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 selection, packaging and delivery guidelines carefully.


1. Create your portfolio and statement of intent

Review the assessment criteria

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

When compiling your portfolio, note the following restrictions and limitations:

  • Original sculptures or bulky mixed-media work will not be considered. Instead, enclose a good quality photo of these pieces.

  • Cartoon or comic book imagery will not be considered.

  • Matting is optional, but do not submit framed work.

  • Links to artwork on personal websites will not be considered. Instead submit photos of the original pieces.

Choose your portfolio pieces

Your portfolio is a collection of original work that gives you the opportunity to show off your creativity. Submitted works can be created in a variety of approaches and subject matter, including but not limited to: realism (e.g., figurative or portrait work, still life, landscape), abstraction, imaginative or conceptual works. Be sure to include works that demonstrate an understanding of representational drawing. Choose from work you have already completed or create something new. Include anywhere from 12 to 20 original pieces (or photos of original pieces). The pieces must be able to fit into your portfolio case. Include photos or .jpg-format digital images of works that are too big for the case.

You might want to consider including the following in your portfolio. These are suggestions only, not requirements. You may choose to include work from one or several of these categories:

  • Drawings in any media such as charcoal, ink, pencil, pastel or any combination of media. We recommend observed drawing (drawing from real life as opposed to copied work).

  • Paintings in any medium, such as acrylic, oil, encaustic, water colour or gouache. Paintings can be on paper or canvas.

  • Photographs, black and white or colour.

  • Digital artwork, presented in print or in .jpg, .png or .mov formats.

  • Photos of your sculpture work in any medium, such as clay, wood, plaster or steel.

  • Photos or digital images in .jpg format of your mixed media pieces, such as collage or assemblage.

  • Screen prints, etchings, lithographs, woodcuts or digital prints.

Prepare your statement of intent

In the statement of intent, we want to learn about your inspirations, your influences, your artistic 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

  • Clean and thoughtful formatting/presentation

  • Please include your name on the statement of intent.


2. Package your submission

Create a portfolio case

Your portfolio needs to be enclosed in a portfolio case. It doesn’t matter if the case is store bought or handmade, but it needs to be sturdy. You can improvise by taping two large sturdy sheets of cardboard together. Pay attention to the presentation.

Label your work

Each piece in your portfolio needs to be labeled before you put it in the portfolio case. On the back of each piece, include:

  • Your name

  • The size/dimensions of the piece

  • The medium used

  • The date you created the piece

Attach the portfolio submission form

Complete the portfolio submission form and tape it to the outside top left corner of the portfolio case. The information form needs to be included inside your portfolio case, at the front.

Fine Art Portfolio Submission and Information Form (PDF)

Enclose the statement of intent

Seal your statement of intent in an envelope, label the envelope with your name and put it inside the portfolio case.


3. Arrange for delivery and pickup

Deliver your portfolio case by the deadline

Submit your portfolio case to the Fine Art program office after you have applied to the program and on the portfolio deadline.  Portfolios will not be assessed unless you have officially applied through ApplyAlberta and paid the application for admission fee.

Portfolio dates and deadlines

Your portfolio case can be mailed or delivered in person.


Please ensure you allow enough time for your portfolio case to reach our office by the deadline. We will return portfolios by mail (Canada Post, C.O.D.) only if they were submitted by mail and if they fit into an envelope that is no larger 11" x 17".

Mailing address:
Rose Clancy
Fine Art Program
MacEwan University
P.O. Box 1796
Edmonton, AB  T5J 2P2

- or -

11-418A, Allard Hall
11110-104 Avenue
Edmonton, AB


If you prefer to submit your portfolio in person, you may deliver your portfolio case to Room 11-154, Allard Hall (11110-104 Avenue) between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on either May 3rd or May 4th.

Pick up your portfolio case

Pick up your portfolio between 9:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. from Room 11-154 in Allard Hall (11110-104 Avenue) during the specified pick-up dates and dates for the portfolio submission period you’ve chosen. If you are unable to pick up your portfolio during the specified times or by the specified date, please contact us to make alternative arrangements.

If someone is picking up your portfolio on your behalf, that person must bring a signed permission form.

Portfolio pick-up permission form (PDF)

Portfolios not picked up by the portfolio pick-up periods will be discarded.

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