- Progressive Education
- Inside Putney
- Putney People
- 2013 Graduation Schedule
- Current Students
- Current Families
- School Calendar
- College Counseling
- College Guide
- College Planning Courses
- Suggested Readings
- Map & Directions
- Area Lodgings
- Travel Information
- KDU Menu
- Employee Resources
- Support Putney
- Summer Programs
Sometimes other credentials are required as part of your application, and sometimes they simply highlight your particular talents in a way that the standard application does not. Many liberal arts colleges seek students with artistic or athletic talent, even if they do not actively recruit, and your portfolio/tape will be evaluated by the appropriate faculty. In either case, it is important to follow the format required/expected by the college or conservatory or art school: get specific instructions from each college as early as possible. The Putney faculty is experienced in portfolio/audition preparation and will help you prepare your materials to show your work at its best. NOTE: MANY COLLEGES ARE LOOKING LESS FOR THE WELL-ROUNDED STUDENT THAN FOR THE WELL-ROUNDED CLASS. That is, they're looking for the concert violist and the star Nordic skier, and don't expect them to be the same person. So follow your bliss, as the late Joseph Campbell said, and concentrate your efforts in area that you really enjoy.
|Portfolio||for all of the visual arts, for drama tech, for architecture, and for those departments in a liberal arts college.|
|Audition||for performance in music, dance, drama.|
|DVD||for musical performance, either as a pre-audition for some conservatories, or for liberal arts schools to enhance an application.|
creative sampler ( brief collection of poems, short fiction, etc., to supplement an application)
the “graded paper” (often required as part of an application; usually a history or English paper) At Putney, it has no grade, but plenty of teacher comments.
|Athletics:||the coach contact Get the name and telephone number, from the admissions office, of the person coaching the sport(s) you plan to play in college; contact the coach, and if possible, plan to visit the school when it is possible to watch a game or meet and speak with the athletes as well as the coach.|
|Resume :||While your Putney activities are recorded on the two pages of your transcript, other activities – and awards – are not. There may be room on an application form to present them but, should they be extensive, it may be advisable to compose a resume to supplement your transcript. The resume should present new information in the context of your high school years. As with all supplementary materials, remember that the college admissions reader has about 10 minutes to study your file – everything important should be presented, but no information should be presented more than once.|
Preparing a portfolio of visual artwork
Presenting a portfolio of your work is a requirement for admission to any art school, and is strongly recommended for applying to a liberal arts school if you have taken visual arts classes at the advanced level at Putney.
The content of your portfolio: A particular art school will occasionally specify the kind of work they'd like to see. Find out from admissions if they'd like to see a variety of media or a lot of the particular media you specialize in. Generally (for art schools) drawings are essential, especially drawings done from observation. Many art schools also like to see drawings which show a degree of “problem solving” which often means an imaginative twist or particular point-of-view on a particular subject. Art schools like to see that you have an imagination, can think visually, and can observe. Generally Putney students do not have to create any additional artwork simply for the sake of the portfolio. Art made during classes, evening activities (Figure Drawing especially!), and project weeks works well. Some art schools like to see a higher degree of “finish” than Putney students and teachers are accustomed to, so bear that in mind. One thing you should always consider: submit art you are proud of and which represents your best efforts. That way, if you get in, it's for the right reasons; if you don't, you didn't want them anyway.
The home test: Many art schools (RISD, Cooper Union) require a home test, usually three drawings following particular guidelines and subject matter. Take these tests very seriously, because they will. Follow the guidelines (if they say 14” x 17” in graphite pencil they really mean it). Give the drawings a lot of thought, then a lot of time.
If your art is central to you, consider writing about your work (or some aspect of the meaning of art to you) in your college essay. Sadly, for many liberal arts schools you must prove that you take your art seriously, have worked hard at it, and can talk about it. If you show up at a school interview, be ready to say a bit about each piece—how you were inspired to make it, what thought and effort it involved, what you discovered by it…etc.
When to bring actual work: Bring actual original work whenever possible to a scheduled interview at an art school or liberal arts school. If you want to really excite the school, bring your well-used sketchbook . The fact that you draw on your own, in addition to and apart from class assignments and studio projects, means a lot to art schools especially. If they allow you to mail in your sketchbook for review, and you can part with it, do so. The things that separate a Putney art applicant from other applicants:
- The thought and originality you put into your work. At Putney, you are expected to see and think for yourself, and will avoid the clichéd and prescriptive artwork admissions folks see a lot of.
- The scale and ambition of work you do at Putney. Show them an etching or a welded metal sculpture and they will be very impressed that you did it at all. Show them that you also made a six-foot tapestry, a photo book, and a stained glass lamp and they'll gasp in astonishment. Show them some drawings as well anyway.
- Your ability to talk articulately and confidently (and thoughtfully and somewhat objectively) about your own work.
- The boldness and risk-taking your work shows. (The flip side of this is that some qualities we value in-house may look a little sloppy or excessive to the outer world).
- The opportunity to draw extensively from (and examples of work from) observation of the figure.