Craft is Community.
What we do, what we know and what we make shapes our identity as artist and art community. We learn by doing. We learn by making. Craft is the medium through which artists communicate with peers and the world. As artists we must develop a basic visual vocabulary before we can create.

In Foundations, the first year of studies, students learn the language of craft, which is the groundwork for all artistic endeavors. Drawing and design foundations educate students how to converse visually with the use of images. Students learn to carefully consider what they see and how to interpret their perception into a unique, drawn image. They are taught to dissect the underlying image structure and to construct, rearrange and assess image elements at will. These technical skills sharpen conceptual development, complex problem solving skills and facilitate exploration of personal style and expression while cementing the crucial eye-to-hand relationship artists need in order to create skilled work.

Students are introduced to basic materials in black and white - with some practice in color and color theory - and work with a wide variety of media. Using traditional and experimental media allows students to explore a diverse range of conceptual and practical issues, including the format of installation, and to refine levels of craftsmanship and finishing.

Assessment of weekly and bi-weekly assignments, preparatory work for final drawings, group critiques of homework projects, written essays and sketchbook reviews cultivate excellent verbal and critique skills, productive and healthy studio practices, and discipline in time management. The foundation curriculum provides the core skills required for students to thrive in their chosen area of concentration while pursuing their studies at the College.

Course Descriptions
FDR101  Drawing Foundations: Observation and Materials | 3 semester credits
Through a series of observational drawings in pencil, charcoal and ink, visual perception skills are developed and refined. As a means to translate what is being seen into a drawn image, students have the opportunity to study the elements of line quality, shape awareness, volume and form, light and shadow, and perspective in order to develop an understanding of what it takes to create a well-composed drawing, and build an awareness of personal interpretation, expression and content after the basics have been introduced. Offered fall semester. No prerequisite.

FDR102  Drawing Foundations: New Formats- Observation to Imagination | 3 semester credits
This second semester in this two-semester series is intended to help students refine their technical skills and conceptual awareness of interpretation, expression and content in their drawings. Observational drawing is used as a base for reviewing issues of detail, distance and scale and for experimenting with different drawing formats and conceptual objectives such as informational and composite drawing, memory and invention. The black and white palette expands to include some limited color through a series of conceptual assignments with specific color objectives. The semester concludes with three weeks of a self-proposed series of drawings. Offered spring semester. Prerequisite: FDR10.

FDS103  Design Foundations: Two-Dimensional Design | 3 semester credits
Black/white and color perception is examined while developing a familiarity with basic design elements that are then put into practice through a series of exploratory assignments investigating both the formal and conceptual aspects of design. Topics addressed include: abstraction, color and pattern, and the perception of space, as well as more conceptual concerns of subject and content, metaphor, narrative and social commentary. Offered fall semester. No prerequisite.

FDS104  Design Foundations: Three-Dimensional | 3 semester credits
Three-dimensional design is the focus of the second semester of Design Foundations and is applicable to all media of studio work. Emphasis is placed on the conceptual problems of form and function, the nature of materials, and the visualization and presentation of three-dimensional ideas through two-dimensional forms. Offered spring semester. Prerequisite: FDS103.

Learn more about programs of study:

Undergraduate programs

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Craft

The Certificate in Craft

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Craft (requires a bachelor's degree)

Graduate programs

Master of Fine Arts in Craft

Collaborative Masters of Fine Arts in Applied Craft + Design




Calendar Events

April 4, 2014 to April 27, 2014
New Space Center for Photography | 1632 SE 10th Avenue
Opening Reception | Friday, April 4 | 6-9pm

April 16, 2014 to April 20, 2014
Opening Reception April 16th | 4-6pm

April 23, 2014 to April 27, 2014
Opening Reception April 23rd | 4-6pm


MFA Chair Karl Burkheimer interviews Alumni Josh Smith in Drain Magazine

OCAC Students Selected as Finalists for 2014 NICHE Awards

OCAC Alumna Hilary Pfeifer Featured in American Craft Magazine

Noted contemporary artists Dana Schutz & Ryan Johnson Visit OCAC

Michael Lammers Joins Oregon College of Art and Craft, Portland, Oregon as Chief Financial Officer