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.


Online Portfolio Class

Online Portfolio has become one of our most popular workshops. Emphasizing quality content in a condensed time frame allows students to make big steps forward in creating their site. We spent a bit of time chatting with instructor Sarah Moon about the class.

Can you talk about how you conceived this class and what your students accomplish.

I developed the digital portfolio class after teaching PNCA’s Web Design Tools course. I had a number of students who enrolled in that course because they needed a personal website, but had little interest in learning web design as a profession. They simply needed to have a professional web presence. It seemed silly to me that people were taking an intense, eight-week course just to create a simple site for themselves.

So, I created the online portfolio class to serve the needs of people who want to create a high-quality, easy-to-maintain website for themselves without having to learn the ins and outs of web languages like HTML and CSS.

This course, like the Web Tools class, is a bit different than most web classes in that we also focus on creating and structuring quality content. This includes writing a strong, distinctive “about” statement, selecting quality work and considering dynamic content such as a blog or newsfeed. We also talk about using your online portfolio as a nexus for your online presence.

Why is a digital portfolio important?
A digital portfolio is critical for anyone who wants a professional web presence. I love social media, but it is absolutely not a replacement for an online space which you control. With a professional site, you control the look, the content and the presentation. More importantly, you own your content. There are numerous stories of businesses utilizing Facebook, for example, for their primarily web presence only to have their page taken down because they’re unknowingly violated the company’s ever-changing terms of service. When that happens, the online relationship with customers or clients is eliminated and it’s tough to rebuild after that.

There’s also something intangible that goes along with having a professional-looking online portfolio or website. If you’re a visual artist, it encourages you to consistently document and archive your work and can help you feel more like a “real” artist or designer. I’ve had students say at the end of my digital portfolio class, “I had no idea I’d produced so much work!”

Additionally, these days most professional contacts (galleries, clients, even graduate schools) expect to see a web presence. They want to take your business card and look at your portfolio on their own time, rather than sit with you and go through a printed portfolio.

Why do you use Squarespace for the class?
I used to use Wordpress for this course, but I discovered that since many people come into the course with zero technical skills, they struggled with the interface and we spent more time than I’d like just getting comfortable with the platform. Frankly, I want my portfolio students to be spending the bulk of their time creating an attractive site with quality content—not fighting a technology learning curve.

As a result, I spent a lot of time researching and testing a slew of content management systems and was incredibly impressed with Squarespace. Squarespace puts content first, which is critical for someone in the arts, design or other creative fields, because ultimately, it’s all about the content.

Not only can a student create an attractive, functional website with no coding knowledge, they have access to 24/7 technical support for the same cost as a no-frills Wordpress webhosting package. They’ve recently released a new version of the platform featuring what’s called “Layout Engine” and I’m excited to see what my students will create with such a robust design platform. Squarespace really is one of the best-kept secrets in web creation.

Online Portfolio runs December 10-19. To learn more about this class and our entire Schedule visit Ce-Reggie.

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The Best of 2012

This last year has been an exceptional one for the Youth Program. There have been kid art exhibitions, Fall Festivals, giant crayons, murals, and so much art making it almost boggles the mind. To mark yet another great year in the history of our Youth Program, we have created an album of sorts to look back on all that our instructors and students have accomplished over the last 12 months. Here’s a look at a few moments from the past year that we love.

Drawing + Painting

Comics + Zines

Week 3: Desert Worlds

Youth Program Fall Festival

Pre-College 2012

Pretty great, yeah! If you would like to see more moments from 2012, visit our Best of 2012 set on our flickr site! Well… the last years has been super… but I have a feeling 2013 will be even better!

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Youth Program Fall Festival - This Saturday!

Woohoo! It’s almost here! Our Youth Program Fall Festival is this Saturday, the 17th, and we couldn’t be more excited! We hosted something similar to this last March in celebration of our Portland Perspectives Exhibition, and we hope to make these types of events a regular thing.

Youth Program Family Reception

DATE: Saturday, November 17th, 2012
TIME: 11:30am – 1:30pm
LOCATION: PNCA Commons,
1241 NW Johnson St.

Remember! This is a free event that you can share with your friends and family. Enjoy refreshments and a complimentary catered lunch generously provided by Noodles & Company. Plus you can participate in so many fun activities this Saturday, including:

Making larger than life drawings!
Hand crafting your own holiday cards and stickers!
Drawing pictures with your family!
Screen Printing a t-shirt!
Face Painting!

Again, we hope you choose to join us for this fun, family friendly event. It is going to be fantastic! See you there!

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Web Design Tools Class

This week wraps up our Fall quarter’s weekly classes. We have had a great term which included introducing new digital classes like Marketing: Digital Strategies and web design workshops with David Lowe-Rogstad. This is the third year of Web Design Tools which explores various content management systems, strategies for designing a website and examines the process for determining best-practice web solutions. I wanted to share some of the work from Web Design Tools, which is very impressive.

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Did you know…

Children draw a certain way at a certain age for a reason. It’s true. The stages of how a child’s drawing skills develop as they grow older is really interesting. Several great minds over the years have done research on this sort of thing; i.e. people like Viktor Lowenfeld and Betty Edwards. Our Program educators look to these models quite a bit in order to structure projects for our students. This is also one of the first things we teach Program Interns when they participate in our Youth Program Teaching Internship. Here are two of the earlier stages via Viktor Lowenfeld for you (using artwork from PNCA’s Youth Program, of course).

The Preschematic Stage (ages 3 – 4): Children consciously attempt to draw the human form. Children also start incorporating symbols and telling stories with their drawings.
MiniMasters

The Schematic Stage (Age 6): Children figure out a definite way of portraying an object/person/animal/etc. This ‘schema’ represents the child’s knowledge of the subject. During this stage children also start to understand there is definite order to spacial relationships.
The Animal Project

Pretty cool, right! (I’m kinda a geek about this stuff.) Anyway, we’ll be sharing interesting art education theory via this blog from time to time so that you can better understand the roots of our curriculum! See if you can spot the Preschematic and Schematic stages in some of our most recent Flickr uploads.

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Youth Program Fall Festival

MiniMasters

To honor our students and celebrate their achievement this term the PNCA Youth Program will be hosting a Fall Festival! What is a Fall Festival? A party; complete with art, food, and good vibes. Here are some details for you:

DATE: Saturday, November 17th, 2012
TIME: 11:30am – 1:30pm
LOCATION: PNCA Commons,
1241 NW Johnson St.

Join us as we conclude our Fall Term with a bang! Just in time for the start of the winter holiday season, our Fall Festival provides a variety of free art-based activities for children and families. Enjoy refreshments and a free catered lunch generously provided by Noodles & Company. There will be a variety of free activities, including:

Making larger than life drawings!
Hand crafting your own holiday cards and stickers!
Drawing pictures with your family!
Screen Printing a t-shirt!
Face Painting!

This is sure to be great fun for the whole family! If you would like to RSVP via Facebook you can do so by visiting our events page. Please share this super opportunity with your friends and family! We hope to see you and your children there!

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The Art of Godzilla

This week our Comics + Zines class made some head way on their Godzilla drawings! So far, the artwork is turning our quite awesome. Here are a few of the finished pieces.

The Animal Project

Comics + Zines

The Animal Project

Pretty nice, right! It is cool to see what aspects students choose to focus on, ie Godzilla’s atomic breath, Godzilla vs. ‘Insert Monster Here’, Godzilla smashing stuff. To help the ideation process along students watched clips of Godzilla on YouTube, including a good portion of the Godzilla vs. Mothra film. It was great seeing young students excited by the theme, and intrigued by old school monster movie effects. If you would like to see more images of the great and powerful Godzilla, check out our Flickr Site.

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In the Middle

We’ve hit the mid-point of our Fall Term. There are so many awesome things going on in our classes we couldn’t possibly share them all in one blog post. However, there are a few images we can share that will give you a sense of how many awesome things our students are working on right now.

Mixed Media Studio

Comics + Zines

Drawing Techniques

Work we hope to show you in the coming weeks? … Prints by the MiniMasters, Godzilla panels from our Comics + Zines class, some of the super detailed paintings from our Observational Painting class. Click the jump to visit our flickr site. —>

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Sketchbooks!

Sketchbook

Sketchbook

Sketchbook

We had a chance to peek in to some of our Mixed Media student’s sketchbooks this week! Very cool! Some sketchbook work is ideation for a project and then other drawings are based in student interest, i.e. what they typically draw in their free time. Totally diggin the lean-back swag of the giraffe and the stoic profile of the mouse on the bottom image. You can see more sketchbook captures from our awesome students by visiting our Sketchbook Club set on Flickr.

PS… Pretty sure there is some zombie action in that first image.

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Winter Classes

Winter classes are open for registration! We are getting an early start this winter with weekend workshops in December including Trend Forecasting, Illustration Marketplace and Content Strategy for the Web. With classes to expand your creative and professional skills, we have a wide range of classes in many disciplines, from Welding to Web Design and Beginning Painting to Printmaking. Continuing Education hopes you can join us and start the New Year creating.

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