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Visual Arts

2022 Virtual Audition Procedures – Visual Arts


All students must complete an audition profile on our virtual audition platform, Acceptd ( The portal to create your Virtual Audition Profile will open in December 2021. Students will have until February 1, 2022, to upload all their audition materials. Auditions begin in early February and are scheduled by art department and the first letter of your last name. Please be sure to review all requirements outlined below. Once you create a profile, and upload all your materials, you will log-in the day of your audition and join us virtually!

In addition to the suggestions below on creating a studio in your own home, please note that you should be in a quiet and well-lit space, be sure that your computer or phone are fully charged and functioning properly. While we understand that many of you may be uncomfortable on camera, that is a requirement for all auditions. All virtual auditions just like in-person auditions are closed to parents/guardians, family members or peers. If there is anyone else in the room with you during your audition, you may be disqualified. If you leave during your audition, you may also be disqualified.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the above, please contact the Admissions Office at or call 202-631-3129.

NOTE: Visual Arts will have entirely virtual auditions.

What We Are Looking For

Ellington is looking for students with potential who demonstrate their passion for the visual arts. Successful students show strong observational skills and hand-eye coordination.

What to Upload/How to Prepare

Students must digitally submit pictures of the following prior to their audition through the Acceptd Audition Platform:

  • Images of your portfolio pieces must meet the following criteria:
    • Clear
    • Take in good lighting; Do not use flash unless necessary
    • In color
    • Don’t put special effects, no filters – we will recognize!
    • No background, just the image
  • A portfolio of at least five (5) or more works of art – on white drawing paper, 8-1/2 x 11-inch paper or larger – with at least one each in the following categories:
    1. A self-portrait, realistic to the best of the student’s ability,
    2. A drawing of a bicycle,
    3. A drawing of an open closet in their home (use color: pencils, makers or watercolors),
    4. A drawing of a landmark in the city,
    5. Free choice of anything of your own creation.
  • Please be sure you keep these pieces of art and have them ready for your virtual audition interview.

The 5 portfolio items above are mandatory.  If you have additional portfolio items and/or a sketch book, you are welcome upload these in as well.

The Virtual Audition Process Itself

All students auditioning in the Visual Arts will be required to produce a drawing from a still-life during the audition, write a short essay while in your virtual audition session, about the form and content of a work of art presented in their portfolio, and discuss their portfolio during their interview with a Visual Arts faculty member.

Have a Successful Audition

  • Take time and care with your required sketches.
  • Be prepared to discuss your work.
  • Present yourself well – arrive on time, speak clearly and confidently.


  • All departments offer Virtual & In-person Audition Workshops in December and January to help students prepare for their official audition. Students who participate will be able to learn what to bring, review the audition procedures, learn how to build a portfolio, present their work with confidence, and prepare their work for the audition. Visit for more information and how to sign up – workshops cost $10. This fee can be waived for special circumstances, please email if you would like to request one.
  • Auditions begin the first week of February 2022 – immediately after the application deadline! Make sure to visit our website to review the audition schedule. Auditions are scheduled through the Acceptd Virtual Audition platform, for all students who successfully apply via MySchoolDC. You must view your audition date and time based on your art department and the first letter of your last name.
  • Please note that callbacks, shadow visits and family interviews may all be held in person if it’s possible to do so safely.