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Art Department and Libraries collaboration offers students opportunities to transform online portfolios

The Department of Art and Art History and Auburn University Libraries teamed up recently to provide students a resource to display their work in an online portfolio. Adobe Portfolio is now being integrated in the art curriculum at Auburn, allowing students to cultivate an online presence that will be vital following their graduation. College of Liberal Arts student writer Elizabeth Phillips speaks with Zach Koch, assistant professor of drawing and digital art, and Chelsy Hooper, instructional technology specialist for Auburn Libraries, about this partnership and initiative.

In August 2018, Auburn became the first SEC school to become an Adobe Creative Campus. Being an Adobe Creative Campus is a special designation from Adobe in which all students have access to the Adobe Creative Cloud applications. These applications include Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Portfolio, and more. To ensure all students and faculty can take advantage of these programs, the Innovation and Research Commons, in the Ralph Brown Draughon Library, supports users across campus with all applications.

“Using Adobe Portfolio, students can create gallery pages for different projects or years of study, allowing them to have their body of work to review and to present to potential internships, employers, and other opportunities such as art contests. Customizable pages allow for flexibility as their needs change with their careers post-graduation,” Hooper said.

The Adobe Creative Space in the Innovation and Research Commons on the 1st floor of the RBD Library offers creative co-working space complete with an AV system on a first-come, first-served basis. Adobe Creative Space personnel teach workshops and custom instructional sessions and materials with faculty in Adobe and other multimedia applications as well as offer on-demand video workshop recordings via their Instructional Content webpage. Adobe student consultants are available via an Adobe help desk/Zoom room in the Adobe Creative Space to assist users in learning skills to complete academic projects.

The Department of Art and Art History and the Innovation and Research Commons have worked together to provide students with the support they need to use Adobe Portfolio as it is being integrated into the curriculum for all art majors beginning with the class of 2020. Since this implementation, faculty like Hooper have been teaching Adobe Portfolio to art students and working with faculty to integrate the program into other areas as well.

Adobe Portfolio serves as an online portfolio solution for any major or topics that are image-based. By using this program, students can create a professionally designed online portfolio showcasing their work. This work could be art that they have created digitally or work they have photographed and does not require working with code.

“Adobe Portfolio allows users to create fully responsive, multi-page websites to showcase the artist and their work. Page templates include a gallery, where students can integrate other Adobe apps such as Lightroom (used by photographers) or upload custom photos of their various media pieces or digital artwork. A contact page is available as a customizable template to encourage visitors to the site to continue to follow the artist or contact them safely online. Users can also create a welcome page or “splash” page which serves as a landing page or digital business card, providing entry to a larger site organized by galleries,” Hooper said.

This program proved particularly helpful when it served as a solution for a senior class exhibit in April 2020. Due to COVID-19, this exhibit could not be held in-person. Students overcame that obstacle by creating their own portfolios and adding them to an online exhibition site.

“Cultivating an online presence has become increasingly important for art students when looking for internships and post-grad opportunities. This implementation of Adobe Portfolio will allow students to showcase their work easily,” Koch said.

To learn more about Adobe Portfolio and other creative applications, visit the Adobe Creative Space webpage.

Workshop video recordings on Adobe Portfolio and more Adobe applications are available for viewing on-demand on the Instructional Content page.


Tags: Art and Art History Faculty Students

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