Helping Visual Artists Apply to College is My Speciality. 

I have never met another college advisor who

  • specializes in advising visual artists and portfolio preparation

  • was director of admissions at a college of art

  • reviewed hundreds of portfolios at National Portfolio Days

  • graduated from two colleges of art

  • is a practicing visual artist

My College Counseling Experience Includes:

• Director of admissions, Oregon College of Art and Craft

• Freshman application reviewer, University of California Berkeley

Admissions Counselor, San Francisco Art Institute

• Application reviewer, QuestBridge College Match Scholarship

My Experience in Visual Art Includes:

• MFA, San Francisco Art Institute

• BFA, Rhode Island School of Design

• Examiner for IB visual art (International Baccalaureate)

• Exhibiting my artwork for 22+ years

• Art instructor at Marin Academy and The Crucible.

My winding path of art education

I know first-hand of the challenges of creating a strong portfolio as I have done so for my college and graduate school applications, numerous art exhibitions and artist residency applications. 

I became interested in college counseling while in high school as neither my family nor college counselor knew how to guide me in my college search as a visual artist. Because of this, I did not initially consider attending a college of art for college.

My family was not artistic and did not understand the process of preparing to study visual art in college, let alone how to prepare a portfolio. I choose to begin college at Xavier University because of a Scholastic Art Awards scholarship. However, studying sculpture there was not the best fit for my needs, so I expanded my college search and transferred to a college of art, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where I completed my BFA degree.

As director of admissions of Oregon College of Art and Craft (OCAC), I regularly counseled students, parents, and college counselors about the merits of a college of art education and differences between bachelor of arts (BA) and bachelor of fine arts (BFA) degree programs. I keep in contact with former colleagues in college admissions offices to stay up to date on admissions requirements. 

Helping students prepare successful portfolios is my speciality. 

At Oregon College of Art and Craft, I reviewed portfolios around the country at over 100 National Portfolio Days, high schools and community colleges every year. I counseled numerous artists on ways to improve their portfolio and developed an evaluation system to use in  admissions decisions. 

I have helped students get accepted to highly selective college art and design programs including Art Center, Cal Arts, Carnegie Mellon University, Chapman University, NYU, RISD, Rice, UCLA & Washington University St Louis.

I have visited 26 colleges of art in the US and Canada and visit more colleges each year. (See my visit list)

I have worked in arts advocacy as a board member of the Oregon Art Education Association and received their "Higher Education Art Educator of the Year" award in 2005 for my work. 

I have organized and juried numerous high school art exhibitions, most recently for the Portland Oregon's metro Scholastic Art Awards in 2013.

I belong to the following professional organizations and abide by their ethical standards in the college counseling process:

Western Association for College Admission Counseling

Higher Education Consultants Association

College Art Association

I am a board member with Intersection for the Arts in San Francisco.

I continue to create & exhibit my artwork: www.barrybeach.com

Portfolio Preparation from College Admissions Professional 1+510/ 725-2780