On Friday, April 10, a group of 100 creative professionals and students gathered in the ICA at Maine College of Art & Design to participate in Portfolio Day. The event, co-hosted by MECA&D and AIGA Maine, was open to MECA&D, SMCC and USM students majoring in graphic design, photography, illustration, and new media.

The event offered students the chance to share their portfolios with a broad spectrum of professionals ranging from creative directors, to independent artists, local publishers and in-house teams. Nearly 50 reviewers participated in the event, representing forty companies from the region, including three from neighboring New Hampshire. New participants this year included the visual effects studio Infusion Studios, mobile marketing firm Liquid Wireless, and the creative agency Kingspoke.

MECA&D student Alexander Brooks, who participated in Portfolio Day for the first time, said, “It was a huge learning experience for me, and a great opportunity to have a dialog about my work with professionals.” Brooks, a New Media major, reflected, “The feedback I got was useful and on point, and I was able to make connections to the game industry that led to a summer internship."

Portfolio Day is an ongoing collaboration between MECA&D’s Artist at Work program and AIGA Maine which began three years ago. Samantha Haedrich, Education Director for AIGA Maine and a faculty member at MECA&D, says, “It has been exciting to watch this event grow each year. From the perspective of both organizations, Portfolio Day is an opportunity to continue to expand the conversation surrounding creative excellence within Maine. I believe that professionals can play a key role in the development of student and recent graduates – whether by participating in an event like Portfolio Day, connecting through classroom experiences, hosting internships, or becoming a mentor.”