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College of Communication & Creative Arts - Art

Rowan University

Portfolio Interview Instructions

A portfolio review is required for admissions for all Department of Art prospective students, whether you are applying as a freshman or as a transfer from another school. Your portfolio may be reviewed in-person or by uploading it to Slideroom. The following information will help you through that process.

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What to Include:

Your portfolio must contain:

• 12 examples of recent work. These must include a minimum of 6 original representational drawings from direct observation; the remainder of the works can be from other areas of interest in the visual arts

• A typed essay of about 250 words that discusses your educational goals and career plans as a professional in art/design. Please include your name and address on your essay.

• You are encouraged to also bring a sketchbook

• Artwork that is too large or too fragile to bring to the portfolio interview may be shown through photographs

• Brief animations/websites/etc. can be viewed onscreen if that is part of your artistic interests and development (optional, and best to bring your own laptop for viewing these works)

Ask your art teacher to help you select the best works to demonstrate your skills and concepts. The artworks may be from class assignments and/or pieces that you have created independently. You may also include art/design created for community or other projects. Multiple views/details of two- or three-dimensional work are counted as one item.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What are drawings from direct observation?

These drawings show your ability to translate the real world and actual objects around you to a 2D surface. Any drawing media is okay. We are reviewing your understanding of tonal values, perspective, proportion, and compositional relationships.

What do you mean when you say ‘original’ drawings?

Do not include copied photographs, ads, comics, or other artworks from magazines, books, etc. because these are based on other artist’s works. We are interested in seeing your original ideas to assess your potential to grow and succeed in the Department of Art.

Do I have to show drawings if that isn’t the area of art that interests me?

Drawing is a fundamental skill that is important in all areas of 2D, 3D and digital art and design. Drawing is usually part of a student’s high school or transfer preparation so it provides a baseline for our evaluation. Our faculty value broad understanding and competence in art as well as deep investigation into your chosen program of study.

What other kinds of art/design work should I bring to portfolio review?

This depends on your particular interests and background. Students interested in graphic design or illustration may bring examples of advertising and branding, layouts from school yearbooks or posters, websites or animations, and typographic work. Students interested in 3D areas may show actual dimensional works (or photographs of them.) Paintings, prints, photographs, murals and collages are all acceptable if they help us connect you with your artistic goals. Just remember to keep the total number of works, including direct observation drawings, to 12 examples.

Do all of my examples have to be formally mounted, finished works?

No. You can show sketches, studies, and works that have been part of your learning process. Not everything has to be ‘final’ pieces, and they do not need to be mounted or framed. However presentation is important, so your work should still be clean, neatly organized, with ragged edges trimmed. Taking care in display shows your pride in your work.

Why do I have to write an essay?

Your essay helps us understand your thinking and attitudes that are shaping your career plans. Also, being good at making art usually isn’t enough to provide success as an art/design professional. Your ability to critique, analyze, and explain your work and your ideas through effective communication skills is also important.


How To Present Your Work (In-Person or Slideroom):

In-person Interviews (recommended): You will meet with Department of Art faculty to talk about your work. Be prepared to discuss your art experiences and your future plans and goals. We will gladly answer any questions about the department and the programs we offer. Parents and family are welcome to come meet, speak with faculty, and visit the facilities at Rowan University.

Slideroom Review: You may also submit your work digitally via Slideroom although we encourage in-person interviews if possible.
The link and instructions for slideroom review: https://rowan.slideroom.com

A well-organized presentation is important!

• Consider using a simple storage portfolio case to neatly carry your work (we don’t expect you to have a formal portfolio with individual sleeves).

• 2D work (drawings, prints, etc.) may be matted/mounted for uniform display but this isn’t required. If you do mat your artwork, use black/white/neutral borders. You can protect the works by covering them with acetate, or simply put a flap of clean paper over/between them. Do not frame the work or use glass.

• If you show small 3D work, it’s easiest to wrap it and put it in a box to carry to your review. No special display formats are required. Big works, or fragile works are better and more safely shown through photographs (these can be printed or viewable on screen).

• If you are showing digital works, bringing your own laptop to the review assures easy and quick access to your files. Use .jpg or .pdf formats for still images. If you are showing animations, videos, etc. (keep them short, or show short example clips) it is best to use a Mac formatted DVD, Quicktime file or .mp4 file.


Portfolio Review Appointments

To schedule a portfolio review, please email artinfo@rowan.edu with the subject line: PORTFOLIO REVIEW. Please include your preferred date and time between 9:30 and 11:30. You will be contacted via email to reserve a time slot. Please do not call for an appointment.

Portfolio Review Dates

• Sunday, October 9, 2016 (University Open House)
• Sunday, December 4, 2016
• Sunday, February 5, 2017
• Sunday, March 5, 2017 (University Open House)


Suggested Application Deadlines

For fall semester entrance, freshman and transfer applications are due by March 1. For spring semester entrance, applications are due by November 1.


Other questions?

If you have additional questions about applying to the Department of Art, send us an email artinfo@rowan.edu.