Portfolio Guidelines

To ensure the program’s strength, the Department of Visual Arts requires all applicants to submit an application portfolio. Acceptance into the program is based on an evaluation of the portfolio along with the other materials outlined in the application to the University.

Application Procedure

Please use the Portfolio Review Date Selection form to notify the Department of Visual Arts of your intention to apply. Complete and return this form at least two weeks prior to the date you select. The Department of Visual Arts must receive all components of your portfolio application by 9:30am on the selected day of your review. Students not currently enrolled at UMBC must also submit a complete UMBC Undergraduate Application (along with all supporting documents outlined in that application) to the UMBC Admissions Office at least two weeks prior to the selected review date. For more information see: www.umbc.edu/undergraduate/apply_now/index.htm MAILED PORTFOLIOS Must be sent to the department in returnable packaging, including a return label and postage to: Undergraduate Portfolio Review Committee UMBC Department of Visual Arts 1000 Hilltop Circle Baltimore, MD 21250

Content Checklist

Your portfolio must contain the following items.  APPLICATION FORM Use the application form to list all pieces in your portfolio, including title/description, dimensions, and medium. Indicate intended concentration and date of review.  STATEMENT OF INTENT Your application must include a brief, typed essay of 200 - 350 words describing your interests and ambitions as an artist.  REQUIRED PORTFOLIO ASSIGNMENTS Applicants are required to complete two assignments and submit them with their portfolios. Directions are given below. Assignments should be submitted in the original format.

HAND-DELIVERED PORTFOLIOS Will be accepted by the Department of Visual Arts in the Fine Arts building room 111 between 8:30am and 9:30am on the day of the review. Portfolios must be picked up between 4:00pm and 5:00pm on the same day.
We cannot store or return portfolios that are not sent with returnable packaging and/or not picked up at the designated time.

 6-8 ADDITIONAL ARTWORKS OF YOUR CHOICE  TWO REFERENCE LETTERS Reference letters should be written by individuals who are in a position to assess your ability and commitment as an artist. One reference from a high school teacher or college professor is recommended. References can be mailed directly to the Department of Visual Arts at UMBC or can be included with the portfolio application.  COLLEGE TRANSCRIPTS Incoming transfer students and current UMBC students must submit a transcript (showing all prior coursework from all colleges, including UMBC) with their visual arts portfolio. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable. High school transcripts are NOT required.

Portfolio Guidelines

Portfolio Preparation

Examples of acceptable media include drawing, painting, photography, video, audio, performance documentation, installation documentation, computer-generated images, written analysis of an artist and/or work of art and creative writing. All applicants, except Linehan Artist Scholars*, may submit original or documented work. The two required assignments should be submitted in the original format. A portfolio may contain a combination of original and documented work. It is advisable to check the compatibility of digital submissions on a Macintosh computer. ACCEPTABLE MEDIA FOR SUBMISSION – Original artwork – Slides – CD Rom (JPGs, WAV, MP3 or AIF audio, or QuickTime movies) – Video: CD ROM or DVD – Website URL: e.g.: myspace.interactiveartist.html – Javascript, or Flash (URL or CD) LINEHAN ARTIST SCHOLAR CANDIDATES First-year applicants with strong academic records are encouraged to apply to the department through the Linehan Artist Scholar Program. Linehan Artist Scholar portfolios will be reviewed by visual arts faculty to determine admission to the department as well as scholarship eligibility; it is not necessary to send a second portfolio application to the department.

Required Assignments
ASSIGNMENT 1 Collaged Self-Portrait Materials: 8.5” x 11” illustration board, pencil, glue, collage elements. – On 8.5 x 11 illustration board, sketch an outline of an image or object (such as your face, house, shoes, bookbag, etc.) that represents you. – Using your lines as a guide, arrange your selected collage materials into a dynamic composition that captures your sense of self. – Attach the materials with glue. You may use any kind of materials including photographs, drawings, cloth, plastic, metal, etc. ASSIGNMENT 2 Photography Assignment: Tourist/Artist Materials: A disposable camera, or any other camera available to you (35mm, digital, etc.). Film or digital files may be processed and printed by you or a lab, and may be in black and white, or color. – Select an outdoor scene or environment that is interesting to you. – Take four photographic images of this scene as a tourist would see it. – Take four photographic images of the same scene as an artist would see it. – Choose a size and presentation method appropriate for each selection: tourist and artist. Label the photographic images on the back of each image: Tourist OR Artist.

* Linehan Artist Scholar portfolios must be submitted by
December 15. Details and instructions can be found at the UMBC Office of Scholarships website: http://www.umbc.edu/undergraduate/learn/linehan.html For questions about the Linehan Artist Scholar program, call 410-455-3813.

Portfolio Guidelines

Questions and Answers

Should I wait for the letter of acceptance into UMBC before applying to the Department of Visual Arts or do I apply to the program before I am accepted into the University? You should submit your University application at least two weeks prior to the portfolio review date you select on your Department of Visual Arts Application. However you do not need to wait for the University notification before submitting your portfolio. What happens if I am accepted into the University, but not the Department of Visual Arts? You may elect to pursue another major at the University. You are also free to enroll in entry level visual concepts courses and to re-apply to the Department of Visual Arts. May I contact the committee to inquire about the evaluation criteria? The portfolio guidelines are very specific and should be read carefully before calling with questions. The committee is looking for originality, flexibility, motivation, good presentation skills, and overall creativity. These qualities can be demonstrated in any medium. Selection and presentation is part of your challenge. If you need help with this, consult your art teacher, professionals in the field, friends and family —and then make your own decisions. Who is responsible for evaluating portfolios and will I receive feedback if I’m not admitted? A committee of faculty/staff members from the Department of Visual Arts conducts the portfolio evaluations to determine if students will be offered admission to the department. Due to the volume of applications received, the department is unable to offer a critique of individual portfolio applications. Students not admitted to the program should seek advice from art professionals, instructors and others in a position to assess the work. The Department of Visual Arts application asks for my intended area of concentration. What if I don’t know? You do not have to declare your concentration prior to your enrollment in the department. Once you have declared your concentration, you are free to change your mind at any time. However, in some cases, a change may delay your expected graduation date.

Is it important to include a variety of media, or work in the medium I plan to pursue? While it is good to demonstrate your ability in a variety of media, the guiding principle in selecting your work is that it best represent your abilities as an artist. In general, it is better to submit several strong pieces in the same medium than to submit weak work in a variety of media. The committee is looking for the specific qualities listed above, not for technical proficiency in the field you plan to pursue. If, after reading the instructions carefully, I still have questions—who can I contact? For general information about the program or to schedule a tour of the department, call the visual arts office at 410-455-2150. Portfolio application questions should be sent to Melanie Berry at mberry@umbc.edu. Do I need to submit separate applications to the Linehan Artist Scholar Program and the Department of Visual Arts? No, the Linehan Artist Scholar portfolio & application will be reviewed by a visual arts committee to determine both admission to the department and acceptance to the Linehan Program.

Portfolio Guidelines

Portfolio Review Date Selection

I PLAN TO SUBMIT MY PORTFOLIO FOR REVIEW ON 2012  Oct 19  Dec 15 (Linehan Artist Scholar Applicants ONLY) 2013  Feb 1  Mar 29  May 3  Oct 18  Dec 15 (Linehan Artist Scholar Applicants ONLY)

Use this form to select a date for Portfolio Review and to notify the Department of Visual Arts of your intention to apply. All Portfolio Review Date Selection forms must be received by the department at least two weeks prior to the selected review date. The Department of Visual Arts must receive all other components of your portfolio application by 9:30am on the selected day of your review.

Last name

First name

Middle initial

INTENDED CONCENTRATION/DEGREE  Animation/Interactive Media  Art History & Museum Studies  Cinematic Arts  Graphic Design  Intermedia  Photography  Print Media  Undeclared
 BA  BA  BA  BA  BFA  BA  BA  BFA  BFA  BFA  BFA

Please Note: No further confirmation of the selected date will be sent.

Application Form

Last name Date of Birth Address City

First name

Middle initial

Portfolio Contents

Please label each piece with the corresponding number and your name. Numbers 1A-1B and 2A-2H are for the required assignments. REQUIRED ASSIGNMENT ONE 1 Title ASSIGNMENT 1



Dimensions 8.5” X 11”

E-mail Phone

REQUIRED ASSIGNMENT TWO INTENDED CONCENTRATION/DEGREE  Animation/Interactive Media  BA  Art History & Museum Studies  BA  Cinematic Arts  BA  Graphic Design  BA  Intermedia  Photography  BA  Print Media  BA  Undeclared Portfolio Review Date (enter your selected portfolio review date)
Month Day Year



Title Tourist/Artist Medium Photography

Title Medium Dimensions Title Medium Dimensions Title Medium Dimensions Title Medium Dimensions Title Medium Dimensions Title Medium Dimensions Title Medium Dimensions






Applicant Status

(check ALL that apply)  Freshman  Artist/Scholar  Transfer*  Current UMBC Student* TRANSCRIPT
*Transfer applicants and current UMBC students must include transcripts. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable with this application. High school transcripts are NOT required.


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Medium Dimensions

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