Portfolio Requirements


Portfolio Evaluation Criteria

The focus of the Visual Arts studio program is on creative and critical approaches to contemporary visual artists’ practices. The Portfolio Evaluation Committee will be looking for work that demonstrates creative curiosity, ambition and an ability to convey ideas or address issues in an imaginative and personally engaging manner. Aptitude, proficiency and experimental ambitions will be weighted equally. The work adjudicated for potential acceptance will be chosen on the basis of the applicant’s ability to convey ideas, interests, and material abilities.

Portfolio Submissions

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  • All applicants must submit an online portfolio at www.westernu.slideroom.com by February 15.
  • Portfolios will consist of 12 pieces of recent artwork demonstrating a range in subject matter, approaches, techniques or media.
  • In addition to traditional two and three-dimensional work, examples of digital video, audio and photographic media are welcomed. 
  • At least four of the pieces should provide examples of a sustained exploration or development of a creative idea. This could be through four different works sharing a single theme, or through a series of studies relating to preparation of a final work.
  • Portfolios including video and/or audio works should not exceed five minutes in total length
    (see submission guidelines below).
  • The portfolio should be organized in chronological order and emphasize recent works.  It may include work undertaken independently, outside a formal art program (high school or other).
  • Applicants will also be asked to include a personal statement via SlideRoom. Your statement should be 250-500 typed words and indicate creative interests, influences and goals. You may wish to comment on any special interests or abilities that relate to studying in Visual Arts at Western University.

Please note:

All portfolios are to be submitted online via SlideRoom www.westernu.slideroom.com by February 15. Do not send materials to the department.

The Portfolio deadline is February 15.  Portfolio reviews will begin in January. Applicants who meet Western’s admission criteria and have submitted a successful portfolio at that time will receive early offers of admission.

Portfolio Submission Guidelines

  • Supporting materials (i.e. images, videos, etc.) must be submitted through www.westernu.slideroom.com by February 15. Do not send materials to the department.
  • The Portfolio deadline is February 15.  Portfolio reviews will begin in January. Applicants who meet Western’s admission criteria and have submitted a successful portfolio at that time will receive early offers of admission.
  • Access to SlideRoom will open September 30th.  Applicants may upload images (jpg, png, gif) or video (mov, wmv, flv, mp4), music (mp3) and one PDF document. For good image quality and fast upload, your image files should be sized around 1024 x 768px @ 72 dpi.  Please keep video files under 120MB each and 2 - 3 minute clips, up to 5 minutes in total.  Our SlideRoom portal offers additional instruction for submitting your work. For technical assistance, contact support@slideroom.com.
  • SlideRoom will allow you to log in and edit your portfolio as much as you like; however, once you click on the submit button, you will no longer be able to make changes. REMEMBER you must click the submit button if you want us to review your portfolio; unsubmitted or pending portfolios will not be reviewed.
  • A $12 USD fee will be charged at the time of submission. Please note that there are several programs listed at our SlideRoom portal; it is very important that you upload your images into the correct program that you are applying for, BFA Studio Arts - Undergraduate 2018.

Optional Portfolio Interview

We welcome the opportunity to meet applicants in person and discuss their work. Should a student wish to present the portfolio they uploaded to SlideRoom in person to a faculty member, they can arrange an appointment with Marlene Jones at mjones5@uwo.ca either for the March Break Open House on March 10, 2018 or any time before then.

Preparing for the Portfolio Interview

  • Physical portfolios prepared for interviews should include the 12 original artworks that have been uploaded to Slideroom. Only work that has been uploaded to SlideRoom will be reviewed.
  • Digital video, audio and photographic media are welcomed.
  • Three dimensional pieces or artwork greater than 1 metre square cannot be accommodated, though digital documentation of such work is welcome.
  • Students are encouraged to present a sketchbook in addition to the 12 works submitted through Slideroom.
  • Please note that the portfolio will be presented by the applicant and then will be taken away by the applicant at the end of the interview.
  • Prospective students who have indicated their interest in a Portfolio Interview when completing the SlideRoom application form will be notified by email to confirm the interview date and time.
  • All interviews will be held in the John Labatt Visual Arts Centre on the Western Campus on March 10, 2018. Interviews will be conducted by Department of Visual Arts faculty and will be approximately 15 minutes in length.
  • Applicants should prepare their portfolios in advance with careful reference to the portfolio interview requirements identified above.