Portfolio pandemonium


Photos courtesy of senior Emily Curley Art courtesy of senior Katie Martinez

Crafting a college application is an art. For seniors who choose to submit portfolios to colleges, the process is even more artistic. This year, some of the seniors who opted to take a visual arts elective at Convent of the Sacred Heart also chose to compile portfolios.

Photos courtesy of senior Emily Curley Art courtesy of senior Katie Martinez
Photos courtesy of senior Emily Curley
Art courtesy of senior Katie Martinez

Seniors Allison Bornstein, Maggie Ellison, Abby Smith and Regina Ferrara are taking Advanced Placement Art, and seniors Katie Martinez, Helen Ziminsky, Jane Gerstner, Phoebe Cavise, and Janice Comer are taking Advanced Portfolio or Drawing and Painting. 

According to Upper School photography teacher Ms. Kev Filmore, nine seniors are taking photography, a class that teaches skills in Photoshop and techniques for capturing photographs.
“I think it’s very important to take an art class during high school because its teaches hands-on skills, like how to work Photoshop or lay out a visually appealing photo. It exercises a part of the brain that typical academic classes can’t,” senior and photography student Emily Curley said.
Emily has been taking photography for three years at Sacred Heart. The class has always provided her with a time to relax from her busy schedule and focus on something she loves.
“Even during my frees I always felt guilty wasting valuable time, but in photo class I really enjoyed taking a step back and printing my photos,” Emily said. “I stuck with an art class for senior year because I genuinely love photography, and during the school day was the only time I could really work on it.”
Senior Regina Ferrara agrees that art has been a beneficial aspect of her high school career. She began taking photography sophomore year, and is currently enrolled in Advanced Placement 2-Dimensional design class.
“I think having taken photo and art in high school has just taught me to think differently,” Regina said. “I’ve also learned to use art to de-stress. I chose to continue with art senior year because I had such a great amount of photographs and I wanted to continue to develop my style.”
Sacred Heart seniors Helen Ziminsky and Katie Martinez also share Regina and Emily’s love for art. However, they are often found in the art room rather than the dark room.
Helen has been learning techniques from her mom, who is an artist, since she was a little girl.
“I try to use art class as a time to de-stress during the day, and it gives me a creative outlet. I chose to continue art in senior year because I knew that if I didn’t build time for art into my schedule, I wouldn’t do it. I wanted to keep making art without the stress of AP and be able to relax at school,” Helen said.
Unlike Helen, Katie does not come from a background of art. Nonetheless, she fell in love with it. Katie took Foundations of Art freshman year, but dropped the visual arts track for two years to focus on sciences. She decided to re-immerse herself in art this year. 

Katie, Regina, and Emily all chose to send portfolios to college.
“The portfolio included both digital gray scale portraits and drawings from observation using conte crayon. I plan to continue to take art classes through college, and look forward to being able to explore different aspects of art,” Katie said.
Emily explained that many college representatives emailed her back complimenting her photos, and she truly feels her portfolio submission has had a positive impact on her college acceptances.
“I sent an online portfolio to all my colleges, and it was a big hit!” Emily said, “I made a Flickr page, and it was very eye catching once all my photos were uploaded. I don’t intend on majoring in photography in college, but sending in an art supplement shows variety in talent and interest.”
For many students, particularly seniors, art is a form of expression and a way to pause during a busy day. Portfolios are a way to display creativity outside of academics.
“To all the talented juniors out there, I would recommend making an online portfolio too. Even the seemingly small things can make a big difference to a college admissions team,” Emily said.
– Alana Galloway, Staff Writer