Teachers look back at the Portfolio Show season

You might be surprised to learn that the Portfolio Show program has been a tradition in the Colorado Academy Visual Arts Department for more than 30 years.

This spring, Seniors presented their work in the Main Gallery of the Ponzio Arts Center in three shows, held during the day, and for the first time, a general audience could also attend in the evening.

  • “The Last Resort,” presented by Audrey Gordon, Campbell Isherwood, Sarah Preston, Lucy Rakowski, Grace Trembath
  • “Fabrica,” presented by Walker Briggs, Ann Butler, Sophia Giordano, Wyatt Rubey, Amanda Wilson
  • “Human Nature,” presented by Jordan Alexander, Jack Cook, Bridget Jeffries, Maya Kendall, Will Montgomery, Sabrina Wachuta

Couldn’t make it to the shows? Photography teacher Karen Donald documented each one in a short video, which we are bringing to you, along with some observations from Donald, art teacher Stashia Taylor, and Director of Visual and Performing Arts Katy Hills.

“The Last Resort”


Taylor: “This group collaborated well and their works played off each other, especially through their use of color. They were strong conceptually and in a deep way, dealing with serious ideas such as environmental and post-apocalyptic issues.”

Donald: “Upon entering the gallery, one instantly noticed the sophisticated craftsmanship and conceptual strength of all pieces. All artists worked hard to rework and reimagine original ideas, moving toward highly captivating bodies of work.”

Hills: “I remember going to this first exhibit and thinking, ‘What a great show to start with!’ It felt very professional and thoughtful in the way it was designed and laid out.”

View and download more photos from “The Last Resort.”



Hills: “In this show, every artist was able to pull you in using a unique way. As you listened to and looked at each artist’s work, there were multiple layers of experience for the visitor.”

Donald: “You could feel the passion, and you could see the love of making as you walked through the exhibit.”

Taylor: “It was playful and fun. There were lots of ways to engage with the art, and as I was walking through, I could see how much joy the students had when they were creating their work.”

View and download more photos from “Fabrica.”

“Human Nature”


Taylor: “In this show, every artist experimented beyond the expectations of their media. They took two-dimensional processes and brought them into three dimensions. They were willing to take risks with their artwork.”

Donald: “That’s the most exciting part of this show. They surpassed the expectations they had for themselves. That means we have done our job as teachers, giving them time and space to feel empowered to experiment.”

Hills: “I remember thinking, ‘What a great show to end on!’ When an artist pushes their medium like these students did, to me it looks sophisticated.”

Donald: “It is a very special opportunity for every Portfolio artist to be able to display their work in an art gallery such as ours. It is a beautiful site, one which allows our artists to authentically present their work, as though they were professional artists.”

Taylor: “Throughout the portfolio process, students were artists, curators, problem-solvers, collaborators, and marketers, and they will move into college with those skills. They became part of a fun, creative artistic community where they respect each other’s skills.”

Hills: “Yes, because they had a shared experience together.”

View and download more photos from “Human Nature.”