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OCAC is an exceptionally student-centered art college gathering students from all across the country and the globe. Student life centers around the studio and the adventure of becoming an artist. A focus on mentor-based learning and the development of deep materials knowledge leads to engaging social and professional activities. Student events are planned by a Student Commonwealth, which includes students, faculty and a staff advisor. In recent years, students have sponsored a visiting artist lecture series, inviting artists from the Portland vicinity to share their work at a monthly brown bag lunch. Other events include First Thursday gallery tours, student dinners, bowling night, the winter party and the student holiday sale. Events and activities evolve to reflect student interests and needs, for both undergraduate and graduate students.
The OCAC campus sits high in the West Hills of Portland overlooking the Oregon coastal mountains, yet it is minutes from downtown's cultural resources. Portland is a city of trees, bridges, hip urban culture, neighborhoods, and activism. You will find it alive with art galleries, gourmet restaurants, and a diversity of shopping venues (everything from great thrift stores, trendy boutiques and recyclers to entrepreneurial start-ups).
Wherever you go in Portland, you are never far from an art house cinema, performance space, brewpub, farmers market, public park, or community garden. Portland attracts many musicians due to the vibrantly diverse music scene, as well as its emergence as an international cultural center.