Deep Dive into Portfolio Prep


The Portfolio Prep art class, taught by creative arts teachers Scott McDonald and Greg Scranton, allows form five and six students the freedom to pursue different mediums of art. In addition, all of the finished pieces from the year are documented so they can be sent to colleges. Over the past five years, the class has been revamped after Pat Rosoff’s passing. “The Portfolio class is unique in the creative arts department because it is a year long class,” Mr. Scranton said.  “The course is now split between Mr. McDonald and me where the first semester is more drawing based and the second semester allows for more freedom with longer projects,” Mr. Scranton said.

Because the class only has four students, it lets the students and the teachers have a strong relationship. “Coming into the class this year, I was expecting the class to be much larger,” said junior Nick Stolfi. Junior Juliana Kulak agreed “Because of the small size of our class, we get the freedom to pursue any art that we want and grow as artists,” she said. This is especially true in the second semester, when the students have the opportunity to work on longer projects and the freedom to choose their medium.  Currently, students are using acrylic paint, oil pastel, and colored pencil, similar to the drawing instruments used in the first semester.

At the end of the course, the students will have an all-digital portfolio in preparation for their college applications. The students are chosen from different creative art classes.“It seems that the drawing class is a feeder to portfolio class,” Mr. Scranton said. “In addition, we also have discussions between faculty, and in the end try to recommend students who would be interested,” he continued.  After students finish the class, some choose to take another advanced class such as Advanced Studio Seminar, which is a spring class senior year. Other students choose to take a completely different class such as sculpture or photography, experimenting with a new medium.  

After graduating from KO, some students attend art school, and a majority of the students go on to a liberal arts college or university and fulfill their arts requirements with a class that builds on their Portfolio Prep work. “One aspect that is less publicized is that this class, and other creative arts classes in general, teach students how to be creative problem solvers not just visually but in the professional world as well and to think about problems in a different way,” Mr. Scranton said.