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10 Fine Arts Passion Project Ideas For High School Students

6 minute read

three silver paint brushes on white textile

While art encompasses a wide spectrum of creative endeavors, the fine arts, also known as the "plastic arts," typically refer to those forms of artistic expression that prioritize aesthetic beauty and craftsmanship. Painting, sculpture, drawing, and dances are good examples of fine arts, where artists focus on the mastery of technique, composition, and form. Fine arts dives more into the visual aspects of human perception, making them distinct from the humanities, which involve the study of human culture and history.

Perhaps your school offers the opportunity to learn about the basics of these fine arts, but you’re excited to go even deeper. A fine arts passion project can be a great way to gain practical skills and experience.

Finding Your Fine Arts Passion Project Focus

The fine arts encompass a wide range of topics and skills, so you might have some difficulty at first narrowing down on a project topic. However, you can start off by considering if you have any prior experience in a field and see if you’d like to dive deeper. In this scenario, you can view a project as an opportunity to gain more advanced skills and challenge yourself. You can also research fine arts areas that you don’t have experience with and browse the project ideas below to see if a new topic stands out to you. If one does stand out, then you can use the project as a chance to learn new skills and maybe see if you have a natural talent or passion for the topic.


1. Solo performance/acting monologues 

Create a solo piece of video, theater, or performance art based on a conceptual idea that explores a personal, social, or political subject. The process of the project can be based in writing or on research into any type of source material. Consider if there are any personal experiences or concepts that resonate with you deeply, and also study other artists who have approached similar themes in their work. This type of project could be helpful to anyone wanting to audition, build an artistic portfolio, or apply for grants and scholarships or fellowships in film, theater, performance, or new media arts.

Idea by fine arts research mentor Sami


2. Community mural 

Collaborate with your local community to design and paint a mural that reflects a story about the surrounding neighborhood and area. Research who might be the best people to reach out to in order to get the ball rolling on the project and from there you can start to collaborate on a mural idea. After, think about who you’d like to get involved with the mural, whether it’s local artists, students, or local organizations. Highly recommend creating a time-lapse video to show the progress of the mural from start to finish!

3. Cultural heritage project 

Explore and celebrate your cultural heritage through art. This could involve creating traditional artworks, crafts, or performances that honor and are inspired by your cultural traditions. You can conduct preliminary research by talking to family members or by doing your own research on the Internet. Exploring your own heritage can be a very meaningful theme to explore through the fine arts.

4. Abstract expressionist painting series

Create a series of abstract paintings that explore emotions, moods, personal experiences, or something else through the use of color and brushwork. Definitely take inspiration from some of the abstract greats like Kandinsky or Rothko, but look to create your own unique style. You’ll find that you can produce some pretty creative stuff if you give yourself the space and time to think.


5. Sound sculpture installation

Construct a sound sculpture installation, a sculpture made of any objects that produce a sound. If you’re confused or want to hear an example, check out this video! In your sound sculpture, you can incorporate musical instruments, basic objects, or even electronics to create an immersive sonic experience.

Explore the Fine Arts through research

Polygence pairs you with an expert mentor in your area of passion: literature, drama, film making, theatre, writing, poetry. Together, you create a high quality research project that is uniquely your own. We also offer options to explore multiple topics, or to showcase your final product!

Student exploring their passions

6. Experimental printmaking

Printmaking is the process of taking inked images from a template and placing them onto a surface, which can be wood, paper, fabric, or even metal. In this project, you can closely explore one specific printmaking technique, such as lithography or screenprint, and see if you can create your own printed art. Printmaking has a long and rich history, and you can begin your project by first reading about the art, observing some pieces, and watching videos that introduce you to printmaking.

7. Woodworking

Woodworking involves using carefully selected high-quality wood to create intricately designed sculptures, furniture, or decorative objects. Keep in mind that this project requires special equipment and resources, so first, see if your school may have access to this kind of equipment. Prioritizing safety during the use of tools is also essential. If you’re not sure where or how to start, check out this resource, where you’ll learn about the history of the craft and the basic skills you’ll learn throughout your project.

8. Kinetic sculpture installation

Create sculptures that incorporate movement, whether through mechanical components, wind, or other forces. See if you can brainstorm a theme first for your work or a concept you want to explore before creating the sculpture itself. Remember, you can use everyday objects to build the sculpture, and the overall size of the piece is up to you.

9. Live painting performances:

Create art in real-time during live events, such as during a concert, theater performance, sports event, or public gatherings, to capture the energy and atmosphere of the moment. Try to pick a practical spot where you can get a good view and also be comfortable painting or drawing - bringing an easel and canvas to a crowded sports game might not be the best idea!

10. Geometric abstraction painting series

Explore geometric abstraction through a series of paintings that play with shapes to create visually engaging compositions. Many modern artists have explored this concept before, but see if you can provide your own unique spin on it. The Metropolitan Museum of Art has a great article about geometric abstraction that you can study and apply to your own works.


Showcasing Your Fine Arts Passion Project

As you create your fine arts passion project, you should be thinking about how you want to showcase your project. You can see that in many of the project ideas above, there seems to be a natural endpoint or product that you’re trying to create, like a painting or a sculpture. While that in itself is a great accomplishment, also consider how you can showcase the process and story behind how you created those pieces. For example, if you’ve created a painting, think about maybe getting some footage of the painting in its early stages and any mockups that you did, before also getting some footage of the painting in its later stages. This could show the audience your process from start to finish. This could also be done in the form of a blog article accompanied by pictures. This will provide an impressive story for your passion project.

Summary

In this article, we covered how to find the right fine arts project for you and shared 10 different research and passion project ideas. If you’re interested in pursuing a fine arts passion project, Polygence’s programs are a great place to start and learn from excellent mentors who are well-versed in drawing, dance, sculpture, and other fine arts.

Explore Real Passion Projects from our Students

Our students have done everything from animating award-winning short films to recreating historical dresses by hand. The common thread: exploring their passions deeply and creating something that is uniquely their own.

Research Opportunities and Ideas