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Please join us for the 2020 National Portfolio Day hosted by the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Saturday, October 17, 2020 from 10am – 2pm. The event will be held at MIAD’s main academic facility, the Jane Bradley-Pettit building, located at 273 East Erie Street, Milwaukee, WI 53202. This event is free and open to the public.

This is an opportunity for those who wish to pursue an education in the visual and related arts to meet with representatives from colleges accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. It is also an opportunity to explore MIAD’s program, meet MIAD’s faculty and view our facility.


There are a few important things to note about attending National Portfolio Day. It is strongly recommended that you bring original work – representatives are not required to have laptops or devices to view CDs, flash drives, websites, or other digital media. If you’d like to bring a digital version of your portfolio, you will need to bring a charged viewing device – laptop, tablet, or so on. We strongly recommend against showing work on a cell phone. If your work is very large, or three-dimensional, you may wish to take photographs and bring those along.

MIAD is required to follow the National Portfolio Day Association’s guidelines, which limit portfolio reviews to four hours. There is no pre-registration for this event.



National Portfolio Day serves a variety of purposes. Most importantly, it is designed to help further the artistic development of young artists by bringing together experienced college representatives to review artwork and offer feedback.  We understand that some people make certain kinds of art more successfully than others. Use National Portfolio Day as a learning opportunity, a chance to be inspired by other students and their work.  This may be the first time you have seen so many people in one place who all share the powerful commitment to the arts.  The event is a small taste of what a professional art program can be.

National Portfolio Day is also about the exchange of information about your work, yourself, your college plans, and your concerns.  This is not an examination or competition.  The college representatives are pleased to talk about their programs with you and can be most helpful when discussing your artwork. Your portfolio should include your best and most recent work, but it can also include works in-progress, sketchbooks and tear sheets. You’ll hear many different opinions of your work. Don’t hesitate to explain how you develop your ideas or where you want to go with them. No admissions decisions or scholarship awards will be offered to you at National Portfolio Day. Some college representatives may accept your portfolio as the visual portion of your application. Other colleges have restrictions that prohibit them from making a formal decision at the time of your review.  We urge you to discuss your work with as many representatives as possible.

When choosing an art college keep in mind that art-making is a very special kind of learning experience. In addition to considering academic standards, extracurricular activities, cost, and financial aid, there are other things to think about. Faculty, facilities and equipment, proximity to museums, galleries and other cultural resources should be of concern. We urge you to thoroughly review materials from the schools you find interesting.  Try your best to visit them.  Get a feel for the college before you make a final decision. Investigate its accreditation and the transferability of credits, and be sure you understand its degree offerings and majors.  Get as much information as you can so you can choose  a supportive and stimulating environment that is right for you.  We hope you enjoy the intensity and excitement of the day!



Many of the colleges participating in MIAD’s National Portfolio Day offer graduate programs. If you are interested in showing a portfolio or obtaining information about a specific graduate program, please call the particular college directly to ensure that the representative attending will be able to review graduate level portfolios and answer questions regarding their graduate programs.



Check back in fall for a list of participating institutions!



Metered parking is available on all Milwaukee streets.  There is paid parking at the Third Ward Parking Structure on the east side of Milwaukee Street, between Chicago and Buffalo Streets, or at the Historic Third Ward Parking Structure on the corner of Water and Chicago.