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Chemeketa's Art program offers a comprehensive range of foundational art courses. Many of our art courses fulfill the arts and letters requirement of our transfer degrees.

topics Arts Communications

Skills & InterestCreativity

CareersArt & Communications

  • Three Yellow Chairs Against a Wall Art Exhibit
  • Student sketching in a classroom
  • Student painting in a classroom

Why choose Art?

Our courses teach hands-on, medium-specific techniques. All of our courses emphasize visual literacy. Visual literacy helps us make sense out of a world complicated with visual stimulation.

We also encourage recognition of diversity through social and cultural literacy.

Our art history courses teach formal and historical approaches to the visual arts as well as the role of art in constructing social systems.

What will you learn?

  • Strong design skills
  • Practical methods of developing ideas
  • Teamwork
  • Craftsmanship

What will you do?

Begin preparing to teach or pursue a professional career in these disciplines –

  • Design
  • Drawing
  • Ceramics
  • Glass
  • Painting
  • Film
  • Photography
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture
  • Art history

    Visual literacy is important whether you are a studio major, a general studies transfer student, or simply looking for more visual understanding of our highly complex visual world. Our art history classes explore the way humans have visually made sense of and influenced their world through the ages.


    Ceramics courses provide you the opportunity to become familiar with the physical characteristics and creative potentials of plastic clay materials.

    Functional and sculptural assignments in the ceramics studio include all of the necessary materials and equipment for instruction in hand building and wheel throwing classes. We have multiple kilns including –

    • Electric
    • Natural gas
    • Raku
    • Soda vapor
    • Wood-fired

    Our studio also has

    • Pottery wheels
    • A slab roller
    • Canvas covered worktables
    • A humidity-controlled damp room
    • Separate rooms for storage and glazing

    The ceramics studio is located in Salem Bldg. 5, Rm. 104.

  • Creativity

    Creative thinking skills are highly sought by business leaders when hiring. But what defines creativity and how can it be improved? The answers come from diverse fields like psychology, improvisational theater, business innovation, and art. The Creativity Class explores creative thinking skills through all these perspectives. The insights and concrete exercises taught in this class help everyone become more creative in their professional and personal lives.


    Basic design is a sequence of beginning level courses, offering an introduction to the fundamental principles of design practiced in the visual arts. These courses are part lecture and part studio work as they explore design, composition, and the expression of visual ideas. Design classes create strong foundation skills for those interested in pursuing other art classes such as drawing, painting and glass. See our students' Design work.


    Foundation skills in observation and illusory drawing techniques can be learned or improved upon at any age. Our drawing classes emphasize traditional, classic drawing practices which create the illusion of light, texture, volume, and space on a two-dimensional surface. You will work with graphite, charcoal and other drawing media.

    The drawing studio environment supports learning through observation and practice. Equipment includes –

    • Drawing horses
    • Easels
    • Drawing boards
    • An overhead lighting system

    The still life collection is bursting with interesting objects to draw such as skulls, plaster casts, household items, and wooden boxes. The studio is open Fridays each term for extra work on in-class assignments.

    The drawing studio is in Salem Bldg. 3, Rm. 121.


    Painting is an expressive medium that dates back to the beginning of art history. It remains alluring as an outlet of personal expression and meaning-making. Painting translates the world visually through color, composition and brushwork. Painting classes are limited to 20 students.

    The studio provides easels, taborets, and an overhead lighting system. Students learn through lectures, demonstrations, observation, and practice. The studio is open Fridays for extra work on paintings. The painting studio is in Salem Bldg. 3, Rm. 121.

    For examples of student paintings, see our recent student art.


    Note: Printmaking offerings are currently on hiatus due to COVID-19. Keep checking for updates on when these courses will resume.

    Printmaking as fine art has a rich history. The power and effect of prints can be seen in 16th-century, German, Albrecht Durer's Woodcut Series on the Apocalypse, 17th-century Dutch artist, Rembrandt's wonderful etchings, or 18th century, Spanish artist Francisco Goya's series of work on the disasters of war.

    Our print program offers skill development and experience from beginning processes to advanced techniques. The credits earned in our classes in printmaking are transferable to four-year universities in Oregon.

    Chemeketa's printmaking studio is excellent. The large open space houses two presses, one for etching and aquatint, and one for woodcuts, linocuts and monotypes. Facilities for screen-printing include –

    • Washout room for cleaning screens
    • Ultra Violet light table for developing light-sensitive emulsion stencils
    • Screen drying equipment
    • Screen storage
    • Necessary tools and equipment are on hand and available
    • All students receive storage space for printing papers and personal equipment

    Watch our video on our screenprinting process

    Like many colleges, Chemeketa has moved toward a safer, non-toxic approach to printmaking. Through the use of benign methods and materials, the hazards associated with many printing process have been greatly reduced or eliminated.

    For examples of student work, see recent student art.


    Traditional materials and methods of modeling, carving, and casting three dimensional sculptural forms are covered in sculpture classes. Technical skills and meaningful content are developed.

    The sculpture studio has facilities and equipment for carving, assemblage, and casting. Classes encourage a variety of projects using diverse creative materials to produce sculptures at a beginner level.

    The sculpture studio is located in Salem Bldg. 5, Rm. 102 B.

    We recommend taking ART117 Basic Design-Three Dimensional before taking the sculpture series.