High School Visual Arts "Preparing a Portfolio for College" Summer Institute

The portfolio institute provides an exceptional opportunity for students to construct and refine a visual body of work under the guidance of visual arts faculty assembled from around the country. The program is designed for students who are actively exploring higher education in the visual arts and have already started to compile works. Activities will provide numerous opportunities to add additional work to the student’s portfolio.

All instructors have extensive experience in portfolio development and will guide students through portfolio preparation for college art programs.

  • Highlights from the visual arts college portfolio institute, summer 2010.
Program length: 1 week
Program dates:
June 14, 2014 to June 20, 2014
Tuition: $1,155
Age range: Grades 9-12

Summer 2014 programs have concluded, but we'd love to have you join us next summer! Click here to join our mailing list, and you'll be among the first to know about summer 2015 programs.

Activities include:

  • intensive class sessions
  • workshops and seminars focused on concepts of portfolio development
  • daily presentations to peers
  • portfolio reviews by college representatives and visiting artists
  • open studio tutorials for students to continue working on projects

Other subjects include:

  • how to research schools and programs to find the best match
  • specific requirements for the application process
  • how to present yourself and your work to a panel
  • how to document your work

Students study and work in the state-of-the-art Dow Center for Visual Arts, centrally located on Interlochen's scenic campus.

This program does not require a portfolio for admission. It enrolls on a first-come, first-served basis, so early application is advised.


Students are encouraged to bring their current and past finished artwork so that the faculty can evaluate the portfolio and assist students as they develop it further. Original artwork is preferred but photos or digital images are acceptable. Please exercise care in transporting original works. It is also recommended that students bring their sketchbooks.

Additional Opportunities

We offer the following additional summer programs that may be of interest:

These programs begin right after the one-week Drawing and Painting Institute ends. Multiple-session discounts are available.

Interlochen is also home to the Arts Academy boarding high school, which offers a visual arts major for grades 9-12, as well as a post-graduate year.