Chicago Portfolio Reviews

This weekend I took a trip to Chicago for a Portfolio Viewing Day that was being offered by the School of Art Institute of Chicago.  If I am not mistaken, there were around forty school present from around the country that were looking for potential graduate students for the Fall of 2014.

There were four schools I planned to show my work: Cranbrook Academy of Art, Virginia Commonwealth University, Columbus College of Art and Design, and School of Art Institute of Chicago.  With only four hours to review with as many schools as possible, I realized a strategy was needed.  I decided it was of my best interest to review with a school that was not on the top of my list, so I started with Cranbrook.  The review went rather well, especially for the first one!  I felt a little rusty, though, due to the fact that I hadn’t attended a review session like this in four years.  It was during this interview that I became aware that graduate schools would much rather you apply to one area of the program rather than two.  As explained to me, it shows an utter dedication to the program if you only apply to one.  I was unsure whether I should be applying to Sculpture or only Fiber Arts, but after discussing it with the Cranbrook representative I knew I should be applying to Fibers.  After being given a little confidence and shaking off the nerves, I decided I could apply to the top choice on my list: Virginia Commonwealth University.  Up to this point I had been looking very closely at VCU’s program of Fiber Arts under their Crafts and Materials section.  After talking with the representative, I felt even more sure of my work and my abilities to succeed in grad school right after undergrad.  The representative loved and raved about my work, concepts, passion, techniques, aesthetic, etc. and was more than happy to deliver a copy of my presentation to the director of the Fiber Arts Program.  She also asked me if I’d take the time to please visit their school and interview with the director in person.  I couldn’t be more thrilled at that moment!  All the long nights, lack of funds, and stress I’d been through over the past years in undergrad were finally paying off and showing the possibilities of my future.  I left that review with optimism that I’d be able to attend the school of my dreams.  My review with CCAD was also rather successful!  They were impressed also with my aesthetic, techniques, concepts, and overall drive to do the best work possible.  I had already visited CCAD for the Sculpture X convention, so they were familiar with me, but I believe showing my work also aided in my potential to be accepted.  I was also pleased with my review with SAIC, as they had an appreciation of my work, but they requested I change the titles of my work.   If my reviews with the previous schools had not been successful and they hadn’t said they appreciated my concepts and titles, I would have taken this more to heart.  Rather than take away a negative vibe from that review, I’d much rather focus on their appreciation for my aesthetic, professionalism, and abundance of work.

I returned from my thrilling adventure last night and mulled over the results.  I am elated with all the responses that were given about my work thus far, and now feel I have more confidence to push the send button upon sending applications.  I also received an email this morning from CCAD in regard to their thoughts on my review. It was very reassuring to receive, as it discussed my professional presence, their interest in my concept and aesthetic, and also offered me an artist at their school to further investigate for aesthetic inspiration.  I very much look forward to making more work after these visits that will have been influenced by thoughts and/or suggestions.  It was just what I needed to find even more motivation to keep creating!

ART ON, Everyone!

One Comment

  1. Hello, I hope everything goes well for you. Also, If you don’t mind me asking, what did you include in your portfolio?


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