Portfolio Review Day (Virtual)

Saturday, November 13, 2021
9:00 am-3:00 pm

via Zoom

Portfolio Review Day is a chance for high school age artists to meet with Visual Art Representatives from universities, colleges, and art schools across the state. Over the years this program has helped students to be accepted into various art programs as well as receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in art scholarships and financial aid.

At Portfolio Day, high school juniors and seniors have the opportunity to receive critical feedback regarding their work and portfolios, begin to expand their professional network with different universities, and plan for their future. Professors and artists from institutions across the state come together to network and reflect on the role of visuals art in higher education, and vice versa.

This year's Portfolio Review Day will be virtual and conducted via Zoom. Please check the links below for Zoom instructions, the schedule to see each school’s availability, and the guidebook to be prepared for Portfolio Review Day!  

For students who do not have at-home access to Zoom, please contact Emily Larsen at elarsen@springville.org. A limited number of laptops will be available at the Museum on November 13th for students to use for their appointments. Students who plan to come to the Museum for their Zoom meeting must coordinate with Emily before November 2nd -- no walk-ins will be available for Museum laptops. 

To Make An Appointment

Appointments for university representatives are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. If there are specific schools you are hoping to meet with, plan to fill out the form early before your preferred school's schedule fills up. Each student will be able to schedule 15 minute appointments with up to 5 institutions of their choice. Please click here to see school availability. 

The window for making appointments is as follows: 

  • High School Seniors: October 11th - November 8th
  • High School Juniors: October 29th - November 8th
Freshman and Sophomores are not eligible to participate in this event. 

Please note the last day to fill out the form is November 8th. We do not take any new appointments after this day, however, we encourage any students who did not make appointments to come the day of for walk-in appointments. Many schools will have extra appointments available and we encourage students to take advantage of any opportunities to meet with schools. Please see the Portfolio Day schedule below to see schools’ availability. 

 Who to Expect

The following schools will be represented at Portfolio Day this year:  
Beaux-Arts Academy
Brigham Young University – Department of Art
Brigham Young University – Department of Design
Dixie State University 
The Masters Academy of Art 
Salt Lake Community College
Snow College
Southern Utah University
Southern Virginia University
University of Utah
USU Eastern - Price Campus
Utah State University
Utah Valley University
Weber State University
Westminster College 
Advice for that Day

Plan your time appropriately
Please arrive 10 minutes early. It takes a few minutes to check in, and you will want a few minutes to orient yourself before your first appointment. Additionally, you don't have to limit yourself to just 5 schools. Many of the schools will be taking walk-in interviews, and we encourage you to speak with as many different schools as possible. The more feedback you get, the stronger your portfolio can eventually be. Plan to explore the event for an hour or two so you can talk to several additional representatives. 

Dress for Success
Your clothing will play part in the first impression you give to school representatives. In your meetings, you will want to present a confident and professional appearance and show who you are! It may be helpful to view these meetings as similar to job interviews, so come dressed as you would for that. Some general guidelines: 
  • Wear clean clothing. Business casual attire is encouraged. For examples and suggestions, see this Zippia article titled “What To Wear For An Interview” and scroll to the Business Casual section. 
  • Confidence is key. Dress and style yourself in a way that allows you to feel comfortable. During your meeting, remember to sit up straight & be attentive -- your attention and confidence will impress school representatives!

Come Prepared
The purpose of a portfolio is to show a school’s art representatives a sample of your current work. Include your best and most recent works. Unless it’s a sketchbook, include only finished artwork. A good portfolio should have continuity and provide viewers with a clear idea as to what your vision is. It should be organized by subjects or different styles. You will be asked to explain your work. Think carefully about each piece you include in your portfolio so that you are prepared to answer questions about your process, inspiration, and goals. 

If there are schools you are specifically interested in attending, do some research beforehand. What questions do you have? This is your chance to get answers directly from professors, students, or admissions reps from these schools. See the guidebook above to get some general information about each school that will be in attendance at Portfolio Review Day.  
Don't get Discouraged
This is only one step in the process of becoming a professional artist. You will get lots of feedback at this event; it is up to you to choose what advice you will follow and what advice you will disregard. Be aware that schools will not be offering on-the-spot scholarships to attendees. These interviews can help you, however, to connect with people who you might be working within college programs, and who may have an influential voice on scholarship decision committees down the road.

Frequently Asked Questions
What are they looking for in me as an artist?
Have an idea of where you want to go with your work.”
                -Morgan Nelson, Hein Academy of Art

Show us work that represents who you are as an artist, and not work that your teachers guided.
                -Jessica Curran, Salt Lake Community College

The ability to self-edit and be critical of ones work. Being able to speak about the ideas behind the work are key. I don't want to hear 'My teacher assigned me to do this...' I want to hear why they were intrigued by the idea, and about what made it important to them."
                -Jeffrey Hanson, Southern Utah University

 What should I include in my portfolio?
Bring only your best and highest quality work. Only high quality reproductions if you do not bring originals.”
               -Adam Larsen, Snow College

Sketchbooks! Professors love to see the thinking process.”
                -Danielle Tolman, Snow College

Present more original work. References are okay, but only if I see a student activity seeking to study.”
                -Katie Liddiard, Center for Academic Study

Passion and determined effort.
                -Ryan Brown, Center for Academic Study

I want to see more drawings from life and a personal area of focus.
                -Peter Everett, Brigham Young University

Diverse in genres (i.e. not just portraits). Experimentation."
                -Amanda Beardsley, University of Utah

"Examples of individual artistic style, vision, and concepts."                        
               -Justin Kunz, Brigham Young University

"Life drawings, commercial art, photography, film/video animation."
                -Zac Elliott, Art Institute of Salt Lake City

How much of my art should I bring?
I would encourage students to bring only their best work, not work from Jr. High. They should bring 10-15 of their best work not 30 of different quality.
                -Trudy Richardson, Salt Lake Community College

More is not necessarily better.”
                -Rich Briggse, BYU- Idaho

We really only need to see a few pieces to see what a student ability is.
                -David Belka, BYU- Idaho

Don’t bring everything. Only bring the best. That may be ten pieces for some students, while others may have about 15.”                       
                -Glen Blakley, Dixie State College

Quality is more important than quantity. I encourage students to edit their portfolios, realizing that they will be judged on their poorest work as well as their best."
                - Arlene Braithwaite, Southern Utah University
How should I present my art?
A portable portfolio is easier to flip through.
                -Scott Allred Snow College

I liked seeing the sketchbooks several students brought – nicely matted and well-presented portfolio pieces are a joy to review.
                -Robert Barrett Brigham Young University

Presentation, I was very impressed with students that had matted and framed their work. It looks more professional and more put together.”
                -Nadia Morales Westminster College

Create a digital portfolio on a CD to leave with University Representatives.
               -Noel Carmack USU Eastern

Still have questions? Contact Emily Larsen at 801-491-5702 or elarsen@springville.org