National Portfolio Day 2018

On Sunday, October 7, MCAD Admissions welcomed 300 prospective students to campus (around 600 guests in total!) for National Portfolio Day. Overall, MCAD faculty reviewed more than 150 student portfolios.

National Portfolio Day is an annual event that happens all across the country, where different schools in different cities host events for local aspiring art and design students. Attendees spend a few hours discovering what several art schools are like without having to travel very far. It helps expand a student's horizon and creates an opportunity for them to learn about schools they might not have heard of otherwise. Each artist brings with them a portfolio—a collection of their work—to be reviewed by representatives from several schools who give feedback including what they are impressed by and in which areas they can improve before applying to their school.

MCAD Admissions Counselor Rachel Beenken ’15 described the event as “a wonderful way for students to meet many schools at once and explore the MCAD campus. For me, being able to see all the amazing works that young artists and designers are able to create is always inspiring.”

As the day began, prospective students and their families gathered around the MCAD Main Gallery ready to sign in and begin exploring the Jerome Fellowship Exhibition. Attendees were in awe of works in the exhibition, such as folded paper and wood paneling used to create beautiful “illusion-like” pieces of art. Then, MCAD offered tours and hosted a panel with Springboard of the Arts to talk about why a student should pick an art school.

In the afternoon, attendees were released to go and discover as many art schools as they could. Faculty from MCAD and more than thirty other art and design schools gathered in the College Center, ready to share insight on individuals’ portfolios and answer questions about what their respective schools have to offer.

The line for the MCAD table went all the way down the hall as artists from all over the region waited to meet with a faculty member from their chosen department: Design, Entrepreneurship, Fine Arts, or Media Arts. Everywhere you looked you could see paintings, sculptures, drawings, and computers all laid out on tables as their creators spoke animatedly about their work. Prospective students entered the portfolio reviews nervously, only to exit with confidence and newfound energy. And, for many, an excitement about MCAD as a potential next step.

When asked about the event, one attendee said, “I love the welcoming environment and how in-depth the review of my portfolio was. I am planning on majoring in drawing and painting so it was really great to be reviewed by an actual Fine Arts faculty member. I hadn't expected to get my review from a member of a specific department.” Another attendee, after having their portfolio reviewed, agreed, stating, “It was amazing to get such a detailed review of my artwork. It really made me feel more confident about applying to MCAD and now I know what to improve before I apply.”

The 2018 National Portfolio Day was an incredible success! I hope to see many of the attendees next year as fellow classmates.