Continuing Education Blog
PNCA offers evening and weekend classes for adults and young people. For adults we offer courses in art, craft, and design, as well as professional development classes. For children we have Saturday classes during the school year and week-long camps during the summer. In addition to our regular teen classes, we also offer immersive summer Pre-College Studios. Our blog below gives you an idea of some of the goings on, and you can see our full course catalogue online here.
1. How and why did you conceived this class?
This class operates as a concise breakdown of the structure and understanding of comics. The class runs for 8 weeks and it offers students the basics to get them started in the practice of comics making.
2. Can you talk about what drew you to comic and graphic novels?
I have been drawing comics and self publishing since the 1990’s. During the past five years, I have been doing more commercial, freelance work in comics as well as publishing my own work. It’s really become the most appropriate outlet for me to process ideas and research towards an increasingly visual culture.
3. What can students expect to make in your class?
Students will be doing in class exercises and homework that will kick start the process of visual story telling. They will be creating 1-2 page comics experimenting with styles and visual techniques within the comics medium.
4. What are some of the challenges and opportunities being a woman in the graphic novel/comics field?
Thankfully, comics have become so mainstream now that we have graphic novels in every format, for all sorts of readers. There are even plenty of magazines printing pages of comics as a part of their monthly print publications now. There is more of a demand for comics today than ever before, which means a greater call for more voices within comics. That’s all good new for cartooning.
5. What are you working on now?
My self-published graphic novel of The Epic of Gilgamesh was just picked up by the indie comics worlds Study Group site.
I’m looking forward to that going live. I’m also finishing up a few pieces for Design Week Portland coming in October. I will be tabling a few more cons this year including Short Run in Seattle this November, I am finalizing a new comic for the Comics Workbook site (comicsworkbook) site, and still in the research phase for my next long term project which will be focusing on East coast indigenous history in early America.
We invite you to bring to life your favorite characters and narratives from Oregon writers in our new intergenerational, hands-on workshops, every third Saturday, 1:30-5pm (except December 13, 10-5pm), this fall. Give shape and colors, movement and interaction to characters or scenes dear to you through creative interpretation and transformation of texts by Oregon authors. Find inspiration in the sharing and collaboration at each workshop.
Ken Kesey: Illustration + Character Creation, Ages 14+, with Kinoko Evans; October 18
Raymond Carver: Animation + Hinge Puppets , Ages 15+, with Micah Weber; November 15
Opal Whiteley: Shadow Puppets, Ages 14+, with Alexey Moore; December 13
The only prerequisite is a passion for the particular writer and her/his stories; no art-making experience is required. All materials are provided. Bring a friend, spouse, child or mentor for free with advance rsvp!
Artwork by Kinoko Evans.
Bud Clark Commons TV is a collaborative program that supports people who have experienced homelessness to create and share videos of their own making. The program launched in 2012 as part of the first Bud Clark Commons Artist in Residence Program funded by The City of Portland Percent for Art Program through the Regional Arts and Culture Council. The group of founding artists included Carl Diehl (PNCA Assistant Professor), Ariana Jacob, Joan Lundell (Certificate Design ’10; MFA CD ‘13), Mack McFarland (Exhibitions Coordinator for the Phillip Feldman Gallery), and Jeffrey. Most recently, Carmen Denison (MA CT/CR ’13), Peter Falanga (MA CT/CR ’13), Daniel Mackin (BFA ’14) and Jill Falk (BFA ’15) have coordinated BCCTV activities.
Collaboration and Community
BCCTV was founded as a collaborative project, and continues to run that way. Carmen Denison (MA CT/CR ’13) took over coordination of the program with her colleague Peter Falanga (MA CT/CR ’13) in the winter of 2012, soon to be followed by Daniel Mackin (BFA ’14) (the program is currently coordinated by all three artists). BCCTV continues today as a series of workshops that focus on the core skills in filmmaking and video art, such as editing, lighting, narrative construction, and personal artistic development. Guided by our teachers Denison, Falanga, Mackin, and PNCA intern Jill Falk, each class is attended by seven to twelve participants. This creates a collaborative environment in which skills, experiences, and stories are shared. Between workshop series, attendees focus on long-term individual projects that, along with works made during the workshops, screen at the second annual BCCTV ON THE BIG SCREEN event. Through the support of PNCA, Transition Projects Inc., and donations from generous individual supporters, BCCTV can continue to engage artists, engender collaboration, and captivate audiences throughout Portland’s entire creative community.
Bud Clark Commons
Bud Clark Commons is an innovative partnership between the Portland Housing Bureau, Home Forward, Transition Projects, Inc., and Multnomah County. The center provides vital resources, shelter, and housing placement services to individuals and families experiencing homelessness in Portland.
I am pleased that faculty member Kendra Larson has provided the original artwork for our fall publications. Her painting “November”, acrylic on wood, 48” x36”, 2014, is in the collection of Reto Rietmann, Reinach, Switzerland.
Larson says about the work: “This painting depicts Mt Adams last November. Every year, for my birthday, I go on a hike somewhere I have never hiked before. This striking place has burnt tree stands left over from the 2014 Cascade Creek Fire. Next to these, in stark contrast, is the fresh snow preparing the grounds for spring flowers. These two things, ash and snow, destruction and renewal, are powerful symbols. I painted the bark of these trees black with just a little of the brightly colored under painting peeking through. This was done to express the yet unseen life that these nurse logs will support. Even though this experience was in November, this painting could just as easily been about the coming of spring. I tend to be drawn to the time when seasons are changing. After this hike, as I was starting to paint, I couldn’t ignore the memories of the bright sun. It was cold, but the sun shown adding dancing shadows and life to everything on the hillside.”
On August 24, Larson’s profile was featured as Saatchi Online Artist of the Day. Also, she currently has work included in the Fall National Juried Exhibition at the Marin Museum of Contemporary Art, August 30– October 5, 2014.
Kendra Larson received her BFA from PNCA and her MFA in Painting at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
What brought you to PNCA?
The journey to PNCA in all actuality probably started in my childhood. My love for the arts started as a singing, making, dancing, painting, and wildly imaginative kid (as most kids are.) Over the years, that love has developed into an understanding that having the arts in our lives plays a crucial role in creating a more empathetic, open and critical thinking community. Before coming to PNCA, I explored a life as a classical singer and after that worked for ten years with Portland Center Stage, managing the theater’s individual giving program. When I started looking for the next place to continue my career, I was attracted to PNCA because there is something inspiring about spending your time in a place that has the buzz of students who are learning, examining and questioning all around you. It is PNCA’s commitment to lifelong learning and the belief that creativity can literally change the world that drew me in. The particular job I took was compelling because I was given an opportunity to create a new giving program that focused on all levels of donors, engaging people in a new way around the work being done in and outside of the college walls.
What does “creativity works here” mean, look like in your context?
It means that creativity is “at work” at PNCA. It is a practice that is not only celebrated, but lives and breathes here. In my context of working in the fundraising office, which is typically not thought of as a creative place, I take it as a challenge that all of us who work at PNCA should be practicing creativity daily; not just students and faculty. In order to be successful and true to the PNCA mission, creativity needs to spill over in all aspects of the college.
There is a new giving program that recently rolled out at PNCA. What inspired you to start this program?
I wanted to start this program because I believe that as people become further engaged and involved with an organization they care about, the deeper their experience is and the stronger the organization ultimately becomes. I hope that these new giving levels and engagement benefits will connect people who are already giving to PNCA in a deeper way as well as encourage new people to think about philanthropy here.
Which benefit offered through the new individual giving program are you most excited about sharing?
I’m also pleased we can offer some fantastic discounts to PNCA donors for continuing education classes. It’s never too late or too early to try something new and begin your own life of creative practice.
What would you like the community to know about PNCA?
Before working here, I had no idea that PNCA offered over 100 free public lectures and exhibits a year! That is an incredible resource for the community and one I wish more people knew about.
Jessy is more than thrilled to meet with you and learn about how you think creativity transforms our community and hear about your experience with PNCA. Feel free to call or email her. 503.821.8927 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Individual giving at PNCA ranges from Friends of Art ($50-$249) to Visionary Circle ($20,000 and above). Take a look how you might engage with the College through PNCA’s Giving Program.
For eight consecutive years, Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts (CSIA) and the Pacific Northwest College of Art have teamed up for a four-day monotype retreat. Originally the idea of Patrick Forster, Director of Continuing Education at PNCA, this workshop developed into an annual tradition for artists from across the Pacific Northwest and the West Coast. Each year in late April, Frank Janzen, the master printer at CSIA, teaches different techniques and styles with amazing results.
Though it is not just the artwork produced at the workshop that matters, but each retreats atmosphere of camaraderie, shared sense of purpose and discovery in the transcendent environs of CSIA. Pam Hobert, artist and program alumna, says: “There is something very special about CSIA and working with Frank. There is a subtle magic connected to this place, the land, and the opportunity to work with Frank. We as a group, have made good, sometimes even great work. We’ve made good friendships. We are aware of how rare that is.”
In celebration of the artistic achievements, past and current, of program participants, CSIA and PNCA have organized an exhibit cycle featuring the work of more than thirty program alumni and reflecting the power of place, community and collaboration. The first exhibit will be held at PNCA, October 2-31, 2014, and a second exhibit will be hosted by the Pendleton Center for the Arts, February 5-27, 2015.
You are cordially invited to the artists’ reception at PNCA, Thursday, October 2, 2014, 5:30-7pm. The exhibit and reception are open and free to the public, though we appreciate your advance rsvp.
Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts provides opportunities for Native Americans through artistic development. With an emphasis on contemporary, fine-art printmaking, CSIA also functions as a venue to practice traditional Native American art practices — weaving, bead working and regalia making — of the Plateau region. With a spacious gallery and world-class printmaking studio, CSIA brings in emerging and established artists to produce monotypes, monoprints and editions — including lithographs, etchings, linocuts, woodcuts and more. CSIA’s ever-growing portfolio of prints encompasses the work of many outstanding artists of diverse backgrounds and media. Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts is located within the historic St. Andrews mission schoolhouse, a few miles east of Pendleton, Oregon, at the base of the Blue Mountain foothills on the Umatilla Indian Reservation. Learn more about Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts.
In Fall 2013 Continuing Education offered for the first time a course in building a Ukulele. Taught by BFA instructor and avid ukulele builder Frank Irby, the each student in the class builds an instrument starting from a set of koa wood. Luthier Max Sipe co-teaches and brings a wealth of professional experience to the classroom. The course itself was designed to not only enable students to build a ukulele but it teaches woodworking and wood-finished techniques that can translate to other projects. I documented the Fall 2013 course on the Continuing Education blog.
Thursday, October 3 was the first class of Ukulele building. After quick introductions and getting to meet the Instructor, Frank Irby, and Teaching Assistant Max Sipe, we got down to the business of ukes. Frank and Max showed us their own handcrafted ukes and Max’s handmade inlays.
There are four sizes of ukuleles that are common: soprano (standard), concert, tenor, and baritone. In this class we will be building a tenor uke. Frank brought ukuleles of of all the sizes to see, hear and feel the differences. We talked about what made good instrument wood, including where it comes from, what makes the rings tighter and how the wood selected and harvested. Our ukuleles are being constructed out of Koa wood for the soundboard and body, mahogany for the necks and rosewood for the fret boards. We talked about how bracing effects sound, how we can create the best sounding uke and what you can do to add some personal style to your creation.
After learning about the power and hand tools we are going to use for the class (and the safety demo) we chose our bundles of body wood. They was an incredible variety in the looks of the bundles of koa, from reddish, marbled looking pieces to rich yellow.
We went over bookmatching and laid out our pieces for our soundboards and backs, finding the best looking combination and headed back to the shop to plane down our pieces to 3mm. Next class we start cutting out the body and moving forward.
Blogging a CE class-second class of Ukulele Building
We arrived to class on Thursday ready to do some joining and bending. Half of the class started on cutting, measuring and bending the sides of our Ukes while the half began working joining the soundboards and the backs together.
Last week we found the best book-matched combinations and moving from there we first ran the edges of our boards through the planer to get them as evenly matched as the machine allowed. Next we used the sandpaper levels to get the sides perfectly straight.
After much testing and re-sanding it was time to move on to gluing the two pieces together. For the class we are using super glue and an activator to make it harden and dry quickly. The two pieces are laid out, roped together and glued.
Bending the sides
Moving on the sides, we measured and using the table saw, cut the sides to the proper shape. This involved clamping the sides to the a guide board to ensure the angle was true.
Now the nerve-wracking bit, bending sides to shape. The first part of this process was laying the heating blanket on the side bender (built by Frank) and the wet wood on top of that. While the wood heated and the molds were pressed slowly in to place we sprayed the wood down with water. When we got the wood clamped down completely it was left on the heat for 10 minutes.
Following ten minutes of heating and spraying with water, the sides were transferred into the molds to sit overnight and have their shape for good.
Next class we move on to cutting the soundboard and backs out.
Class three focused on three parts of the construction-the decorative rosette, cutting the soundboard and back out, and adding the head and tail blocks to the sides of body.
The class began the process of adding the rosettes by tracing the finished shape on to the soundboard and finding the center of the sound-hole and measuring out where our rosettes would be. Choosing from scrap strips of wood, plastic and paper we sorted out what would make up the rosettes and measured that thickness. Max got the drill press with his circular cuter set up with the blades of the cutter matching the thickness of rosettes.
Now the materials were laid into the groove and glued into place. Followed by a run through the drum sander to smooth everything out and the back and soundboard cut into shape.
Tail and Head Block
The sides were placed back into the mold, measured and trimmed so that they lined up exactly. Each of the blocks was sanded to match the curve of the bottom or top and epoxied into place. While this was the step that required the least direction, the exacting nature of the fits made it more time consuming than expected. It was great to see the ukulele starting to take shape and gave us even more incentive to move forward.
Next week- kerfing the sides.
Class four was all about the interior structure-the kerf binding and bracing, both the back and soundboard.
With the sides in the mold, we added the kefing pieces, which were pre-cut from mahogany. Using water and a heat gun, the were formed into the approximate shape, glued along the edges of the sides and clamped into place. The reverse kerfing will give the uke a solid structure and help it hold its shape.
While the kerfing dried, work began on making the bracing for the back.
The bracing is made from 1/4 inch strips of spruce. The majority of the rest of the class was cutting and shaping the bracing and thickness sanding the soundboard and back in preparation for gluing in the bracing.
Next week- Gluing the bracing, sanding the body and more.
This week’s class focused on making the bracing, preparing the sides and attaching the soundboard and back.
The bracing is made from pieces of spruce. These pieces were cut down to size and glued to the soundboard (supported on a flat surface) and the backs (supported on the 25 foot radius sanding disk, the braces for the back were sanded into this shape prior to gluing).
The back will have a slight dome shape giving the ukulele a stronger sound. The front is flat and you can see on the image below the patch to reinforce the bridge.
After the glue dried, mini planers and chisels were used to give the braces an arched shape and sloping toward the edges. This allowed for a lighter weight with plenty of support.
After completing the bracing we started working on evening out the sides of the uke, getting ready to add the soundboard and back. This involved an incredible amount of hand-sanding. The back on the 25ft dish and the front side on a flat surface. Notches were cut in the kerfing to allow the bracing to sit flush. The soundboard and backs are glued on using a go-bar system to hold the pieces together.
Next class: preparing the neck and fretboard.
I this week’s class we worked on preparing the neck block and a bit of catching up with constructing the body.
The first step of the neck was gluing the neck piece together at the scarf joint (which were pre-cut, thanks to Frank). We put glue on and and allowed it to dry on the exposed joint to provide a tackier surface when they are glued and clamped.
To clamp them a jig was set up on the table and the neck laid on its side. The jig prevented the two pieces from sliding apart.
After drying the heel was added to the neck. This was much simpler glue and clamp job.
Next week we finish the neck shape and fingerboard.
Week 7 was a busy a busy week in the woodshop. On Thursday we started working on shaping the heel of the neck, adding the bolt to connect to the body and adding the head laminate.
The first step in shaping the heel by roughly cutting it out on the bandsaw. Followed by using the oscillating sander to shape the curve. The front of the headstock was made square on the belt sander.
Next we used the jig to measure and drill the hole for the bolt in the body and the nut in the neck.
Saturday! Max lead the open work time in the woodshop on Saturday where work began on cutting the banding. This involved using a router mounted to a guide arm. This was a nerve wracking experience with the possibility wrecking all of the work on the body.
After this was finished the binding was glued into the notch that was just cut.
Next week, getting toward the end.
The eighth class and extra session concentrated on adding, leveling and shaping the frets. Hammering them into place was the quick part of the job, the leveling (through sanding flat) and shaping took the bulk of the time. We also cut the bridge out rosewood and epoxied it to the body. The shaping of the head was finished, the nut shaped and the saddle was added to the bridge. The lacquering process which took a couple of days and a lot of spraying, waiting and sanding was completed at home.
To complete the process the holes for the strings were drilled through the bridge and body. Using beads tied onto the strings, they were strung through the body and wound on the tuners. After a bit of adjusting the nut and saddle it was good to go.
PNCA’s Gallery 214 exhibits through July 23 the creations of participants in PNCA’s Encaustic Studio that in past years has offered community artists a peer environment for exploring the encaustic medium and for critical peer dialogue about personal artistic practice.
The encaustic studio also offers opportunities to study with leading contemporary artists working in this medium. Recent master-workshops at PNCA have been Facilitated by visiting artists Timothy McDowell, Lisa Pressman, Mark Rediske, Andrea Schwartz-Feit and Nicholas Wilton.
Encaustic painting education at pnca started two decades ago under the leadership of former faculty member jef gunn and provost emeritus greg ware. Since 2011, Claudia Hollister has led the encaustic studio.
The image is provided courtesy of Kindra Crick, Empathy Molecule II, Encaustic Mixed Media, 2013.
Drawing by Lynn Kitagawa
Next weekend PNCA Continuing Education has group of classes starting including:
Online Portfolio In this weekend workshop build the structure and start the content of your online portfolio or personal website. More than just a basic web design class, this class will cover how to write about your work and yourself, marketing yourself and how to maintain your site. Using the Squarespace platform, you will be leave with an effective web presence and an understanding of this powerful web publishing tool. Register
Illustrator Basics Whether taking as a stand alone weekend or part of the discounted Weekend Pack, learn the basics of the powerful design and digital illustration tool Adobe Illustrator. Taught by local artist Damien Gilley, you will learn the basic functions of the program: drawing and shape tools, type, text and color management. Register
Botanical Illustration In this four Saturday class learn the techniques to create Botanical Illustrations in pen and ink. Using live specimens, students create accurate and aesthetically pleasing images. The emphasis of the class will be on observation and drawing skills, as well as development of personal style. Register
Collography Spend four Saturdays in PNCA’s printlab creating collography prints. Using non-traditional and found materials to create printing plates, explore pattern and texture on the printing press. Prints created using collography are unique and beautiful and call for experimentation while also learning reinforcing the basics of printing on a press. Register
PNCA Continuing Education classes are open to the public for registration. All prerequisites are self managed by the student and do not require further proof before starting a class.
This Summer, CE instructor Palmarin Merges is teaching Collagraphy on Saturday mornings in June. Collography is a printmaking process that combines the elements of collage with drawing. Plates are built up with objects as diverse as gesso, fabric and found objects and printed on a press.
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