Distinguished Artist Program

Saturday, February 23, 2019

About the Program

The Distinguished Artist Program is an invite-only opportunity for you to celebrate your artistic medium with like-minded students and our passionate faculty. This day is an opportunity for creative writers, artists, art historians, musicians and thespians to demonstrate this talent. We believe it will confirm that Albion is the perfect place to push your talents to the next level.


Plan to register for this event as soon as you decide to participate - space is limited. Register online at: https://apply.albion.edu/register/dap. Your registration must be received by Thursday, February 14. Please note that this is an invite-only event.

Register Now

Schedule of Events

8:30 a.m. Registration (Bonta Admission Center)
9:00 a.m. Registration (Bonta Admission Center)
9:30 a.m. - 11:40 a.m. Morning presentations, information sessions and campus tours
11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Registration for afternoon presenters (Science Center)
11:45 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Luncheon (Baldwin Hall)
1:20 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Afternoon presentations, information sessions and campus tours

Options for Presentation

Option 1: Art

Bring a portfolio including 10-15 art works in any media that represents your perceptive thoughts and expressions as an artist. The work may include work that you've done in class or independently: drawing, painting, printmaking, book arts, photography, computer arts, ceramics, sculpture, or other media. If your work is oversized, or if the materials are vulnerable, you may photograph the work and bring images on a CD or powerpoint.

In addition, please bring a sketchbook if you keep one; a "sketchbook" could be in the form of a traditional book of drawings, a journal, visual scrapbook or even a well-designed blog or website.

Our goal in this review is to see how you think through your processes and what you are trying to say with the work you are creating. You will be expected to present a narrative about your art in which you discuss your development as an artist, your experiences, influences, motivations and choices you have made in your work. In preparing your portfolio and presentation you might consider the following questions:

  • What artists did I draw on for inspiration? It would be useful to show images of the artists you were most influenced by.
  • What is my creative process? How does the work in my sketchbook relate to my finished work?
  • What am I trying to communicate with my art?
  • Why did I choose the respective media/forms to express my ideas?

The portfolio reviews center on a discussion of your work. Your portfolio review, presentation and discussion will last about 15 minutes.

Option 2: Art History

Submit a portfolio of 4 to 5 pieces of written work that focuses on art, architecture, film, video, or some other visual art form and complete a 10-minute presentation. Your total written portfolio should not exceed 25 pages. Papers prepared for humanities, art or English classes may be submitted. Your work should demonstrate your ability to conduct research, prepare a coherent scholarly paper, use appropriate referencing systems, and present the paper to a knowledgeable audience. A short discussion will follow. Your presentation and discussion will last about 15 minutes.

Option 3: Creative Writing

Works may take the form of poetry or prose, but you must chose one or the other. You will not be able to do both. Please limit your submission to either 10 pages (single space, Times New Roman, 12 point font) of poetry or 15 pages (double space, Times New Roman, 12 point font) of prose (fiction, memoir, personal essay, etc.) Your work should represent your artistic ability; it can include pieces you have done in class as well as independently.

Please come prepared to read briefly from your work (approximately 5 minutes). Also, please bring an early draft of a one of the poems or a section of the prose you've submitted. Use these drafts and the work you submitted for your portfolio to discus your creative process. When designing your presentation, it may be helpful to consider the following questions:

  • What is the theme of my writing?
  • What authors did I draw upon for inspiration?
  • What is my writing process?
  • What am I trying to communicate with my writing?
  • Why did I choose the respective forms (prose, poetry, etc.) to express my ideas?

Portfolio reviews center on a discussion of your works, including your experiences, influences and motivation. Your presentation and discussion will last about 15 minutes.

Option 4: Music

Every audition takes between 15 and 20 minutes. Due to the limited amount of time, and the large number of auditions on most dates, you may be asked to stop short of completing your solos/etudes. Plan on between 6 and 8 minutes of prepared music, 2 to 4 minutes of sight-reading, and an interview with the audition committee of between 8 and 10 minutes. Please see the Music Department's audition suggestions for guidelines specific to particular instruments.

Audition Information

You must submit a copy of your musical accompaniments and scores for the judges by Thursday, February 14, one full week prior to the event.

Option 5: Theatre

You may choose to showcase your acting ability or your creativity in technical theater: costume design or construction, lighting, sound, scene design, and/or stage management. To audition for acting and/or musical theatre, please come prepared to perform either:

  1. two contrasting monologues pieces from a PLAY, or
  2. one monologue piece from a PLAY and one 32-bar song. (There will be no live accompaniment, therefore, you must bring your music on a CD, if performing a song.)

If you prefer to showcase your talent in design or stage management, please plan to bring a portfolio of any appropriate materials including a call book or production photos.

Materials may be from a realized production or may be a project you create using one of the following plays as the basis: A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare, Cabaret by Isherwood with Lyrics by Kander and Ebb, or The Odd Couple by Neil Simon. Sketches or designs of future shows you would like to work on are also encouraged.

Both acting auditions and technical theatre portfolio reviews will last about 10 minutes.

Monologues: should be no more than 4 minutes total. (2 minutes max per monologue.) Be prepared for the judges to give critiques and to have you workshop pieces. An interview portion will follow your performance.

Important: Monologues from TV shows, movies, etc are not acceptable.

Please come prepared to discuss your process and your inspiration including your experiences, influences and motivation.

You must submit your works by Thursday, February 14, one full week prior to the event.

Selection Criteria

Albion College faculty members select scholarship recipients using the following criteria:

  1. The Quality of Your Audition and/or Portfolio Works – Choose the option that will allow you to best demonstrate your intellectual curiosity, academic interests, achievement and future potential for growth at Albion College.
  2. Extra-Curricular Record – We recognize that students often combine superior scholarship with other interests, unique talents or achievements. Please come prepared to talk about yourself and your accomplishments– your motivation, your inspiration, and your passion for the fine arts.


Students selected as a Distinguished Artist will be notified by Monday, April 1, 2019. Final results will be announced publicly for those recipients who have made the commitment to attend Albion College.

Overnight Accommodations

Need overnight accommodations? See a full list of places to stay

Courtyard Marriott
200 S Superior Street
Albion, MI 49224

Albion Heritage Bed and Breakfast
517 E. Michigan Avenue
Albion, MI 49224

Palmer House Inn Bed and Breakfast
108 W. Erie Street
Albion, MI 49224

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Time Will I Have?

The presentation schedule is tightly managed—depending on discipline you will have 10-30 minutes to present and interview. Please see specific discipline for exact details. No student may exceed the 30 minute presentation time.

How Do I Decide Which of the Five Options is Right for Me?

Choose the option that will best allow you to demonstrate your creative and intellectual abilities, and also one that will illustrate how you will be a positive addition to the Albion College community. Think of what inspires you and what option you are most passionate about. Every participant is a high achiever, so you need to identify how to demonstrate your abilities and potential in a way that distinguishes you from others.

Some questions that might guide your decision include: What academic disciplines are you most interested in studying? What do you enjoy talking about? What subject(s) are you considering for a major? Have you worked on a significant research project or paper and/or an artistic project that you'd like to tell us about?

Please note that you can only chose one area for full-tuition consideration. If you would like to audition for another area, please note that in your registration.

How Will I Be Evaluated?

Our faculty members look for specific content substance and expertise, and assess the overall quality of your performance or portfolio. Our faculty members look at the following general characteristics of every competitor:

  • Overall impression
  • Quality of works
  • Depth of exploration
  • Organization of ideas; synthesis and progression of concepts
  • Creativity and creative process
  • Ability to articulate influences
  • Individual vision and ability to explain motivation for approach
  • Intellectual curiosity
  • Academic goals
  • Student responses to faculty questions
  • Passion for the subject
  • Potential for artistic and academic excellence and leadership
  • Unique or special characteristics

What Programs Will You Offer For Me And My Parents When I am Not Presenting?

There will be a variety of activities during the day including student panels, a conversation with the President, audition and portfolio workshops, an opportunity to learn more about financing an Albion education, quiet spaces for practicing, a stress free zone in the Honors Observatory, campus tours and more. We also encourage our participants to meet other participants and socialize over light refreshments.

How Will I Find My Presentation Room?

You will be escorted from the registration area to your presentation room 10 minutes prior to your scheduled time. You will enter your room at the appointed time. Please see the specifics for the area that you choose for more information on the amount of time you will have.

When Will I Be Notified Of The Judges' Decision?

You will receive a letter from the admission office by Monday, April 1.

Who Can I Talk With If I Have Questions About This Program Or My Participation?

Your Albion College Admission Counselor can help you with questions. In addition, your counselor can put you in contact with a student mentor who can help answer your questions. Please contact or call 800/858-6770.