College representatives visit campus for Visual Arts Portfolio Review Day

Kaleigh James
November 3, 2015

Visitors from 26 schools traveled to campus to meet with Interlochen Visual Arts students this fall

On Oct. 26, Interlochen's Visual Arts department welcomed representatives from twenty six prestigious colleges to our third annual Portfolio Review Day. Participating schools sent one or two members of their admissions staff to Interlochen to present information about their various programs, and also to meet with our students individually to review their current portfolio pieces and offer constructive criticism, insight, and feedback. Participating schools included the School of Visual Arts, College for Creative Studies, Pacific Northwest College of Art, Pratt Institute, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Cleveland Institute of Art, Maryland Institute College of Art, Cornish College of the Arts, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, University of Michigan Stamps School of Art and Design, Ringling College of Art and Design, Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, PrattMWP College of Art and Design, San Francisco Art Institute, The Glasgow School of Art, Oregon College of Art and Craft, Art Academy of Cincinnati, Washington University in St. Louis, OCAD University, University of the Arts London, Paris College of Art, Kendall College of Art and Design, Kansas City Art Institute, Western Michigan University, and the Fashion Institute of Techonology.

The day began early as Visual Arts faculty and staff welcomed college representatives to our building. Throughout the morning, the representatives gave thirty minute presentations about their various available majors and programs. Students were able to sit in on information sessions for up to five different schools.

The event continued with college representatives attending a buffet luncheon in our gallery space, where they could chat with one another and also with Interlochen's Visual Arts faculty and staff. Interlochen's Academic and College Counseling staff were also in attendance to network with the college representatives and ask questions that will facilitate their work with Interlochen students as they ready college applications over the coming months.

After lunch, students began their scheduled individual portfolio reviews.  The seniors' work was displayed in the Hertliz building, which functions as senior studio space. The underclassmen took over the entire top floor of the Dow Center for Visual Arts to display their works. Students had scheduled reviews with their chosen schools, and were able to receive direct feedback from representatives about developing and/or finalizing their portfolios.

Junior Bin Quan had five reviews, but his favorites were with the University of the Arts London and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Bin, who is considering Fashion Design or Ceramics as possible concentrations in college, said he received "really good critique[s] on my thesis concept, related to my personal cultural background and family. I want to represent this through figurative works." While preparing for the event, Bin considered which works to display based on "the pieces that I liked and personal feelings," as well as pieces that received strong critiques from his instructors here at Interlochen. His portfolio display this year included mostly figural drawings, some ceramics, one sculpture, and two fibers pieces. When asked about his favorite part of Portfolio Review Day, Bin replied, "having interviews with colleges, talking about my portfolio and what I should do for next year and how I can improve it."

Our students received excellent reviews from the college representatives, many of whom commented on the strength of the work and on the level of preparedness exhibited by Interlochen students. We are very proud of the students' participation, the quality of their work, and their willingness to be open to feedback and constructive critique. The event was an important experience for all students in preparing for the college admissions process, and especially in learning to articulate the issues of their work in a formal review process.