Finding Their Artistic Voices: Portfolio Preparation Class Compiles College Admissions Portfolios

In the Portfolio Preparation class, taught by Deborah Caiola, Chair of the Art Department, 11 seniors discover the themes of their art journeys while finalizing their portfolios. Additionally, they are getting ready for portfolio reviews while preparing some college applications for the early fall. 

In the course, students will do a series of projects to diversify the mediums presented in their portfolios. Some are also aiming to meet specific guidelines set by target colleges. Deborah says, “My goal is to help the students develop a body of work, including an artist statement that clearly expresses their motivations behind their art-making process, their inspirations, and what they hope to communicate through their work.” 

The students have developed their artistic processes and styles for all of high school, and for some their whole lives. Different students use different methods to create, but everyone is continuously improving their skills and finding what they enjoy most in every class. Portfolio student TJ Hampton ‘22 says, “I almost always work digitally nowadays but I started with the traditional pencil to paper drawings. I switched to mainly digital because I feel like I’m more in control while working with programs like Illustrator and Photoshop.” 

Currently, students in the course are creating a ‘relief’ painting. This project intentionally incorporates a variety of materials, merging two and three-dimensional aspects, to challenge the artists to think differently. TJ Hampton ‘22 says, “For the new project I plan on combining digital prints with physical elements like cardboard, pencil, marker, and really anything I can find.” 

Another portfolio student, Quaye Agoyo ‘22 says, “For the new project, I’m planning to do a picture of me shooting a basketball, with the ball popping off the canvas (possibly made of clay) in order to fulfill the 3D part of the project.”October 9th was National Portfolio Day, where students specifically looking to apply to an art school or an art major could have their work reviewed by over 90 colleges.  Deborah says, “I want students to recognize that this is just one moment in their lifelong artistic journeys… My advice for them is to attempt to keep the joy in artmaking alive and at the forefront… remember that going to school, and your education, in general, is for you to grow and become the artist, thinker, person, and citizen you want to be. It’s for you.”