Portfolio Spotlight: Near and Far by Asher Schleich


Photo courtesy of Asher Schleich

All seniors at Kettle Moraine School for Arts and Performance (KM Perform) have completed the portfolio process. Portfolio projects are created by senior students to showcase their talent and learning at the end of their high school careers. Asher Schleich, a senior Writing Focus in KM Perform, has completed and published his portfolio project: a book of 100 poems paired with photos he’s taken over the course of the year.

During the summer of 2018, Mr. Weber and a group of American students participated in the Japanese Exchange Program and traveled to Shingu, Japan (the Wakayama Prefecture, among other locations in the country). Schleich was one of those students, who used the opportunity to take countless photos he would later include in his portfolio. “When I first started the portfolio process, I knew I wanted to pair my writing with a visual art of some sort. I had been doing photography for three years, and decided to include this art in my portfolio,” says Schleich. “When I decided to participate in the 2018 Japanese Exchange Program . . . I knew that I would be able to take lots of photos and gather inspiration from the new experiences.”

Schleich has been interested in poetry for years, and knew coming into high school that his portfolio would eventually involve poetry. He participated in Forensics public speaking for many years, and actually won gold at the state-level competition three years in a row for his poetry. However, instead of reading his poetry aloud, Schleich decided to publish a book for his portfolio. “When I write, I typically write for a smaller audience, but with this project, I am publishing my first book and broadcasting it to a much larger audience,” said Schleich.

The most memorable portfolios in the history of KM Perform were exceptional because they challenged the students to broaden their perspectives and work harder than they ever have before. “This project forced me to look at the world from different angles,” says Schleich. “I write what I know, but there are only so many ways you can repeat the same lesson. I had to look at myself and the world through a new lens, and find a way to convey these messages on paper.”

All of the proceeds from the sales of Schleich’s book will go towards helping him pay for his college tuition at UW-Whitewater. The book is available for purchase on Amazon as well as on Schleich’s website. Schleich presented his portfolio as well as a collection of photographs and art at the Writing Focus Senior Showcase this spring.