RECAP: Portfolio Review 2023

AAF Buffalo was back in person at UB’s Center for the Arts for its annual Portfolio Review event on April 29th from 10 AM – 1 PM. As always, students presented their best work to some of Buffalo’s brightest advertising pros and got invaluable feedback to take their work to the next level. 

This year, the club returned the event to its speed dating style, where students met with 15 pros in 15-minute 1-on-1 sessions for two and a half hours. Each participant presented their top 3 pieces, received feedback, and continued showing the rest of their portfolio. Pros from Crowley Webb, the Martin Group, Community Beer Works, White Bicycle, and more met with students this year and raved about students’ ability to communicate their design decisions effectively. 

Each year after students share their work with all the professional volunteers, the pros nominate two portfolio review scholarships for outstanding work, portfolio craftsmanship, and presentation skills. So please join us in congratulating the following students:

Portfolio Review Scholarship: Hannah Smith – LinkedIn
Portfolio Review Scholarship: Rachel Tranter
Honorable Mention: Julia Fay –  juliafayonline.comLinkedIn

The AAF board would like to thank all professional volunteers and give a major high five to all student participants. We can’t wait for next year!

(Pictured Left to Right: Julia Fay, Noah Herman, Hannah Smith, Rachel Tranter)

(Pictured: All student participants, professional volunteers, and resident buffoon Noah Herman)


RECAP: Don Nichols Scholarship 2023

AAF Buffalo hosts a scholarship competition annually honoring the late Buffalo great Don Nichols. Don Nichols began teaching at the Albright Art School and founded its Graphic Design Program in 1950. He brought it to UB, where he served as the program’s head until his death on July 7, 1987. He was an extraordinarily dedicated teacher who educated hundreds of graphic designers, several of whom attained national prominence. Nichols received the Osborn Award for Creative Excellence from Buffalo’s Art Directors/Communicators and the Chancellor’s Award for Teaching from UB in 1982.

The scholarship competition presents students studying fine arts, marketing & communications, design, photography, writing arts, and illustration with a theme and encourages them to submit work that comments on that theme. This year’s theme focused on information overload. Below is this year’s statement:

“To say we are constantly distracted is an understatement. We are all the time in front of at least two or three screens – with even more going on all around us. How does one concentrate, let alone disconnect? What’s your take on all this noise, or perhaps ways to escape it? Bring to life your thoughts and opinions in any medium you choose.”

After reviewing submissions, the AAF Buffalo Board tallied the votes and is excited to congratulate this year’s Don Nichols Scholarship Competition winners.

1st: Grace Amborski – Villa Maria College

2nd: Andre Smith – Villa Maria College

3rd: Michael Blake – Villa Maria College

Honorable Mention: Olivia Ebers – Villa Maria College

Honorable Mention: Chris Weitz – Villa Maria College