Students - Be Prepared! Fine Arts Portfolio Review
Monday, April 24, 12 noon - 5:00 pm
Rhode Island Convention Center, 5th floor, Ballroom
Open to RISD Juniors, Seniors and Graduate Students
The Fine Arts Portfolio Review offers RISD juniors, seniors and graduate students the chance to meet with gallery directors, curators, residency program directors, grant officers and other fine arts professionals for individual 20 minute portfolio reviews. Reviewers are prepared to comment on portfolios in process or near completion and offer tips and advice on ways to make a strong presentation and connect with the professional fine art world.
Check out the list of Participating Organizations from 2016 and come back in the spring to see 2017 in the making!
The Career Center strongly advises students to sign-up for reviews with organizations that are a good match for them based on their RISD major, portfolio work and interests.
IMPORTANT: If you have class at the time of the reviews you’d like to attend, you must speak with your faculty member and request time away from class to participate. Speak with your faculty in advance to avoid any difficulty and an unexcused absence from class.
Sign-Up Process for Portfolio Reviews
Students will be able to sign-up on-line through ArtWorks for portfolio reviews on a first-come, first served basis.
To sign-up for portfolio reviews you MUST be registered in ArtWorks, have a profile, and upload a resume with a link to your portfolio online.
Prepare now, follow these instructions:
If you need to update your profile and resume, login here and then click on the 'My Account' tab and then 'My Profile' (be sure your 'Year in School' is accurate).
Finally, click on 'My Documents' to upload your resume.
Sign-ups will happen over the course of two days:
Wednesday, April 19 at 6:00 pm: You may sign up for 4 portfolio reviews
Thursday, April 20 at 12 noon: You may sign-up for 4 additional portfolio reviews
Portfolio Review time slots fill very quickly! Be sure you review all organizations attending the Fine Arts Portfolio Review and prioritize those you want to meet with first and foremost.
Prioritize a list of 10-15 organizations for your reference when the sign-ups open.
Read these instructions in advance so you know what to do.
These screen shots will also help you understand the sign-up process.
If you wanted to meet with a n organization whose schedule filled before you could sign-up, you can submit your resume electronically through the Resume Drop in ArtWorks.
This will ensure the organization receives your resume and knows that you were interested in meeting with them. To make the most of the Resume Drop, you can email the company after the Fine Arts Portfolio Review to express your interest in them and ask about the best way to follow-up for their consideration.
Review these instructions about using the Resume Drop.
Resume Drop screen shots are on pages 20-24.
IMPORTANT: Cancelling a Portfolio Review after April 20
If you have to cancel a portfolio review after April 20, you are required to email Susan Andersen, Associate Director at the RISD Career Center and explain your situation by emailing
It is critical that you update the Career Center and send a note of apology to the reviewer in order to participate in future reviews.
What to Bring
RISD ID – required
Your complete portfolio and/or sketch books, actual samples and/or pieces
Business cards or promotional cards (optional)
Printed Portfolio sample (optional)
Dress for Success
It is better to err on the side of formality than informality for this event. Professionalism in personal appearance is a strong complement to the quality of your work.
Prepare to Attend!
Know Your Audience: Students attending are expected to do research on the organizations they will be meeting with. Research the organization websites and/or individual reviewers on LinkedIn prior to your portfolio reviews; make notes as you go and develop questions you would like to ask them.
Introduce Yourself: Greet the reviewer by stating your name, RISD major and your year in school. Shake hands and thank them for meeting with you. Open your portfolio to the place you want the reviewer to begin and ask them how they would like to look at your work - do they prefer to get a quick overview and then ask you about your projects, or would they prefer for you to tell them some details about each piece as they’re reviewing.
Present Your Portfolio:
Portfolio, sketch books, actual samples and formats - Your portfolio can be actual pieces, digital printouts or displayed on your laptop or iPad. It can be complete or in-process, but should be well organized and may include sketchbooks and journals. If you are using a laptop or iPad, be sure the screen is clean and free of smudges. It is a good idea to save your portfolio to your device so you do not have to rely on wi-fi to present your portfolio at the event.
We highly encourage you to create a profile at RISD Portfolios in order to establish a web presence. We’ll also be directing reviewers there to see more RISD talent.
By the end of the review, you may recognize patterns in the feedback you received –pieces that several reviewers liked and others that didn’t garner much interest. This feedback may seem contradictory at times, but keep in mind that varying opinions may suggest particular approaches for specific types of organizations. This feedback may guide you in presenting your work in the future.
Show Respect & Say Thank You: Please respect the reviewers; they’re here to help you and many have taken a day from their busy work schedules to attend this program. They’re reviewing for 4 to 5 hours, which can be intense, and they need your patience throughout the afternoon.
A number of the reviewers may also be alumni and understand the RISD experience. Respect and gratitude goes a long way and makes an excellent professional impression. Also, follow up with a thank you note to the reviewers who made an impact on you – written is ideal, email works, too!
Read more Follow-Up Tips and Advice
Resume, business cards, post cards and/or portfolio samples - Be prepared with enough copies of your resume to hand out to reviewers you meet with. You may also want to create business cards, postcards or printouts that you can leave behind as a reminder of your meeting. Be sure to include a link to your website on all your materials.
Check out these Examples of Leave Behinds
What to Expect at the Event
Upon arriving, stop at the Student Check-in table and show your RISD ID to enter the event, receive last minute updates and receive an event brochure that will guide you to the locations of the organizations in the ballroom.
You may arrive any time after 11am to check-in and get settled.
Arrive 10 minutes prior to your scheduled reviews. DON’T BE LATE!
If you have reviews that are scheduled back to back, be sure you finish on time to so you can make it to your next meeting without running behind or you may lose your chance for a review.
Volunteers will be on hand to answer your questions, direct you to waiting lines to enter the Fine Arts Review at your scheduled time and direct you to the designated Student Waiting Area.
Water and light snacks will be available throughout the event.
Electrical power is limited. Make sure your devices are fully charged!
Student Waiting Area
The Student Waiting Area will have tables and chairs available for your use and is in close proximity to the ballroom where the Fine Arts Review is in progress. You are welcome to wait here between your scheduled portfolio reviews.
If reviewers have an opening in their schedule they will come to the Student Waiting Area and invite anyone waiting to join them for a portfolio review. Students are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity if you have time and it doesn’t conflict a previously scheduled appointment.