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DAY 2023

When: September 23, 2023
Where: NWSA
Time: 12:00-4:00pm

National Portfolio Review Day is almost here! Students will be able to receive professional advice and critiques from colleges across the country! This is a great opportunity to explore arts colleges for your child and learn about career opportunities for NWSA students etc. 


What is Portfolio Review Day?


On Saturday, September 23 admissions representatives from arts colleges and art institutions will be coming to NWSA to answer questions about their programs, financial aid, career opportunities, campus life and most importantly, to give you feedback about your selected art works and how to improve your portfolio so it will be a successful part of your application. These review opportunities are most commonly held on their own campuses, or at large event spaces in another part of our city, or a neighboring city. We are fortunate that these colleges have agreed to travel here to see our high school, and meet you here during the school day.  Each review is individual, and your time with the admissions representative will range in time from 10-15 minutes.  


How do I prepare for Portfolio Review Day?


Choose between 8-10 pieces of work that are meaningful to you.  If you have a sketchbook that you would like to share, that is welcomed, as are works in process and not yet complete.  Digital work can be shown when necessary.  Organize your work in a portfolio or large folder (taped cardboard pieces work great.)


Take time before September 23rd to review the colleges online that are visiting, you can find them on the link below.  Many offer virtual tours of their campus.  Look at what each school specializes in, and offers degrees in.  Look at their list of graduates to see if you recognize any artists who went to college there.  Look at examples of their current Visual Arts students work online and on social media.  Review financial aid opportunities, career planning resources and summer programs that you might be able to attend while still in high school.  


Create a list of your top 4 colleges from the research you have done. 

Check out this video for great tips:

Visual Arts Portfolios Best Practices

 How do I get the most from the day?


Prepare to wait in line to get to your reviews, so plan accordingly for the time that you have.  When it is your turn, introduce yourself, your current grade, and your school (area CMS visual arts students are invited to attend, too.)

Make sure you ask for your admissions counselor’s name and write it down.  Observe reactions to your pieces, and take notes on feedback.  Ask for advice about how to make your portfolio stronger if you should choose to apply.  Ask if the counselor is available by email for additional feedback or questions going forward.  Remember you are being “interviewed” to see if you might be a good fit at this college.  Remember you need to interview the counselor as well, to see if this this college is a good fit for you!  This is your chance to learn about college opportunities that may not have even been on your radar before.   Thank the counselor for their time and move on to the other colleges on your list.  Consider following up with an email to thank the counselor for feedback and for traveling to NWSA-it’s another way to make a good impression and help them remember you!


Please encourage your parent(s)/guardian to attend if possible and give them as much notice as possible to be able to plan for the event.  Choosing to apply to an arts based college is often a new idea for parents/guardians, and they need this information too.  Your parent/guardian should not lead your introduction and discussion with the counselor.  They are there to listen and learn about the colleges while you talk about your work and ask questions about the college. If there is time at the end of the review, they can ask a quick question.   Please keep in mind the time limit with each counselor as there will be students waiting behind you.  


You will notice that the feedback on your pieces may vary from one college to the next.  Take note of what each college really likes-it might indicate what their art programs focus on.  Try to write down comments as you go, the day will be fast paced and it is easy to forget who said what!


Have fun and enjoy being able to share your talents and learn about what you may do with your art in college!



Click here to see the Attending Colleges/Universities/Art Institutes:


The Northwest Visual Arts department has many events planned for this year. Make sure to check our social media pages for updates and reminders!


Next week is Northwest School of the Arts Curriculum Night! Here, you and your child will be able to meet your lovely Visual Arts teachers and get some information about classes, clubs, and how to get involved with the school. Come visit the VAB table where we will be able to provide you with information, volunteer opportunities, merchandise designed by our Visual Arts students!


When: Tues, September 19
Where: NWSA
What time: 5:30-7:00pm

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