Hundreds of students receive portfolio reviews at RIT

Nov 07, 2017

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A sample of the student work that was at RIT for a Nov. 5 National Portfolio Day event.
Thumbnail for Hundreds of students receive portfolio reviews at RIT
A sample of the student work that was at RIT for a Nov. 5 National Portfolio Day event.

by Aaron Garland

Close to 300 high school and college transfer students interested in attending art school gathered at RIT on Sunday, Nov. 5, for a National Portfolio Day (NPD) event.

With representatives from more than 30 leading art and design colleges around the country stationed in RIT’s Gene Polisseni Center, prospective students were afforded the chance to have their artwork assessed by the institutions of their choosing. During portfolio reviews, participants going through the college search and application process received constructive feedback on their artwork.

“I got a much better understanding of the schools and what they’re looking for in their portfolios and their applications. And also a much better understanding of the type of person they want at their school,” said Evan Marnell, of Vermont, one of the 275 prospective students at RIT Sunday. “… This has been the most interactive artist-to-artist communication I’ve had, and it’s been incredibly helpful.”

By Grace Klinger: RIT ceramics faculty Jane Shellenbarger, back left, and Peter Pincus review a student's work at RIT's National Portfolio Day event on Nov. 5.

Faculty from all six of the schools in the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences (CIAS) at RIT were on hand evaluating work. The 275 participants marked RIT’s most highly attended NPD since 2011 — a span in which the university has hosted four times.

“When you go to a portfolio day event, it gives you an opportunity to talk to a number of different schools about what it is you’re interested in. So it’s not just getting your work out there, it’s also a way to gather information,” said RIT School of Design professor Joyce Hertzson.

Hertzson is a seasoned NPD veteran, having partaken in them for 35 years. She’s already been to several this fall.

“From repetition over the years I’ve gotten to know people and it gives me a chance to talk to them about programs that people are not aware of,” Hertzson said. “Most people don’t realize that something like medical illustration exists. And so, when I look at a portfolio, when I can see exquisite drawing skills, and then I talk to them about their academics and I find out they also love biology, it’s a perfect fit. And some of them may have never known that it existed.”

RIT hosts a National Portfolio Day biennially, with its next one scheduled for 2019.