Visual Arts Portfolio

Applicants seeking admission to the Art, Design, Film, or Interior Architecture programs are required to submit a digital portfolio as part of their online application.

Auditions + Portfolios give Cornish the chance to see the passion and commitment behind your artistic work and creative process. We want to see the kind of artist you are, the work you’re currently interested in, and how Cornish can fit into your journey as an artist.

Colorful, illustrative Art by Design student Bee Sen
We welcome the opportunity to meet you in person and review your work before submission. Look for Cornish at the National Portfolio Day near you or bring your portfolio when you visit campus for one of our Open Houses:

Portfolio Requirements + Details

Submit Recent Work

A clear visual representation of your most recent artistic production.

Digital Portfolio

10-20 works that best represent your artistic ability, creativity, and commitment.

Diversity of Media

An exploration in a specific medium OR a wide variety of media: Traditional, new media, or a combination are welcome.

Film Applicants

Applicants considering a major in Film are invited to add any/all of these prompts as part of their portfolio.

Film Prompts

  1. Film a scene of up to two minutes that uses a single light source to light a conversation between two people. Choose the location with some care: diner, living room, kitchen, public park? Your goal with the conversation: neither person is willing to say what they really mean. Give it some emotional resonance.
  2. Write a 3-5 page scene set in a single location such as a kitchen, a diner, a party, a car. Two characters are talking, but neither is really paying attention to what the other person is saying. This could be comic or dramatic. Use standard screenplay formatting if possible.
  3. Find twelve to fifteen slides of a family from a site like The photos should compel you, hold your interest. Download them and lay the pictures out on a timeline (in Final Cut Pro or Premiere Pro) and write a story about them that helps you to say what the family story is. Record your own voice telling the story and lay that on the timeline, too, adding pauses and other sounds as they make sense for texture, ambiance, or emotional power.

Additional Materials

Also welcome are examples of your sketchbook, process book, reflective journals, works-in-progress, and other items that can help inform us of your creative process and influences.

Portfolio Review

A Digital Portfolio Submission must be included with your application. Additionally, we offer students opportunities to have in-person Portfolio Reviews. You may schedule an appointment on-campus for a one-on-one Portfolio Review, or meet with a Cornish representative at any of the National Portfolio Days that Cornish attends. You may also bring your portfolio and join us at one of our Department Open Houses. These are optional opportunities to have your portfolio reviewed to receive feedback prior to submitting your final digital portfolio with your online application.

Transfer Students

After completing the application process, final placement into any of the Visual Art programs is by review of your application materials by the chair of the department to which you are applying. Studio credits completed at other colleges will be evaluated for transfer credit by the Registrar’s office. Placement in the department will be determined by the department chair.

Further Resources