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Summer Intensive Courses

Signal Fire 2018

Klamath-Siskiyou Mountains, Oregon and California
Dates: July 1-28, 2018
Applications: Open application February 1- March 31 (early admittance deadline February 28)
Instructors: Ryan Pierce and Kerri Rosenstein    
Cost: $2,900 (two $1,000 scholarships available)
Credit: undergraduate & graduate tuition/3 credits: $3,980 
Activities: Backpacking, base camping, car camping
Level of Difficulty: This course is our most physically challenging program, simply because we are backpacking in rugged terrain for much of the four-week span. That said, we welcome beginners, and we will be teaching backcountry basics from the ground up. A typical week will involve backpacking 3-6 miles for two days, base camping for three days, and then hiking back to the cars. Our group will travel and live in close proximity for the duration of the trip.
Appropriate for: Emerging artists and current students of any discipline, or anyone seeking a curriculum-rich engagement in the natural world. Ages 18+.

Our sixth-annual Summer Immersion trip journeys through the enchanted Klamath-Siskiyou Mountains, a vast and rugged range stretching from the coastal redwood forests to the slopes of the Cascades. In the 1850s, the lives of the native inhabitants of this region were upended by a gold rush and the miners and settlers who flooded the region. Now rural and remote, the pursuit of minerals, timber, and water for irrigation still strains the ecological and social fabric of the Klamath. It is a land of geological wonder: pyramids of red rock supporting a botanical diversity unmatched in the West. It is a place of cultural complexity, shaped by back-to- the-land utopians, libertarian separatists, the US Forest Service, legends of Bigfoot, and the tribes and transplants that fiercely defend this place.

Participants in Water and Gold will travel together for a month of backcountry excursions, backpacking and car camping, sharing meals and making art. A broad curriculum of readings and activities, visiting presenters and site visits, will support individual artistic response in any media. The structure is intimate and engaging, shaped to catalyze creative breakthroughs and lifelong friendships. This course is intended for those without any prior backcountry experience as well as seasoned campers. Students have the option of taking the course for three transferable college credits for an additional fee (graduate or undergraduate).

Wide Open Studios is an immersive art and ecology program that invites students to explore their studio practice in stunning wilderness locations, amidst an atmosphere of friendship and critical thinking. Our curriculum is centered on the natural and cultural histories of the sites we visit, and the possibilities of making art in— and in response to— wild places. Individual and collaborative projects invite students to see the wild as a place of wonder, empowerment, action and connection. Wide Open Studios is a project of Signal Fire, a Portland-based nonprofit that provides opportunities for artists to engage in the natural world. Learn more at

To Apply:

For more information:



Summer Intensive

 Caithness region, Scotland
Dates: July 25-August 2, 2018
Instructors: Michael Endo   
Cost: $2,450 (optional lodging and dinners: $600)
Credit: undergraduate & graduate tuition/3 credits: $3,550 (CS311)

Using the rugged Caithness region of Scotland as both backdrop and inspiration, you will be immersed in the methods of glass casting while exploring the effect of place, history and memory in the creative process. The intensive studio sessions at the renowned North Lands Creative studios will focus your investigation into glass casting techniques using kilnforming processes. Lectures, readings, in-class discussions and critiques will reinforce your exploration with the history of glass, the role of space and landscape in contemporary practice, and contemporary glass concerns.

A preliminary meeting and discussion will prepare you for the trip and begin your deeper consideration of place and landscape. Following the trip, students taking the class for credit will submit a research paper on their experiences. 
*Preliminary and post-trip meetings are optional for non-degree seeking students.

North Lands Creative is based in Lybster, a small fishing village on the east coast of Caithness, the most northerly county in Scotland. North Lands Creative is one of the world’s most prestigious centers for the study and development of glass as an art form, providing excellent facilities, opportunities and inspiration to artists working with glass from all over the world.

Tuition covers course fees, materials, field trips and local transportation. The tuition does not include cost of airfare.

For an additional $600, your dinner and lodging will be covered by North Lands Creative. The Friends Pine Lodge and the School House at NLCG are a short stroll from the Studio. Both have dormitory-style student housing with twin bedrooms, shower rooms and kitchens for self-serve meals. There is also access to a small decking area which boasts extensive views over the dramatic Caithness coast and landscape. The lodge has universal access throughout. There is WiFi access allowing you to share your work and the endless sources of inspiration surrounding North Lands with friends and family. If you prefer to make your own arrangements, do not pay the extra $600 fee.

Instructor Bio:
Michael Endo earned an MFA in painting from Cranbrook Academy of Art, Michigan, in 2009 and a BA from Portland State University, Oregon, in 2005. His work has been exhibited internationally and has been selected for group and solo exhibitions. In 2011 Endo was the recipient of a Regional Arts and Culture Council Grant and was a finalist for the Seattle Art Museum's Betty Bowen Award. In 2015 Michael was first recipient of the University of Sunderland’s Emerging Artist Residency. Michael
lives and works in Portland, Oregon where he is currently the curator at Bullseye Projects and co-curator at Dust to Dust. 


  • A $500 non-refundable (unless class is cancelled) deposit is due at time of registration.
  • Payment in full is due on May 15, 2018.
  • Refund in the event of student cancellation on or before May 15, 2018: 100% refund of payments received in excess of $500 non-refundable deposit (deposit non-refundable for student cancellation).
  • Refund in the event of student cancellation May 16 to June 13, 2018: 50% refund of payments received in excess of $500 non-refundable deposit (deposit non-refundable for student cancellation).
  • No refund in the event of student cancellation after June 13, 2018.
  • Refund in the event of class cancellation by OCAC: 100% refund, including deposit.
  • Class will be canceled if minimum enrollment is not met. Please allow three weeks for refunds to be processed.
  • Airfare is not included in the cost of travel classes and is not part of the refund schedule above.

For more information:

Questions: contact Connie Malone at or 971-255-4205