AP Art Students Present Portfolios to Colleges


Victoria Lopez

Over 70 AP Art students received feedback on their artwork portfolios after presenting them to college representatives and previous Wauwatosa West students during Portfolio Day on October 17th. 

With tables set up throughout the room students lined up to present their body of work they have built throughout their high school career to receive direct feedback from the colleges they were interested in. A few students even received on the spot admission based upon their portfolios and interviews. 

“Portfolio Day went really well, it was actually super helpful with all the feedback. The colleges were a lot nicer than I thought they would be and they gave great feedback and positive criticism that helped tremendously,”  said Wauwatosa West Senior and AP Art student Isabella Jacobson.    

Jacobson was one of many students who participated in portfolio day. Jacobson has a strong passion for Art and Design. She has been passionate about art for as long as she can remember. 

“Art portfolio day has probably been the best day of the year, representatives from all the colleges were super passionate about their job and the work they do,” said Jacobson.

Tosa West hosted a total of nine different college representatives from around the world including two colleges from California, Wisconsin, Seattle, and so forth. Along with this six Tosa West graduates came to speak on their experiences within the art field after West. During the panel discussion each school was able to talk about different scholarship opportunities and how art students would almost never pay the full admission price.   

 “MIAD has been my dream school and I never thought it would be an option until I talked to them which is really exciting, I’m actually applying for MIAD now,” said Jacobson.

For the last ten years, the Wauwatosa West Art Department has hosted “Portfolio Day” in mid-October. Planning for this event started in early July and the end of August by Jessica Belich, an art teacher from Tosa West who stated that there was a lot of time that went into emailing the college representatives in order to get everyone schedules in line. While it took a lot of planning, Belich believes this event is very important for the art students to experience. 

“If we don’t organize events like this, I don’t know that they would get this intensive feedback,” said Belich.

Another Wauwatosa West Senior, Jacob Burgardt, has been in photography since his sophomore year. He started taking pictures of his dog which later turned into a big passion. While he is more interested in pursuing journalism rather than photography, he recommends participating in Portfolio day. 

¨I think it’s really good for people to have a lot of work that don’t get reviewed often it gives you good public speaking skills and is informative on how artists have lived since Tosa West to work in that field in the future,” said Burgardt.

Students interested in pursuing future portfolio days could also check out the National Portfolio Day Association website to find events in different cities around the US as many Art Colleges hold their own events.

It is difficult for students to get a full day to dedicate to a specific class and portfolio day offered students an intense period of get meaningful feedback on their work.

 Belich said, “That feedback helps us to create the award winning, and scholarship winning portfolios we have in the past. Really this event can launch someone’s future in the arts.”