Curating Their Futures

The annual portfolio day gives students the opportunity to meet college representatives
Visual senior Maia Derrevere displays her artwork for the annual Portfolio Day. The event occurred during periods five and seven on Jan. 17.
Visual senior Maia Derrevere displays her artwork for the annual Portfolio Day. The event occurred during periods five and seven on Jan. 17.
Sadie Kanter

Hanging up their paintings on the bleachers while their booths are lined along the borders of the gym, tables filled with senior artwork showcase a myriad of art styles ranging from sculptures and photo books that display their artistic processes and represent their portfolios.

Every year, 50 representatives from 30 to 40 art schools across the country visit our campus to meet with visual and digital media students, allowing them to showcase their portfolios and begin to create professional relationships for their future. While the morning of Portfolio Day is reserved for only seniors, the afternoon is open to underclassmen as well.

“I don’t think that this is something that I would have the opportunity to do unless I went here,” digital media senior Sloane Lopez said. “I didn’t even know these schools existed and now they’re coming directly up to me. They’re asking me about my interests and where I want to go to school. They’re trying to offer me money,  it’s a great opportunity.” 

Visual and digital media seniors had the opportunity to display their artwork in the gym, where college representatives could view and critique their work. Students who were not seniors could also bring their work to tables around the gym to be critiqued. (Sadie Kanter)

The event is organized by visual arts dean Lacey Van Reeth and digital media dean Melissa Glosmanova, both of whom are former Dreyfoos students. Ms. Glosmanova recalls that this event first started not too long after both of them had graduated. 

“When we were here, if you wanted to talk to a school like this, you had to hope that they would come visit your school; which was kind of rare. Or you’d go on the New York trip or the Boston trip, so it is amazing that we get to have this,” Ms. Glosmanova said. 

Not only is the event an opportunity to build relationships for students, but Ms. Glosmanova believes that it is meaningful for the colleges that visit the school as well. 

“These schools look forward to coming to this event because it’s such an intimate setting,” Ms. Glosmanova said. “They’re only dealing with a very small pool of students who are obviously very dedicated to their art. We have a reputation for many, many years now of graduating students who are passionate and very invested in art.”

Displaying their work to strangers can put stress on students, but by “remain(ing) authentic when showing (their) work”, as digital media senior Violet Lay said, students can fully take advantage of the ocasion. 

“The first day, it was really scary,” Lopez said. “I was looking at everybody setting their stuff up, and seeing all the talent was overwhelming. I genuinely had to hide under my table for 15 minutes. Then, I was like, ‘Okay, you’re done being freaked out. You’ve had your 15 minutes,you gotta put it up.’ I went home and I tried to find literally every piece that I had, and I hung it up.”

Underclassmen are already beginning to prepare for this event as they compile artistic material from their art classes, and start thinking about their academic futures and career aspirations.

“I have been building a portfolio throughout the years with the help of my teachers.” digital media junior Ella Front said. “I feel like the core requirements for my classes have helped me garner an idea of possible careers that I’m interested in and this event especially, opens a world of connections, a world of opportunity.”

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Gabriele Pettener is a first year staffer and writer on The Muse. He is also majoring in Theatre and has worked as an Assistant Director for 4 shows at Dreyfoos including Mamma Mia and Shakespeare in Love. He is elated to be a part of The Muse this semester and can't wait for the work he'll be able to do.
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