Art Portfolios for College Applications

The following procedures and suggestions are intended as guidelines for seniors who have done a significant amount of visual art work during their Tallulah Falls School career. It is strongly recommended that all students intending to study visual arts include a portfolio of their best work with the application. Portfolios should highlight a unique talent or skill-set, allowing the applicant to stand out. If chosen and presented carefully, the portfolio can be a strong advantage.

Colleges and universities will judge work on technical mastery and skill, variety and versatility. When creating a portfolio for higher education follow each college or university’s guidelines. Take time to research a college’s specific directions on how to create a portfolio. Tailor the portfolio to the college’s suggestions. Below are instructions and suggestions:

  • Save artwork as early as possible.
  • Choose strong pieces - the portfolio is only as strong as the weakest piece.
  • Each piece should be labeled with the student’s name/grade level.
  • Look at pieces as more than a product.
  • What process is displayed? (experimentation, use of materials)
  • Include independent art, not only art completed in class.
  • Use original pieces, not studies (copies) of other’s ideas.
  • Remember reviewers look at many of portfolios.
  • Show creativity and technical skill.
  • Organize and display in a pleasing and formal way.
  • Group by medium, subject and technique.
  • Store all works digitally.
  • Take pictures with a high-resolution camera.
  • Develop an artist statement. This speaks to each student's interest and investment in art.
  • Half page, single spaced is sufficient.
  • Have a mentor check the completed portfolio.
  • Update the portfolio as needed.