Catlin Gabel Launches Adult Community Arts Programs

Catlin Gabel opened its East Campus to the arts community this week with the launch of our first Adult Community Arts Programs, led by artist-educators Dale and Barbara Rawls.

The initial offerings received an enthusiastic response from the community; the first drawing and clay workshops were filled within days. Artists welcomed the opportunity to work in state-of-the art studios with master artists.

The new programs are initial step in Catlin Gabel’s commitment to engage with the Portland arts community by providing artist-led offerings for adults, a program that will expand with a variety of courses and workshops in the years ahead. Community arts programs were part of the school’s intention when they acquired the property in 2019, which is the site of the former Oregon College of Art and Craft (OCAC).

The East Campus property will primarily be used as a Middle School for Catlin Gabel, and work is underway now to reconfigure buildings to meet codes specific to elementary school children. (read more). But part of Catlin Gabel’s long term plan for the East campus is to sustain the community arts legacy of OCAC by providing adult programs that are open to all. A full schedule of adult arts programs, led by community artist-educators, are in the planning stages now.

For the launch of the Catlin Adult Community Arts Programs on June 25, participants gathered in the East Campus Vollum building for a three-hour “Let’s Draw” workshop led by Dale and Barbara. With strict social-distancing protocols in place, artists were guided through the process of working from still lifes with a variety of drawing media and water-based washes.

The “Handbuilding with Clay” workshop followed on June 26, another three-hour intensive with Barbara and Dale leading participants in handbuilding techniques and surface design, with demonstrations in coil and slab building, cylinders, slump molds, and boxes. For safety, each artist used individual tools, apron, and clay.

The art studios on the East Campus are designed to accommodate dozens of students, but each program is now open to only 12 participants, which allows for safe distancing, and more personal interaction with the artist-instructors. Interested artists are encouraged to check the catalog frequently to secure their spot in upcoming workshops, many of which will be designed for beginning and intermediate students.

An Open Ceramics Studio will be offered soon, with time and date to be determined.

Access the Catlin Gabel Adult Community Arts Programs catalog.