Monday, July 21, 2014

A Visit to OCAC

I paid a visit to the enchanting campus of the Oregon College of Art and Craft the other day. The studio manager of the Book Arts department graciously gave me an excellent tour. I had been there once before, several years ago, long before I studied at NBSS, and it was fun to see it with fresh eyes! 

Classes weren't in session, but I was able to get a good glimpse into the classroom spaces of all of the departments. Most of the spaces had really wonderful natural light streaming in. I, of course, enjoyed taking a look around the Book Arts department, but some of the other departments made a lasting impression as well. The Fibers department had quite a large room full of more looms than I'd ever seen in one place. The Ceramics department has an outdoor kiln area that smells wonderful and looks rustic in a way, but that could just be because of the green surroundings and the local wildlife! The Drawing and Painting department is in a newly built space (a portion of it is pictured above) that is really fantastic. When I studied drawing at SCAD it was in an historic building that had been renovated and turned into classroom space. That had a special feel to it, but I had never been in a building so specifically suited for the art of drawing and painting. Here's a neat post about the building from Architecture News Plus. The Photography department was beneath the Drawing and Painting space, but that was the one studio we didn't see.

A little deer family was strolling about finding their lunch during my visit. While I was in the library, the librarian pointed this one out to me and we spoke in whispers while we watched. The school library is part of my county library system, so after my tour, I spent a bit of time there and checked out a few books on book design and layout for an upcoming project. It was a pleasant surprise to be introduced to this great resource for art and craft books.

I'm not sure what connection I might have with OCAC going forward, but it is one of those places that just has a nice feeling to it, so having some sort of relationship would be great. There are community programs and opportunities for further education that are available, but for starters I might just make it a habit to visit the cafe for lunch, stop by the gallery and gift shop, and then pay a visit to that gem of a library. In any case, I'm happy and appreciative to have been able to tour this special creative place that is practically in my back yard!