Visual Arts Major: Portfolio Requirements


  1. Portfolio: Seven to ten recent pieces of artwork
  2. Foundational Evidence: One to three drawings from observation
  3. Personal Statement: Please choose and respond to one of the prompts below. You may share this narrative through a written essay (1-2 pages) or video submission (maximum five minutes).
    • Personal Reflection: Explain your passion for creating and studying visual art. Consider addressing your past practices/experiences, challenges and successes, as well as how Interlochen can help you attain your goals.
    • Describe a Current Piece: Choose a piece from your submitted portfolio. Consider sharing where the idea came from, why you choose the specific medium used, what you might be trying to say or address in your piece, and why you ultimately pursued creating it.
    • Idea: Propose a detailed description of a idea or project that you would like to work on if you were to join the Interlochen Visual Arts department.
As a compliment to the portfolio presentation, the Director of Visual Arts may request to schedule a meeting to discuss your creative pieces and overall candidacy to the program.

Portfolio Guidance:
The visual arts portfolio should consist of recent pieces of artwork that represent your artistic interests and demonstrate your technical skills and abilities. We welcome you to submit various media, which might including metalwork, digital art, installation images, photography, video, painting, printmaking, etc. The inclusion of drawings from observation should not be work drawn from imagination or copied from photographs. Here's a video with a few more tips on how to prepare a portfolio for the Interlochen Arts Academy Visual Arts major.

How to Submit your Materials:
Applicants are required to submit their portfolios digitally as a part of the application process. After you start the application for admission, create an account on DecisionDesk and upload your work under your Interlochen Application ID number as a "Visual Arts" candidate.

For applicants who are joining us for a campus visit, please upload your portfolio one week prior to your visit day in order to participate in an official portfolio review. We suggest you bring any original work, including your sketchbook, along with you.

Campus Visit:
We highly encourage all applicants to plan a campus visit! The schedule may include a meeting with our Director of Visual Arts, a full tour of campus including the Dow Center for Visual Arts and residence halls, an opportunity to meet and interact with current students, and a chance to observe classes in session. Plan your campus visit >>