Art classes fall term: are they working?

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Photo By :Shin Yeon Jeon

Students and teachers give their input on the 2020 fall term art classes.

Kate Couch/ The Broadside

It’s obvious to many that there are some classes that are going to suck being online. The visual arts are up there, with being the most difficult to do online. Faculty and students were asked how they think this term is going.

https://www.midoregon.com/accounts/student.shtml

Austin Breedlove who is in a drawing class this term, had this when asked how he feels his art classes are going this term, “I actually find it a lot more easygoing than my other online classes. The teacher made good strides to make the class organized and low pressure knowing that we have a lot on our plates. Even though it might be fun to have the in-class experience I find that doing it on my own time is best for my schedule- at least for these art classes.”

Shin Yeon Jeon a COCC Ceramics Shop Supervisor who is teaching ceramics. Jeon said this about how her students are doing in class,

“They are doing great! I have two student groups; one is composed of young college students and the other group consists of local artists who have taken art classes multiple times. Their level of satisfaction is extremely high as indicated by most of our potters’ wheels from the COCC ceramics studio being rented out in our remote teaching.”

“Students have also expressed satisfaction with the availability of online class content, as I have prepared and reorganized my teaching materials (PowerPoint lectures, demonstration videos, and written instructions) on Blackboard for their leisure. During class hours, we spend time to share ideas and get feedback from others during activities like show-and-tell and artist introductions (using videos and images of their professional works). These discussions have revealed their unique artistic passions.”


Jordan Dickinson is taking Intermediate Ceramics, she said this about whether or not online classes are working, “[I like] creating things and just being hands-on and working at home studio. And I really like that with the online classes we talk more. And we have lectures, where we learn a lot more about other artists and other art movements and it’s a lot more informational. Having the wheel here and having a space to work on, but then still being a part of a class and getting information.”


Peter Raley who said this on the matter of whether or not online classes are working, “sure I miss the in-studio experience. Like the smell of the art room and seeing the smiles on like-minded people around me but I know that my teachers are working really hard to make these art classes work and I appreciate that.”


The ability for students to rent necessary instruments for art is really what made most of these classes possible. However, students that don’t gain access to these instruments or don’t have a large enough workspace to feel they can successfully do their art might not have as fun of a time.

Andrew Lorish who teaches watercolor said this when asked what he felt was a struggle, “We have lost the comradery and that nice network of support by not sharing space in the classroom.  It is harder to properly evaluate a physical work of art from your laptop computer screen and it seems like that has been the biggest challenge for myself and my students. I am not really a YouTube personality so the demo videos I have made are very awkward, but the students have been gentle on not razzing me too much.”

Lorish also commented on how difficult the adjustment was, “I am not particularly adept at technology, so I struggled the hardest of anyone in the class last spring.  The turnaround was short but at this point, it seems to be chugging along well enough.  Thankfully, there were instructors in the department who had experience creating a dynamic learning space online, in blackboard, and on other platforms that were very helpful to borderline Luddites like myself.  I have a sticky note on my computer that says “UNMUTE” that has been a nice reminder.”

It appears it’s common that most professors, art, or not struggled a lot last spring but luckily that is far behind us. Though these times have been rough for both students and professors to catch up and feel like they are learning and teaching it seems as though everybody is making great strides. Both Lorish and Jeon felt their students were striving in their classes despite these challenges. COCC is hoping to make more in-person art classes next term so before you get discouraged make sure to check out all the new additions that they are making.

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