Students work their art off in Iowa

Linh Hoang, Photographer

This could be the first time you will be in a room with people who have the same dreams and passions as you. You can show of your art and have colleges recognize the talent you have.

The National Portfolio Day Associations (NPDA) was created in 1978. Portfolio Day is an event specifically for artists and designers. It brings an opportunity to people who want to pursue an education in visual art with representatives from colleges associated with art and design.

The art students would usually bring up to 15-20 pieces of their work in their portfolio. It is recommended that students have original finished pieces, work in progress, and sketchbooks to show representatives from different colleges.

On the website for Portfolio Day there are more events across the nation. It lists the colleges that will attend each event.

The representatives will review the student’s work, discuss their programs, and answer questions about professional careers in art. There won’t be any admissions decisions or scholarships awarded, but the work a student brings may be accepted for the visual portion of an application.

This year a North student attended the 2014 Iowa National Portfolio Day, hosted by Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design in West Des Moines, Iowa. It was held on November 1st, 2014 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the West Des Moines Marriott Hotel.

Anthony Melia, senior, attended the event to show off some of his artwork.

“It was interesting and good. They seemed to have liked my work, and basically gave me a scholarship,” Melia said.

The representatives looked over his portfolio and told him it was worth 10,000-15,000 dollars for his scholarship. They also said if he put more work into it, then it could be worth more. Melia likes art and would want to make a career out of it.

A few institutions that participated in Milwaukee were the Art Academy of Cincinnati, The Cooper Union School of Art (in New York), Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (in Michigan), and Rocky Mountain College of Art (in Denver).

Melia wants to become an illustrator for books or graphic novels. He would also like to do graphic design, creating clear, good-looking designs and images for websites, magazines, posters, etc.

He is interested in two colleges that participated in the event – the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and Kansas City Art Institute.

“They’re pretty ballin’ and the environment is cool,” Melia said about the two colleges, “They give you an open studio for a year and they start with the basics, and then get you out of your comfort zone.”