Visual Arts Program
BE YOU! BE ORIGINAL!
WE WANT WHAT YOU HAVE!
The Oswego High School Visual Arts Program may be competitive, but first and foremost, it’s a celebration of you: your hard work, your unique talents, and your originality! It’s your chance to be taken seriously as a student artist as an individual with a personal visional voice that belongs to you and you alone.
The Oswego High School Visual Arts Program holds you to the same standards as professional artists. This doesn’t mean we expect you to spend a decade perfecting a work of art before turning it in or to jumpstart a new art movement that completely changes the world. All we ask is that you be yourself! We value originality above all else, and grades cannot be given to work that is not your own.
We want you to surprise us, challenge us, let us into your world. In 50 plus years, there’s only one thing we’ve never seen: You! And this is all we want!
So before entering any final assignment/project, make sure it adheres to the plagiarism and copyright guidelines below.
A GUIDE ON PLAGIARISM AND COPYRIGHT FOR STUDENTS & EDUCATORS
Artwork that is turned in must be original work created by the student. If a submitted artwork is copied from another artist or is plagiarized, the artwork will be returned to the student and the teacher will reach out to the student to understand why the student made this choice.
To avoid this from happening, please review these guidelines before turning your artwork in.
WHAT IS COPYRIGHT & PLAGIARISM?
Copyright is a form of legal protection prohibiting others from copying one’s creative work without permission. A copyright is a property right. Copyright law grants the creator of an original work the exclusive rights for its use and distribution.
Plagiarism is an ethical violation resulting from failure to cite sources and engaging in the act of passing someone else’s work or ideas off as one’s own. This applies even if you have only copied a part, rather than the whole, of another’s work.
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY WORK IS ORIGINAL?
Original artwork is one that is new and different from what others have created. This means that you are the author of the artwork, and the artwork is not copied from someone else’s original artwork.
Even if there is no exact or literal copying, but the average person may notice substantial similarities between the submitted artwork and the source material, it is possible that the artwork is not considered original and should not be submitted for a grade. For example, a pencil drawing that directly copies a celebrity portrait that was taken by another artist is not original.
CAN I USE SOMEONE ELSE’S WORK IF I MAKE CHANGES TO IT?
If your artwork transforms the source material, then it may be considered original. Transformative artwork is a new work that adds value, substantially changes, comments on, or gives a new expression or meaning to the source.
- If the assignment/project uses another artist's artwork as raw material and transforms the original work by bringing new insights and understandings to the piece, it may be considered.
- Changing the medium—for example, creating a painting based on a photo that was taken by someone else—does NOT make the artwork transformative.
- Cropping or resizing an image does NOT make the artwork transformative.
WHAT IF I CITE MY SOURCES? CAN I USE ANOTHER PERSON’S WORK IF I GIVE THEM CREDIT?
You may use limited portions of another’s artwork if you cite your source and if the final product is still an original idea.
There is no formula, the percentage of someone else’s work that is acceptable to use when submitting your assignment. What is important is that your finished work is something new and different from your source.
CONSEQUENCES OF COPYRIGHT & PLAGIARISM VIOLATIONS
If the Oswego High School Visual Arts Teacher has reason to believe that an assignment/project violates these defined terms, the student artwork will be returned to them. Bear in mind that this procedure is in the interest of both the student and the integrity and reputation of Oswego High School and the Visual Arts Program.
WHAT IF I FIND AN ARTWORK THAT TURNED INTO THE ART CLASS THAT ISN’T ORIGINAL?
If you suspect that artwork was copied from another source or was plagiarized, please let the art instructor know.
We will investigate to determine if the artwork violates our participation terms. Because of student privacy concerns, we will not follow-up with you to report on the outcome of our investigation.
TIPS: PREVENTING COPYRIGHT & PLAGIARISM VIOLATIONS
- Educators and students are responsible for educating themselves on copyright and plagiarism issues. This page is only a guide. There is no formula for creating original artwork.
- If you have any doubts about whether an assignment/project is original, choose not to submit that artwork.
- Do not submit fan art or fan fiction.
- Always cite all sources, whether the source is protected by copyright or not.
- Even if you have permission to use artwork or if the artwork is in the public domain, the artwork that you submit to the art class must represent a new, original work.
- No number of words or percentage of a source can be safely assumed to render an artwork original.
- Changing the medium of original artwork is not considered transformative. For example, a painting or drawing of a photograph taken from the Internet or a magazine is not considered original and should not be submitted as the class assignment/project.
*Most of the wording, guidelines, and definitions are taken from the Scholastic Art & Writing website.