We are so lucky here in the northeast! There are so many different summer opportunities for students in the visual arts because we are close to many colleges and universities. Many schools offer week long or month long programs that allow students to study everything from fashion to game design. Many of these pre-college programs can help a students to see if they like a particular school or program of study before they actually there. Prices for programs vary but many offer partial scholarships that students can apply for. I have received flyers and brochures from school like Pratt, University of the arts and Moore. You can always check these out in the college and art school folders on the wall. If traveling to a school in NYC or Philly are too far, there are many local programs that you can look in to. The idea is to just keep working, making art and pushing yourself creatively.
National Portfolio Day is an event specifically for visual artists and designers. It is an opportunity for those who wish to pursue an education in the visual and related arts to meet with representatives from colleges accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. Representatives will be available to review your artwork, discuss their programs and answer questions about professional careers in art. High school students, parents, teachers, guidance counselors and college transfer students are encouraged to attend.
National Portfolio Day serves a variety of purposes. Most importantly, it is designed to help further the artistic development of young artists by bringing together experienced college representatives to review artwork and offer feedback. We understand that some people make certain kinds of art more successfully than others. Don't be discouraged if you see work that is "better" than yours. A National Portfolio Day may be the first time you have seen so many people in one place who all share a powerful commitment to the arts. The experience is a small taste of what a professional art program can be like.
National Portfolio Days are also about the exchange of information about your work, yourself, your college plans, and your concerns. This is not an examination or competition. The college representatives are pleased to talk about their programs with you and can be most helpful when discussing your artwork. Your portfolio should include your best and most recent work, but it can also include works in progress, sketchbooks and tear sheets. You'll hear many different opinions of your work. Don't hesitate to explain how you develop your ideas and where you want to go with them. No admissions decisions or scholarship awards will be offered to you at National Portfolio Day. Some colleges represented may accept your portfolio as the visual portion of your application. Other colleges have restrictions that prohibit them from making a definite portfolio decision at the time of your review. We urge you to discuss your work with as many representatives as possible.
Click the link for dates/participating colleges/additional info http://www.portfolioday.net
So many students have been asking about opportunities, classes, pre-college programs. We are so lucky to have so many great opportunities in our area. Many colleges and universities in the New York and Philadelphia area offer Saturday classes for high school students. Schools like Fashion Institute of Technology, Moore, University of the Arts Philadelphia are some that offer pre-college classes. The classes can range from drawing to photography to even jewelry. Depending on the program they can last from 10-12 weeks. Taking these types of courses can allow you to experience that college or university first hand. This is great especially if you are interested in the school. If you are not ready for something like that there are a few local programs. Ducret School of the Arts in Plainfield offers classes for high school students in a wide range of topics. There is also the New Jersey Center for the Visual Arts in Summit. As with any program, everyone's experience is different. I suggest you check them out and do the research. Information for programs can also be found in my classroom near my desk in the College & Art School Info display on the wall. Feel free to check out any materials in there.
I would like to introduce our Guest Blogger, Tatiana. I have asked her to share some insight into the college application process for a student interested in going to college for any arts related career. Tatiana is currently a senior at PHS and is a student in my AP Art Drawing Studio II class. She is also a student option teacher assistant in my Drawing & Painting II course. In her free time she runs track and cross country, and she plans to pursue studio art in college..............
Applying to an Art College/Program
Hi! I know that sometimes applying to (or even thinking about) art school may seem daunting- sometimes it’s not as clear-cut as a regular university, but hopefully what I’ve picked up throughout the process can help you all out a bit!
The first thing I think is important to understand is the difference between an art college and a regular college/university. At a regular university, the ratio of studio-time to liberal-arts classes is about 4:6, whereas art schools emphasize studio immersion and the art-to-academic ratio is around: 7:3. If you want a fine arts degree and crave studio immersion, than I’d say art school is definitely for you!
The next step: when choosing an art school, I’ve come to realize that it’s important to do a lot of research, and be sure to know what you're looking for- avoiding basing a decision solely off of prestige or some other arbitrary factor. Personally, I plan to major in painting, and I've found that certain schools which are great overall may be lacking in certain departments, which should be considered.
Also, art schools are special in that in a lot of the application they admissions officers are assessing your artistic qualities and fearlessness. That idea is a really motivating factor that should encourage you to take artistic risks and explore a bit. Home tests and essays should be problem-solving opportunities that you should embrace, rather than dread. Be sure not to go too far, but don't limit yourself to the mundane, because you're applying to be both a student and an artist at said institution- plus if you’re having fun in your home test or essay, I think that’ll show through.
Another facet of applying to art schools (and other universities in general) that has been instilled in me: grades do matter. Plus, if your grades are good enough, you can rake in some academic scholarship money, which is always nice.
If you take away any succinct advice, it’d probably be organized, be yourself, and be confident. It sounds like a mystery but trust me, it’s not nearly as hard as it sounds. Have fun, and I wish you all the best of luck in all your pursuits! J
"The arts celebrate multiple perspectives. One of their large lessons is that there are many ways to see and interpret the world."
Mrs. Dorothy Amme
Visual Arts Teacher
Piscataway High School