Renee Sang

Many prestigious art colleges attend National Portfolio Day, offering scholarships and productive feedback.

Renee Sang, Photographer

At Ringling College of Art and Design, art schools from around the country sent representatives for students interested in receiving feedback about their artwork and portfolios during National Portfolio Day; information regarding opportunities available for serious art students is easily accessible as well.

National Portfolio Day happens annually at Ringling, and this year there was another wide array of well-known art schools including the Paris College of Art, California College of the Arts, New York School of Interior Design, Fashion Institute of Technology, PrattMWP College of Art and Design and many more.

This event ran from 12 p.m.-4 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 24. Art students of various skill levels, along with the general public were welcome.  Those with, but not limited to, skills in multimedia, photography, digital design, interior design, film, and other categories of art are encouraged to bring their work to show each year.

Seminole High art teacher Mrs. Kathleen Holt says, “[Portfolio Day] is so helpful because they will give you feedback as to what’s successful in your pieces, what you might be missing, or what pieces might go good together for a good concentration. If your work is really strong they actually will sometimes give away scholarships on the spot.”

Going to the event is not only a helpful experience for artists to receive professional feedback, but also prepares them for situations in which they will need to know how to respond and talk about themselves such as job interviews or presentations.

Holt continues to say, “Another thing that people don’t practice which is really funny, is how to shake hands and how to comfortably introduce yourself to someone, because you walk up to a table and there’s a person sitting there just kind of staring at you.”

Students were required to walk up to the table with a college or school they are interested in and be able to speak to the representative about their work, which allowed them to develop social skills.

Junior Adrian Sakr recalls, “There are many high-profile colleges and institutions in this valuable experience that helped in developing artistic abilities and seeing what art colleges are looking for in the portfolio submission process.”

Sakr has attended the event two years in a row and says it has helped him realize he has a lot to work on before submitting a portfolio for art schools.

Junior Anastasia Papaioanou participated in the event for the first time this year and comments, “The best part of Portfolio Day was getting the feedback I received on my work.  The advice was from a new perspective, so I was able to step back and evaluate my own work objectively.  Now I have a plan to expand my portfolio and improve my technique.”

For students who plan on partaking in the event in the future, Papaioanou offers recommendations: “The best advice I could give students planning on attending next year is to bring a wide range of work.  Good technique is expected, and a good conversation stems from realizing how you can use your established skill set to create better work.  Also, have drawings from direct observation!”

It is highly encouraged for art students to attend and receive a great learning and growing experience, especially if they plan to apply to an art school.  Students can visit the Ringling Portfolio Day website for a list of colleges that were at the event and for more information and tips on what to expect if they plan to go next year.