At Suffield Academy, a number of seniors and I are looking to attend college for an education in the arts. Applying to art schools for art majors is quite different than the standard college process. There are usually portfolios and auditions involved, and acceptance is not only based on academic excellence, but also on artistic talent. Meg Durhager ’18, who is applying to schools for acting/theatre performance, commented, “The college process itself is already a lot and on top of that you have to prepare your audition/portfolio materials…it really shows you what you're going to be handling at the college level. I personally have faced difficulties with preparing between organizing auditions, getting materials together and everything else in between, there's a lot of requirements that different schools have and not all of them line up among the schools, which can be difficult in itself.” Creating portfolios and filming or scheduling auditions is an arduous process that takes up a significant portion of a senior’s busy schedule. Max Wiener ’18 is also pursuing the performing arts and says, "The arts college process is so much more work than any other major and it is hard…I never really felt overwhelmed until Chapman sent me two extra essays right as I hit submit for my creative supplement. However, I never really had any challenges with meeting the portfolio requirements and auditions because other people were always pushing me and I always push myself to get things done.”
A support system including faculty, friends, family, and artistic peers really helps get through the unique college process. When colleges ask for so much from the student, motivation and inspiration come from all different aspects of the student’s life. Yet a college portfolio can also inhibit your creativity. Tori Tryon ’18, who is looking to go to college for visual arts, spoke about her Drexel University portfolio, “It was hard because I had to choose certain pieces out of my work. There were so many I wanted to show, but I could only pick a few.” Art teachers such as Mrs. Graham, Mrs. Fuller, Mr. Butcher, Mrs. Caginalp, Ms. Kane, Mr. Dugan, and Mr. Gotwals really do help with choosing your best work in order to showcase your full potential. Maya Grant ‘18, who is pursuing photography, explains, “While portfolios can be stressful, getting opinions from teachers and those around you makes it a lot easier to feel comfortable with what you are putting into your application.” I am also currently applying to colleges to major in art, and my experience is definitely different from my classmates who plan to major in programs like marketing, business, medicine, and sports management. However, even though it has been stressful and complicated, I know that in less than a year, I will be studying something I am passionate about, and it will be exciting, engaging, and fulfilling.
Best of luck to all applicants!