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.
For the last 4 years we have been running a Creativity Labs: Comics course with artist Erika Moen. The last three iterations of our Comics course have been taught in collaboration with artist and educator Terri Nelson, but in 2013 Erika is taking the helm and leading the class solo! Each time we’ve run this dynamic and engaging narrative-based class, our students have crafted super amazing comics. We can’t wait to see what participants make again this year.
Comics starts on June 24th and runs through that week. It’s gonna be rad… we can’t wait! We <3 comics at PNCA!
smARTworks Instructor Heather McLaughin holds a BFA in printmaking from PNCA. Along with teaching in the smARTworks summer camp, she works with BFA students in Printmaking, teaches Adult Continuing Educations classes and also serves as the Executive Director of Flight 64, a local non-profit printmaking studio.
Can you talk about what you plan to do in your smARTworks classes and what your students accomplish.
In the four weeks that I am teaching smARTworks my students will execute around 15 different two dimensional projects that explore mediums including, not not limited to: acrylics, ink wash, pen & ink, water color, charcoal, screen printing, relief printing, collagraph, monoprinting, oil & chalk pastels, and collage. All students engage in three dimensional projects with another instructor. Imagery will be executed from the imagination and observation. There are a few field trips planned to go to places like the Portland Zoo, PAM, local parks and the Chinese Gardens for source material. Projects are designed to introduce new materials and challenge the students technical abilities while engaging them in new information about the world. My smARTworks classes incorporate independent research as a place to find inspiration for imagery. Every week has a topic and I bring in a multitude of books and resources around the current topic for the students to access. Each student chooses their own research materials and therefore guides their own learning. The most important thing I want my students to gain is a taste of how we use art as a learning tool and a story telling tool.
What tools will you be using in the class?
I am teaching the two dimensional section of camp. We will be using materials such as acrylics, ink wash, pen & ink, water color, charcoal, screen printing, relief printing, collagraph, monoprinting, oil & chalk pastels, and collage. Students will create landscapes, comics, ‘zines, prints, collaborative drawings and prints, figurative work, rubbings, patterns and abstract work. PNCA has great facilities including big desks, large classrooms, live models, large prop room to draw from, excellent quality of materials and printmaking equipment.
Why do you like working with this age group?
This summer I am working with students ranging from 7 to 11 years old. I work with many different age groups and like them all for different reasons. The commonality between the 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 ages is the desire to learn practical skills and hone them. The brush, the knife, the scissors, the paint, all of these materials, the students are ready to be in total control of. While longing for the ability to create realism, the imagination is not yet shy at this age. This makes class easily fun and light while also making great art. In contrast, the reality of the hardships of the world start to enter our lives at this age and they are ready to learn how, why and what next. Again this also makes great art and experiences for everyone involved.
What are some of your favorite projects from past offerings of the class?
Once we made giant robots and had a dance party to Devo. Another time we made a collaborative print based mural on the outside of PNCA with foam plates and wheat paste. I have taught students about the labor strikes of the industrial era to the myths of legendary creatures like the phoenix and mermaids. Some of the best work students create are on-site ink wash drawings.
With summer classes just around the corner, we are taking some time to look back at smARTworks 2012. smARTworks, an annual art day camp hosted by PNCA, is a time of great creativity, whimsey, and play on campus. There are many images on our Flickr Page chronicling smARTworks over the last few years. For several of those years we have had an amazing artist and photographer, Heather Zinger, document Youth Program and Pre-College activities. Here are a few of her awesome photographs from last year’s smARTworks program.
If you would like to learn more about our awesome smARTworks program you can do so by visiting our smART pages. Check out more summer images on Flickr. If you want to be a part of this summer’s program you can register by clicking the jump —>
One of my favorite things about working with the PNCA Youth Program is watching children make art! The looks of concentration and focus that children wear at times can be so serious. With our classes this Saturday being the last for the Youth Program this academic school year, the kids in our classes were extra focused to finish projects in time for our In-Classroom Exhibitions.
As you can see, our Picture(s) of the Week show our students hard at work on projects and artistic endeavors. We love working with kids that are seriously in to art. How children stay focused and still manage to make things that are playful and completely uninhibited is a mystery. So cool. If you would like to see more work from the last day of class visit our PNCA Youth Program Flickr!
This last week of classes was super fun and super productive. Since we have only one session left in Spring Term, our students worked diligently on Saturday, with Instructors and interns, to finish projects. In Draw, Paint, Sculpt. Heather McLaughin is teaching her 9-11 year old students to paint self-portraits. This one is pretty rad, right! I think this student captures her likeness very well… especially the cat hat she is wearing.
Incorporate fine arts practices into your teaching curriculum. Three courses are available for graduate credit this summer— Advanced Painting, Color of Place and Printmaking: Collaboration Studio. These classes challenge the participants to engage deeply in art and design principals, incorporate new media and advanced techniques into their own practice and into the classroom.
Scholarships are available for qualified teachers.
What does the scholarship cover?
This program is designed to allow teachers to take classes for graduate credit at PNCA this summer. The scholarships will cover the cost of credit minus the average reimbursement rate of classes ($490). In other words a one credit class costing $1203, the scholarship would be for $713. For two classes costing $2406 the scholarship would be for $1426.
What classes can I use this for?
How do I apply?
Fill out the application form for the classes and send an email to email@example.com requesting a scholarship for the class. You will need a documentation of your current employment as a teacher in a public school.
What is the studio time for Advanced Painting?
Scholarship recipients will eligible to use of an on campus studio for the duration of the class and the week of July 15th to complete their additional work. Access will be for normal building hours and subject to availability.
This week there was a lot of paint and play going on in our Young Painter’s Workshop. There were several abstract compositions crafted by various students in the class… lots of experimentation on the art-making front! That is what we like to see! One student worked a great deal with splatters and drips. This was her hand… you should have seen her shirt.
That was such a fun day. If you would like to check out what else we did on Saturday, including plate printing and creature glazing, check out our Flickr Site.
This week our Picture of the week is actually a video. How sweet is that! As we grow as a program, we would like to capture more comments from students about what they are making or what they enjoy… how they respond to a new medium, etc. Below is a short clip of one of our ‘Young Painter’s Workshop’ students trying out the program’s digital SLR cameras. Here is the result!
If you would like to see more photos and videos from this round of Spring classes, check out our Flickr Site.
Jack Bouba, a former Continuing Education student who is now a front-end developer at Planet Argon, wants to give back to the community the gifts of learning that he received as a student and that prepared him for his professional practice. Jack and the Planet Argon team are offering a one-day web development workshop on May 6 that will provide an introduction to Github, SCSS, Bootstrap, and Jekyll. Be sure to take advantage of the 10% discount, promotional code “PNCA.”
You seem to really like your job as front-end developer with Planet Argon. What is special about the work you and your studio do?
The Planet Argon founders have done an impressive job of finding a group of people who are incredibly dedicated to their work. At the same time, we all take ourselves pretty lightly; the atmosphere at Planet Argon is extremely funny and sarcastic and terribly raunchy.
What is essential for anyone wanting to make a career in web and mobile design and development?
I think curiosity is immensely important, as well as a desire to stay informed and current. I think there is a tendency for schools as well as many if not most agencies to have a hard time keeping up, so it’s up to the designer/developer to continue to learn, push themselves, and stay inspired. This is an incredible time to work in the field; there are a ton of jobs but there are also a lot of talented web creators out there. Set yourself apart; putting just a tad of extra effort into your portfolio, resume, or cover letter will go a very, very long way.
What draws you to teaching when you already have a quite demanding project schedule?
I taught front-end development and Flash classes a few years ago, and before I started working in this field, I taught adults and children with developmental disabilities, both in and out of the classroom. I proposed the idea of teaching this workshop because this is exactly the workshop that I’d want to take: contemporary, relevant, emphasizing best practices and forward thinking, etc. Also, it’s a cliché, but teaching is absolutely the best way to truly learn something. Really, there are so many reasons to teach, e.g. to connect with your community, to meet new friends and peers, and to spread knowledge.
I was happily surprised to see Thich Nhat Hanh quoted on your web page. How do you bring the spirit of this sage to your work?
Honestly, as much as I try to remember to “walk as if I’m kissing the Earth with my feet,” I don’t do it nearly enough. I absolutely get stressed and overwhelmed and bogged down by the minutiae of my work, but I do love the sentiment of that advice. I know that I am immensely fortunate to be alive and healthy and working in a field that’s exciting, inspiring, and important. That quotation helps remind me to try to stay light-hearted and positive, and to laugh at all the silliness that easily gets overlooked or dismissed.
So, our picture of the week is actually picture(s). Three to be precise. This Saturday seemed to be ‘make a silly face at the camera’ day. These are a few of the funniest/sweetest.
It’s nice to know that students feel comfortable enough in our classes to be playful, and even act a little silly. Art class is, of course, the type of environment where ‘play’ is a major component of the artistic process. We try to encourage play, experimentation, and moments of free expression whenever possible.
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