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Short-term summer art classes for the creative

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Students and paintWhat 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 two years ago.

“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.”

Students in dance classOf course there will be more traditional classes such as theater and music appreciation, ceramics, portrait drawing, digital photography and tango, to name a few. To sign up for classes or view class offerings, visit www.pcc.edu/create or call (503) 977-8888.

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.

The Summer Arts Institute has blossomed under the leadership of Hicks, who guides it with support from Doris Werkman, co-director of the institute and faculty chair, PCC Sylvania Performing Arts.

Student with potting wheel“In offering unique courses among these many disciplines, we’ve been able to expand, broaden and grow the institute,” Werkman said. “It’s much, much more than just a summer arts session.”

Welcoming artists young and old, amateur and professional, the Summer Arts Institute attracts a diverse group of students: continuing 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, inspiring all levels of art students.

“We get a more varied student population in the Summer Arts Institute than we do during the normal school year,” said Werkman, who adds that the mix in ages and backgrounds enriches class discussions and group critiques.

For more information on the Summer Arts Institute, contact Kate Chester, community relations manager at PCC Sylvania, at (503) 977-8233.

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