Portfolio Guidelines

In your portfolio, you can highlight your best work and show us how you develop, explore and express your creativity.

While the work you choose to include in your portfolio is important, how you present yourself and your attention to detail make an impression too. Please follow the directions carefully.

Online portfolio submission

As long as you have already applied for admission to the program, you may submit your portfolio online anytime after the online submission system opens for the year.

important dates and deadlines


1. Apply to Fine Art

Applications are submitted through ApplyAlberta. Check MacEwan's How to Apply page for the steps in the application process.

How to apply


2. Create your portfolio and statement of intent

Review the assessment criteria

Your portfolio and statement of intent are your opportunity to present your skills, experience, goals, and why you wish to study with us. Admission to the program is competitive. Your portfolio will be evaluated by the program application assessment committee, which is responsible for determining your readiness for the Fine Art program. The committee looks for:

  • A basic understanding of composition, colour, tone and perspective

  • A variety of mediums and subjects

  • Attention to presentation and organization

Choose your portfolio pieces

The portfolio is a key component of the application process. Admission to the program is determined by a review committee of Fine Art faculty who are professional artists with extensive exhibition records and teaching experience. Your application portfolio is an opportunity to present your creativity, skills, and awareness of art through the submission of 12 - 20 examples of your own recent work. Submit the portfolio as digital images or files to Slideroom, with a mix of examples from the following categories: 

  • Required: 2D artwork in any media, such as drawing, painting, collage, digital imagery, and photography, including some examples of works done from observation (e.g., drawing from real life as opposed to work copied from other artwork, anime, or cartoon genres).

  • Optional: 3D artworks in any media, such as sculpture, ceramics, crafts, installation, and book arts.

  • Optional: 4D or time-based media submitted in video or audio formats, such as video, animation, sound art, and internet art.

Prepare your statement of intent

In the statement of intent, we want to learn about your ideas and inspirations, your influences and your goals. This is your chance to tell us what you think about art and your place in the world as an artist.

Your statement of intent will be reviewed by the program application assessment committee, which is responsible for determining your readiness for the Fine Art program. The committee looks for:

  • Your ability to express ideas in writing

  • The ways the Fine Art program aligns with your personal and professional interests and goals

  • Your interest in the theories and practice of historical and contemporary art


3. Submit your portfolio and statement of intent

Photograph your portfolio

Take some extra time when photographing your work and submit photographs that best represent your original artwork. Here are some tips for photographing your artwork.

  1. Use a tripod to avoid motion blur.

  2. Make sure the lighting is adequate. Avoid using a flash – natural lighting is preferable. Photograph in a bright room instead. Avoid bright spots of glare.

  3. Set up your artwork with a neutral background like a plain wall or simple backdrop. Avoid clutter or busy backgrounds.

  4. Photograph each piece individually. Try to fill the camera frame with your work.

  5. When shooting three-dimensional work, take a few photos of your piece and then determine which shot best captures your work. Take a photograph from the front, above and side angles.

  6. We recommend that you do not use your cell phone to photograph your work.

Online tutorials

There are many good tutorials on youTube about how to photograph your work.

Point and shoot camera tutorial

Digital SLR camera tutorial


Online articles about photo resolution

how to check resolution

how to increase resolution

Submit your portfolio


Submit your portfolio

Submit your portfolio after you have applied to the program and after the online submission system opens for the year. Portfolios will not be assessed unless you have officially applied through ApplyAlberta and paid the application for admission fee.

Using SlideRoom

The portfolio and statement of intent are submitted through an online application called SlideRoom. When you access SlideRoom, you will need to create a login ID, password and profile. Once you've done that, you can start uploading images. You can upload and save your images as many times as you need to before submitting your portfolio, and your portfolio progress will be saved online until you are ready to submit it.

Note: once you have submitted your portfolio, you will no longer be able to make changes to it.

access SlideRoom: online portfolio submission site

For technical assistance with SlideRoom, email support@slideroom.com

Calendar Deadlines Icon Illustration

Start the application process early

You need to meet a number of important deadlines when you apply for admission.

Next steps

After discussing and assessing your portfolio and statement of intent, the program application assessment committee will make a recommendation. You will receive an admission decision from the Office of the University Registrar and a copy of the decision will be added to your portfolio case.

Learn more about admission decisions