Tips for submitting your Visual Arts program portfolio

Tips for submitting your Visual Arts program portfolio

Visual Arts at UBC Okanagan is a hands-on, studio-based program that will help you in your goal of becoming an artist. You’ll study a variety of traditional media such as painting, drawing, sculpture and more, as well as digital media projects.

As part of the application, you’ll have to submit a portfolio of your work, as well as a letter of intent. Don’t worry! You don’t have to come to the program with an advanced skill level – that’s what your studies at UBC will help you develop.


What UBC is looking for

Rather than a polished body of work, UBC wants to use the portfolio to learn about how you engage with the world. All you need to demonstrate is a genuine curiosity and how it relates to making art. When you come to UBC Okanagan, your instructors will teach you how to develop your skills.


Portfolio checklist

Your portfolio should include:

  • An image description page
    • List the title, medium, size, and year of production for each piece in your portfolio.
    • Number each title to correspond with the images and/or videos of your work.
    • You can include a link to your personal website if you have one.
  • Between 15 and 20 images of your work.
    • Resize your images to a maximum of 160 dpi, and a maximum of 2000 px on the long side of the image.
    • You may wish to include up to 5 max sketchbook/process images that showcase their creative process
  • Up to three short video works, which are a maximum of three minutes each.
    • Let us know the URLs for these files in your image description list if they’re posted online (for example on YouTube or Vimeo). Remember to include any passwords.
    • You can send video documentation of your 3D work.
    • Please note that videos aren’t a required part of the portfolio if they are not part of your creative practice.
  • A letter of intent
    • In a maximum of 300 words, the letter should describe why you want to study Visual For example, what about art interests you? What are your future goals in the art world? Why do you want to study at UBCO specifically?
    • An artist statement is welcome but not required.
  • Place all your material into one document
    • This can be a .doc or .docx, or a .pdf file. Please don’t send PowerPoint or other presentations or formats, i.e. .pages, .txt, .key.
    • Please only have one image per page
    • Make sure this filename includes your name. Use the format Lastname_Firstname_Portfolio
    • Make sure that your total file is not larger than 5MB.

To get an idea of what we’re looking for, look at some examples of student portfolios.

How to submit your portfolio

You should send your portfolio and letter of intent together, either online or by mail.

If you choose to mail your portfolio, you must send it to:

Portfolio Review Committee
Department of Creative Studies
The University of British Columbia
CCS building – 1148 Research Road
Kelowna, BC V1V 1V7

If you want us to return your submission, you should use a reusable mailer and include the return postage cost. Alternatively, you can enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope.


Submission deadline

You must submit your completed portfolio by January 31, 2024.


 We’re looking forward to seeing your work!


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