• irenevillasenor

Resources: Portfolio Reviews for Visual Artists

My longest wait time was 45 minutes for RISD.

Once during college I attended a workshop organized by my school’s art club on professional opportunities.

However, during the Q&A period the presenter refused to provide handouts and repeat the names of the resources she mentioned earlier! Her rationale was that if you were late, not paying full attention to her, or not taking notes, you weren’t ready to participate in this highly competitive field. (NOTE: She revealed her stance after an older student with disabilities asked for a copy of her powerpoint slides). Furthermore, she felt that since she worked so hard to gather this information, it wouldn't be fair to herself if she shared it with others.

She claimed that moment was a lesson for us on how we needed to research things ourselves. While this is true, it was outrageous to hear in this context since she was paid for her time and expertise out of our student activity fees and the expectation was that she’d share what she knew with a friendly and generous spirit since we're emerging artists. It’s why the room was full.

In the end it was certainly a moment to remember how cutthroat people can be. So in contrast to stingy and insecure mindsets, here's information about various opportunities for artists because anyone who wants to make art and further their artistic goals ought to be supported.


Once you’ve developed a body of work, portfolio reviews are opportunities to discuss what you’ve done and/or hope to do with decision-makers who can connect you to opportunities to develop your artistic career.

Finding the right portfolio review depends on what your goals are.

  • Are you applying to art schools?

  • Interested in participating in artist residencies?

  • Looking for gallery representation?

  • Want to be included in exhibitions?

  • Looking for international collaborators?

  • Planning to publish a book?

  • Seeking jobs in academia, advertising, and/or magazines?

  • Trying to find an agent?

Here are some events to start out with. If you have additional suggestions for portfolio reviews, please let me know!

Bronx Documentary Center’s Annual Portfolio Review

Saturday, May 6, 2017 | 10AM to 4PM

COST: $250 – $300

Scholarships available for Bronx-based photographers

Meet individually with 5 experts for 20-minute sessions each. Get feedback on your artwork images, artist statement, project concepts and web site, or discuss opportunities and resources for artists. Reviewers include photo editors from The New York Times, TIME Magazine, National Geographic, UNICEF, Reuters and more.

College Art Association Annual Conference

Must be a current CAA member

COST: Free

The College Art Association Annual Conference is the largest international gathering of professionals in the visual arts. There’s over 250 sessions and meetings on a wide range of topics on art scholarship, practice, and issues in the arts today.

CAA members at any stage of their careers (emerging, midcareer, and advanced) can participate in one-on-one discussions with mentors about artists’ portfolios, career-management skills, and professional strategies by applying for either Artists’ Portfolio Review or Career Development Mentoring Appointments. Participants are chosen by a lottery of applications received by the deadline. Conference registration, while encouraged, is not necessary to participate and appointments are offered free of charge.

El Museo del Barrio’s OVER THE TABLE: Artist Portfolio Review

Wednesday, April 19, 2017 | 3-5 pm

Held several times a year, check calendar for future dates

COST: Free

Artists of Puerto Rican, Latin@, Latin American, or Caribbean descent from the NYC metropolitan area are invited to register for one-on-one 20 minute portfolio reviews. This season, OVER THE TABLE, a part of the Office Hours project, offers art practitioners in different stages of their development the opportunity to engage in one-on-one discussions about their work or an upcoming project. These informal exchanges seek to turn the traditional artist-curator portfolio review into an act of camaraderie between individuals working in the same field.

Graduate Portfolio Day

Various Dates and Locations

COST: Free

Meet representatives from regionally accredited U.S. and Canadian colleges and universities to get feedback on the artwork you plan to submit for admission. The Graduate Portfolio Day & Information Fairs are for students that have already completed a Bachelor’s degree program.

They follow the same format as the Undergraduate National Portfolio Days but provide prospective MFA, MArch, MA and Post-Baccalaureate students’ feedback on their portfolios as suited for admission to a graduate course of study. In addition, these sessions give students the opportunity to learn more about the curricula, faculty, application procedures and other graduate program information.


LA // April 19-20, 2017

NYC // June 13-15, 2017

COST: $599-$2999 (depends on how many meetings you request)

One-on-one photo critiques (15 minutes each) with art buyers, creative directors, art producers, photo editors, and agents.

NY Times Annual Photo Review

Check in January or February for the next deadline.

COST: Free

Sponsored by The New York Times Lens blog and the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism, this event gathers 150 photographers and 75 of the most influential editors, curators, gallerists and book publishers for two days of private photo critiques each Spring.

TransCultural Exchange's International Conferences on Opportunities in the Arts

February 22–24, 2018 | Université Laval, Quebec City

Cost: $35 per review

This event brings together artists, critics, gallery owners, curators, residency directors and those working in other fields of interest to artists through panels, portfolio reviews, and performances. The organizers hope to advance artistic innovation by putting artists in touch with their international peers, helping them find the time, funds, networks, inspiration and other means to pursue their goals.

Wave Hill Portfolio Reviews

Usually held in the Spring or Fall

Cost: $25 per review

Meet individually with an expert for a 20-minute session. Get feedback on your artwork images, artist statement, project concepts and web site, or discuss opportunities and resources for artists. To reserve a spot, contact

Updated March 28, 2017

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