By Monica Shaw

Leavitt Area High School

The Annual Art Portfolio Review Day: Giving Artists Positive Encouragement

This April, nearly 50 high school art students gathered at Central Maine Community College for the 7th annual Art Portfolio Review Day. Students came from high schools all over Maine such as, Edward Little, Lewiston, Franklin, Westbrook, Lisbon, and Oak Hill High School. Students filled the gym with their art portfolios. Evaluators participated and each portfolio was reviewed twice, giving the students the feedback and encouragement needed to continue making such amazing artwork.

Over the course of the day, students were assigned to various skill shops that were being held throughout the college. These skill shops were there to give the artist insight on how to be a successful artist, even if they were not pursuing it as a life long career. There were classes to teach framing and matting, how to write a structured artist statement, how to create a portfolio and also a digital portfolio, they were taught how to formally critique artwork, the difference between going to an art school or attending a university as an art major, and lastly the many things that can be done with an art degree. Artist from all over Maine and students from the art Program at the University of Southern Maine gathered to teach these courses. The Art Portfolio Review Day was started seven years ago after a Leavitt Area High School Student, Karly Eretzian, attended the yearly -‘National Art Portfolio Day’ in Boston, Massachusetts. There, students wait in line for hours upon hours to walk by a line of tables, stopping at each one to have their portfolios reviewed and critiqued in a matter of seconds. Every year students walk away confused and saddened by the way they were evaluated. They learn everything negative about their artwork, but never received anything positive in return. Therefore, The Art Portfolio Review Day was created, hoping to give art students all over Maine positive feedback on their work and enlighten them to the world of art.

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