Portfolio Day is an annual celebration for the graphic design community to gather and celebrate the work of UofL students completing their bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. It provides graduates with an opportunity to show their accomplishments to friends and families, to build their network and start connecting with potential employers.
This year’s rite of passage will be a little different.
Graduating graphic design students of the Hite Art Institute collaborated with their program administrators to determine how to virtually celebrate their long awaited celebration.
“It’s the chance for students to have their moment in the sun, shining the light on the impressive work they have done throughout the graphic design program, culminating in their senior portfolio,” said Leslie Friesen, Power Agency Designer-in-Residence, who teaches the Portfolio class.
With all university events being suspended until further notice due to COVID-19, the program decided to transform Portfolio Day into a set of virtual experiences.
First, they launched a web portal, Graphic Design BFA Class of 2020, where each graduate’s picture and portfolio card are shown. Additionally, they scheduled, “Virtual Portfolio Days,” to take place May 6-8. These three designated weekdays are when graduates will connect one-on-one with graphic design alumni and professionals through the Zoom videoconference platform.
“Like everyone in my class, I wish we could have had our portfolio day as usual, but this is a great alternative. With this virtual solution, we’ll be able to reach professionals and alums from all over the country, not just the Louisville area, and that’s super exciting,” said Logan Wells, 2020 graphic design graduate.
In the 15-minute video sessions with alumni and professionals, graduates will receive feedback on their work, along with ideas for how to start building their professional network.
“I’m looking forward to getting feedback on the work in my portfolio,” said Susan Pallmann. “I am also looking forward to meeting potential employers and getting a better sense, based on the people I meet and talk to, of what kind of place I want to work in going forward.”
The program invites all willing alumni and community professionals to sign up now for one or more virtual meetings with graduates. The signup form allows professionals to select the specific students that they’d like to meet with on May 6-8.
“This year, more than ever, we want great participation by our amazing, supportive professional community to help make this a special experience for our grads,” said Friesen.