see all sides of it. Then upload the pictures with your application.

Following a review of the applications, selected students will be invited to a live virtual audition and asked to upload a portfolio prior to the audition.

Portfolio Review:
Selected students will be asked to upload a digital portfolio of carefully chosen examples of work prior to the student's scheduled audition day and time. Images of the work can be taken with a cell phone or a camera. Please be sure that the images are clear and present your portfolio at its best. To avoid glare on the image, it is recommended that work that is framed and under glass be taken out of the frame when photographing. Here (click here) is a video that may be helpful, made by our photography teacher, about how to take high quality images with your cell phone and available light.

Students should submit outstanding original work that demonstrates commitment and investment, with an emphasis on work from direct observation. Consider quality before quantity; up to 10 pieces are requested. Include a variety of media and approaches (drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics and photography are all accepted). All work should have been created within the last two years.

At the Audition:

    • You will be asked to create a sculptural piece with items you have in your home.
    • You will be asked to produce a drawing from direct observation.
    • You will be asked to write a response to an image of an artwork.
    • Faculty members will talk with you about your two activities, the written artwork response, reading ability, and your academic strengths.


Photo of Keith Perelli

Keith Perelli

Visual Arts: 2-D Exploration Visual Arts
Home Phone: (504) 940-2883


Keith Perelli is a visual artist working in painting, printmaking and drawing. He received a Bachelors in Arts in Painting and Printmaking at The University of New Orleans and his Master in Fine Art from The University of Cincinnati in sculpture. His figurative work explores a variety of social political and personal issues. He has participated in numerous, national and international invitation and juried exhibitions. Mr. Perelli is a recipient of a SURDNA Foundation’s Arts Teacher Fellowship, a Louisiana Division of the Arts Fellowship, and a Foundazione Ratti Arts Fellowship. He has received five professional development grants from the Louisiana Division of the Arts. He was awarded a Downtown District Development /RTA commission for a public works project on Canal Street in New Orleans in 2009. He was selected as the juror for the September 23rd Competition at the Alexandria Museum of Arts in 2011.
Mr. Perelli has had solo exhibitions in New Orleans, Los Angeles and Houston. He studied in Italy with “Happenings” artist Alan Kaprow in 1997 through a scholarship awarded by the Ratti Foundation, Como Italy and artist Ron Pokrasso in Santa Fe New Mexico in 2008, which was awarded through the SURDNA Foundation, New York. His work was featured in the “University of New Orleans 3 Person Alumni Works on Paper,” Innsbruck, Austria and “Louisiana Artists,” Alexandria Museum of Art, LA. He was also featured at the Leslie Lohman Foundation Gallery in New York and an exhibit titled “Katrina, Catastrophe and Catharsis” at the Fine Arts Center, Colorado Springs, CO. He was awarded
Best of Show,” for the 22nd September Competition,” Alexandria Museum of Art, “Louisiana Artists” exhibition at the LSU Gallery, Baton Rouge and the 1st Place at the Wichita Arts Center Printmaking Exhibition in Kansas and the 1st Annual Print exhibition in Hammond, LA. A book of his work was created in Tianjin, China in 2012 as 12 part book series of 12 American contemporary figurative realist. A traveling mid-career survey of his work was exhibited at the Alexandria Museum of Art in Louisiana, Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, The Isaac Delgado Gallery at Delgado Community College in New Orleans and Gallery 308 in Muncie Indiana. His professional website is

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