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Event Detail

National Portfolio Day - Grand Rapids, MI

October 29, 2017 8:30 am – 5:00 pm

Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University is proud to host the 2017 Michigan National Portfolio Day. Bring your portfolio and meet one-on-one with top art and design colleges and universities. This event is free and open to the public.

Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD)
17 Fountain St. NW Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Portfolio Reviews from 1:00pm - 5:00pm

Additional programming begins at 9:15am. See the schedule below for details.


Pre-register by visiting KCAD's event registration system here. Pre-registration is not required but is recommended as it will speed up the check-in process the day of the event.


      8:30am - 4:45pm | Check In | 17 Fountain St. NW
      9:15am -11:45am | Get To Know KCAD | Campus Tours and Presentations (timed events)
      Please check in for Get to Know KCAD programming between 8:30am - 9:10am.
    • Track 1 | "Why KCAD?" Presentation, then Tour of KCAD
    • Track 2 | Tour of KCAD, then "Why KCAD?" Presentation
      1:00pm -5:00pm | National Portfolio Day - Portfolio Reviews

Schools and Colleges in Attendance:

Alfred University, School of Art and Design
Art Academy of Cincinnati
Art Center College of Design
Bowling Green State University, School of Art
California College of the Arts
Cleveland Institute of Art
College for Creative Studies
Columbus College of Art & Design
Cooper Union School of Art
FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising
Grand Valley State University
Herron School of Art and Design
Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University
Laguna College of Art + Design
Lawrence Technological University
Maryland Institute College of Art
Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design
NSCAD University, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design
OCAD University
Otis College of Art and Design
Pacific Northwest College of Art
Pratt Institute
Ringling College of Art and Design
Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
School of Visual Arts
University of Michigan Stamps School of Art & Design
University of Saint Francis, School of Creative Arts
Western Michigan University, Gwen Frostic School of Art

What is a National Portfolio Day?

National Portfolio Day is an annual event, held in multiple locations across the United States and Canada, produced specifically for emerging visual artists and designers. It is an opportunity for those who wish to pursue an education in art and design to meet one on one with professional representatives from colleges and universities who are accredited.

The event is a unique opportunity to meet individually with professionals who can provide valuable feedback and guidance on your portfolio of work (i.e.: artwork, sketches, designs and creative materials) additionally, you will have the chance to discuss the specific school’s programs and get answers to questions about professional careers in art and design. High school students, parents, teachers, guidance counselors and college transfer students are encouraged to attend.

National Portfolio Day serves a variety of purposes. Most importantly, it is designed to help further the artistic development of young artists and designers by bringing together experienced post-secondary representatives to review student portfolio materials and offer feedback and guidance.

We understand that some people produce art and designs that may appear more refined and advanced than others. Don’t be discouraged if you see work that may appear “better” than yours. A National Portfolio Day may be the first time you have been in an environment with so many people in one place who all share a powerful commitment to the art and design. The experience can be very inspiring and is a small taste of what a professional art and design program can be like.

National Portfolio Days are also about the exchange of information about your work, yourself, your post-secondary plans, and your concerns. This is not an examination or competition. The college and university representatives are pleased to talk openly about their programs with you and can be most helpful when discussing your portfolio.

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 and where you want to go with them. Often, sharing the process of arriving at the completed work is as valuable as simply presenting finished products.

No admissions decisions or scholarship awards will be offered to you at National Portfolio Day. Some colleges and universities represented may accept your portfolio as the visual portion of your application. Others have restrictions that prohibit them from making a definite portfolio decision at the time of your review. We urge you to discuss your work with as many representatives as possible.

Frequently Asked Question

Where should I park?
Guests attending the National Portfolio Day event can take advantage of free street parking on Sundays. There are also several parking structures and lots within walking distance (fees will apply). KCAD does not have a parking lot open to the public.

I'm organizing a group coming by bus. Where should the bus park?
KCAD does not have on-site parking for buses but the City of Grand Rapids does recommend that buses coming to the city be encouraged to park at the Scribner Lot between Pearl and Bridge, or on Mt. Vernon St. between Douglas and Lake Michigan Drive. This information is referenced on the city website. Click here for more information.

Will there be food options at KCAD?
KCAD will not have food options available for guests during this event. Please plan on having eaten prior to arrival or if you'd prefer, there are several restaurants within walking distance of KCAD open on Sundays including, Jimmy Johns, Panera Bread, Parsley Mediterranean Bar & Grill, Subway as well as dine-in restaurants, Angel's Thai Cafe, Big O' Pizza, Brick and Porter, and Sundance Grill. Open hours and distance to KCAD vary by location.

Individuals with disabilities who require special accommodations to participate should contact the KCAD President's Office at 616.451.2787 x1150 at least 72 hours in advance.