Showcasing student artwork

Students pull portfolios together to impress colleges on Portfolio Day


Hannah Gaines

Lined up — Junior Sabrina Holloway marks her paper in Wendy Vertacnik’s seventh hour portfolio art class. Students in the class have been preparing for Portfolio Day today.

By Chloe Board and Etana Parks

Student artists spend their entire high school careers preparing a portfolio to present to the colleges of their choice.

Lawrence High Portfolio Day is today, and it’s all that’s on the minds of art students and teachers alike.
National Portfolio Day, which takes place this weekend in Kansas City, is a yearly event where high school students and adults who are interested in studying art share portfolios with the schools they wish to apply to. LHS hosts representatives from art schools for informational sessions and portfolio reviews in the lead up to that event.

I’m using this opportunity to show what I’m capable of”

— Senior, Evondi Weston

“My portfolio is mostly self portraits, because that’s mainly what I’ve done for the most part,” junior Elijah Jackson said.

Jackson said that he plans to go to the California Institute of Arts, so he’ll present his portfolio to them during the event.


Representatives from universities from around the country are at LHS to give presentations about their programs. Students will be able to ask questions and receive feedback on their art and portfolios.

All of the art programs prepare for National Portfolio Day essentially the same way. Teacher Wendy Vertacnik prepares her drawing and AP portfolio students by having them bring forward some of their best pieces to present in their portfolio.

“My students will be bringing in their portfolios with no more than 20 of their best pieces to show the art school representatives,” Vertacnik said. “They will be working on an artist statement, describing themselves and their art style, so that they’re comfortable talking about their work to the representatives from the art schools.”

Photo teacher Angelia Perkins prepares her students by doing critiques and helping them formulate questions in advance.

“I have a list of questions that are good things to ask the representatives,” Perkins said. “I prepare the students to ask what they can do to improve their work, to ask for critiques. I want them to build a relationship with the representatives.”

Jewelry and ceramics students similarly prepare for this day.

“I have my students choose their best works and think about how they will discuss the thought process behind their work,” jewelry and ceramics teacher Deena Amont said.

Senior Evondi Weston said she is ready to show what she has learned.
“I’m using this opportunity to show what I’m capable of,” Weston said. “I try to have a variety of artwork that I put [in my portfolio], pieces that show skills and techniques that I can do, but also showing my own unique art style.”

Students use this opportunity to be critiqued by professionals in order to prepare them for art school.

“My portfolio includes my portrait work and a couple of paintings, but I mostly do photography,” senior Storm Auchenbach said. “Hopefully on NPD I will be getting some good feedback on my some of my best photos and other artwork.”

originally written on 10/20/16