Join These Art Clubs to Boost Your High School Résumé

If you're planning to apply to art school, these high school clubs will beef up your résumé, strengthen your applications, and impress your future college.

When it comes to high school extracurriculars, usually it’s not great box yourself to only one kind of club or activity. But when you’re planning to apply to art schools and programs, there are a few different clubs that are going to benefit you far more as an applicant than joining the chemistry or math club. Here are the art clubs you should be joining in high school to give your résumé a boost and impress colleges when you apply.

General art clubs

A general art club is a great place to meet other artists and develop skills within all sorts of mediums. The benefit of a club like this is that there are more varied project opportunities—providing you with a more diverse portfolio. If your portfolio can showcase your ability to create in any form, you’ll be at a great advantage when you apply to colleges.

Best for students interested in these fields:

  • Any and all—but specifically fields that may be too niche to have their own clubs

Drawing club

In nearly all forms of art, there are basic shapes and figures that you need to know how to manipulate. An introductory drawing class, group, or mixed-level club can provide you tools that you’ll use for the rest of your career as an artist.

Best for students interested in these fields:

  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Sculpting
  • Storyboarding

Related: Great Colleges and Universities for Visual Arts in the East

Yearbook club

Joining yearbook provides extensive experience with group work, editing, graphic design, meeting hard deadlines, conducting interviews, advertising, and customer service. You’ll likely also dabble in photography, leadership, project management, and pitching ideas. Developing these skills will showcase your knowledge of every aspect of art and art sales. Plus, the high-stress environment will surely thicken your skin.

Best for students interested in these fields:

  • Cinematography
  • Photography
  • Photojournalism
  • Videography

Photography club

Joining a photography club can benefit your résumé in a different way from the previously mentioned clubs because it can help aspiring photographers and other artists. It can only benefit you to have the ability to photograph your work well for your portfolio—that’s what really makes this club stand out. When applying to any art school, you’re going to need to present a body of your work, and most artists showcase their drawings, paintings, sculptures, or videos in documented photos rather than the work itself. Your portfolio will only be improved with the tools and skills of a good photographer.

Best for students interested in these fields:

  • Cinematography
  • Photography
  • Photojournalism
  • Videography

Related: Great Colleges for Visual Arts in the West and Midwest

All in all, each club is valuable in its own way, whether it’s art based or something else. While branching out and joining different clubs can be great, it’s important to remember that most art schools prefer highly skilled and focused artists. So if art is your passion, pursuing these résumé-boosting art clubs is smart. By finding a balance between you, your extracurriculars, and your art, you’ll come away with great skills and projects to impress colleges with.

For more advice about art schools, programs, and more, check out our Performing and Visual Arts section.

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About Natalie Johnson

Natalie Johnson

Natalie Johnson is a film student and writer, doing her best to avoid a lifetime of debt. You can find her digging through CollegeXpress for scholarships or working on her art at


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