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Short-term summer art classes for the creative

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What started as a fledgling arts program at the Sylvania Campus of Portland Community College about 20 years ago has evolved into the Summer Arts Institute – a series of condensed, for-credit art courses that last year attracted close to 450 students, nearly double its tally from two years prior.

“The Summer Arts Institute courses are an extension of those foundational classes we teach during the traditional academic year,” said Jim Hicks, faculty chair of Sylvania’s arts program. “But the summer classes are unique – these are courses we may not be able to offer during the regular school year. They may be experimental, taught by top-notch local and regional artists who are available to us only in the summer months.”

The Summer Arts Institute attracts PCC students wanting to advance their academic progress by earning credit during the summer; visiting students and graduating high school students from across the region, offering them an opportunity to explore creative arts and obtain college credit; and new and continuing non-degree students.

This year’s program kicks off Monday, June 22, and continues through the end of August, offering a variety of courses in art, dance, theater and music taught by nearly 40 instructors from around the region. Classes include “Spirit of the Sketch,” a three-day workshop taught by Marilyn Reaves, an art professor at the University of Oregon; “Line, Letters, and Luminosity,” designed for artists and lovers of letters and words; and the ever-popular “The Ancient Art of Bronze Casting.”

Of course there will be more traditional classes such as theater and music appreciation, ceramics, portrait drawing, digital photography and tango, to name a few. For complete class offerings, visit the Summer Arts Institute Web site at

New this year is the Summer Arts Institute expansion beyond Sylvania. The institute now will offer courses at Newberg High School: hip-hop, beginning guitar and an introduction to reader’s theater. The move underscores PCC’s commitment to the region, which includes building an educational center in the area, to open in fall 2010.

To register for classes call (503) 977-8888, or for more information contact Kate Chester at (503) 977-8233.

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, has been the Communications Specialist for the Office of Public Affairs at Portland Community College since November of 1999. A graduate of Portland State University, J... more »


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