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The Department of Art & Art History at The University of Texas is one of the largest and most diverse art programs in the country. Each year, the department eagerly awaits the new faces and talent of incoming freshman and this year proves no different. In fact, the students entering this fall represent the successes of new recruiting efforts accomplished by the department.
Since 2003, Shane Sullivan, Coordinator of Undergraduate Programs, has represented the Department of Art & Art History at the National Portfolio Day Association (NPDA) Portfolio Reviews in Texas. National Portfolio Day is an educational event geared towards young artists in the process of choosing an art college. College representatives review artwork, provide critique, and inform students about the facilities and programs offered by their schools.
October 2007 marked the first time the NPDA Texas Portfolio Day was held in Austin. Hosted by the School of Visual Art of NYC, over 400 students attended and 45 schools were present. The Department of Art & Art History was among representatives from CalArts, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Carnegie Mellon University, Kansas City Art Institute, Parsons School for Design, and many other highly regarded art schools. It was so successful, the Texas Portfolio Day will be held in Austin for a second time in October of 2008.
In addition to the success of the portfolio reviews, the department held two open house events on campus last fall. All studios were open and staffed by faculty and students, giving prospects a first–hand look at the facilities. There was a three–hour portfolio review session and various presentations covering program and admission information.
Last year's recruitment efforts have proved fruitful. The Department of Art & Art History has seen a rise in applicants from 496 in 2006 to 630 in 2008. Out of the 180 admitted students for fall of 2008, 149 students submitted a portfolio to be reviewed. Next year, the department will require a portfolio submission for all applicants. The Department of Art & Art History welcomes the entering freshman class of 2008 and recognizes it as the realization of recruitment as a means of talent retention, outreach, and as a tool for increasing the quantity and quality of applicants.