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Fine Art Portfolio Awards

Portfolio reviews may be scheduled with the Clarke University Admissions Office by calling (563)588-6316. If a student is unable to visit Clarke and compete for a Fine Art Talent Award, the student may make other arrangements by contacting the Clarke Admissions Office.

Art + Design Portfolio Review FAQs

What do I need to prepare for the portfolio review?

Students competing for a Fine Arts Talent Award in art must submit a portfolio of 12-15 of their best artworks (ask your high school teacher to help you make choices). Artwork should be original and demonstrate your abilities in drawing, color, design and any specific area of interest. Faculty welcome seeing artwork created outside of class projects that demonstrate your personal initiative, creativity and/or volunteerism and extra-curricular interests.

Ideally, the portfolio will demonstrate your artistic breadth and depth; it will display a variety of media and highlight your skill level. Consider including works which show a variety compositional strategies and scale of work, different angles of view, a range of subject matter, etc.

How can I prepare to present my work? 
What was the assignment if the work is a class assignment? How did you respond to teacher’s prompts? Which work/s shows your greatest strengths? Which work/s provided the greatest challenge? How did you arrive at subject matter?

Can you give me some examples of pieces to include?

Observational Drawings 
Drawing from life (avoid including works copied from magazine photos or images taken from web):

  • Still life
  • Self portrait
  • Figure drawing
  • Landscape
  • Perspective studies

Include a variety of drawing and painting media: graphite (pencil), charcoal, conté, pastel, pen & ink, acrylic, etc.

Other 2-Dimensional Media

  • Printmaking
  • Photography

Digital Work (include CD or Web URL in portfolio)

  • Animation
  • Illustration
  • Game design
  • Web design
  • iMovies
  • YouTube

Works in 3-Dimensional Media

  • Sculpture
  • Ceramics
  • Fibers
  • Jewelry/metals


  • Show us your process
  • Process books/sketchbooks/research journals/free writing or journaling
  • Thumbnail or preliminary sketches for works in portfolio


  • Volunteer work for yearbook, church posters, 4-H, etc.
  • Theatre work: set design, costume design
Let's See What You Can Create!