9 months ago
Admissions Advice

Should I bring politics into my art portfolio?

So Im setting up my portfolio for various colleges (specifically ones in NY and PA), and Im planning to use work I did for a Social Justice Project. One of the drawings is about Donald Trump and the way he responded to the murder of George Floyd and Black Lives Matter. My mom said I shouldn't add it in but I really want to. It's not only of of my best art works but it shows who I am and what I believe in. I did some research and some people said it is a good idea to have some political artwork while others said you shouldn't. Im stuck.

Would bringing politics into my artwork increase or decrease my chances of getting in? Would the college administration bar me for admission because we have different political views? Overall, is it ok to bring Politics into a art portfolio?

9 months ago

You got two amazing answers, so I just want to say that most colleges are liberal and will support your social justice project. Of course, you should know your audience though and not risk it with more conservative schools.

Earn karma by helping others:

1 karma for each ⬆️ upvote on your answer, and 20 karma if your answer is marked accepted.

2 answers

9 months ago

First things first.

Your mom loves you and wants to protect you so I think that is really sweet.

I agree with Max here and there should be no reason not to include this unless you are applying to a school that is quasi-religious or conservative. Examples in NY and PA that I would use are Muhlenberg, Lafayette, or Fordham which are categorically Christian or conservative. Schools like Notre Dame, Boston College, Georgetown probably wouldn't jive with it either.

One of the most admirable things a young person can do is to use their voice to call out and inequity, crime, or corruption in government, corporations, or with persons holding powers whether they are elected or not. Your voice can either your oratory skills, through writing, social media, or artistic like drawings, cartoons, paintings, or even dance and theater.

Colleges want future leaders that are brave and harness their voice. Think about it. There are 3 Harvard students that were part of the Stoneman Douglas Shooting in 2018. They didn't have the best grades (David Hogg 1270 SAT) or test scores but Harvard swooped them up because they are action-oriented activists that are justice fighters.

My advice is to make sure the rest of your narrative has something to do with your art. So when you talk about yourself in your essays, talk about using your artistic voice to make a point. It's important you help connect the dots for the person reading your application.

Good luck

9 months ago

So almost all colleges are very liberal and that highly carries over to admissions officers as well but is not guaranteed. Also you say its something you deeply believe so do you have other activities that support activism as an extracurricular. Or just general does the rest of your application support the activism part f your essay

Generally, private schools that currently have religious ties such as BYU Id recommend as its super hit or miss but applying to non-denominational private schools like UPENN, NYU or public schools such as PennSt then its way less risky.

Also technically you cant not be admitted due to political stance bar white power like movements. But IF you run into a person who disagrees with your stances you may rub them the wrong leading to them possibly picking someone over you as a tiebreaker.

I really hope this helps and feel free to comment if you'd like clarification as Id be more than happy to help.


Community Guidelines

To keep this community safe and supportive:

  1. Be kind and respectful!
  2. Keep posts relevant to college admissions and high school.
  3. Don’t ask “chance-me” questions. Use CollegeVine’s chancing instead!

How karma works