Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College


Art at Sylvania

Art on campus

The Sylvania Art Department is located at PCC’s largest campus on a beautiful wooded hillside between Tigard and Lake Oswego, just off Interstate 5. The art and art history student at Sylvania will find comprehensive resources and facilities for instruction in a variety of media, including Painting, Drawing, Sculpture, Ceramics, Photography, Printmaking, Basic Design, Calligraphy, and Art History. Classes are small and taught by a community of professional artists and art historians whose mission is to render a strong foundation in the visual arts and art history for transfer to both private art schools and colleges and universities.

Watch the Sylvania Art Department in action

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Basic Design studio – CT 113

The Sylvania Basic Design studio features a large classroom divided into two working areas. Half is used for traditional media with 6 large tables to accommodate 24 students. The other half of the room contains 24 iMac computer stations where students can work on digital projects. The facility includes 2 scan/print stations, a color laser printer, an Epson inkjet printer, a large light table, cutting and mounting areas, and flat files. ART115, 116, 119, 119d and Calligraphy courses are held in this studio space.

CT 113 Basic Design studio CT 113 Basic Design studio

Drawing studio – CT 231

The Sylvania Drawing studio features a large classroom with easels and drawing horses to accommodate 24 students. Students can also use a personal locker located in the classroom to store their supplies for the term. ART 131, 231 and 237 are held in this studio space.

Students working with charcol to sketch a man acting as a model in the drawing studio

Painting studio

Easels in the painting studio


Instructor using a vintage plate camera in the studio

Instructor working with students in the studio on lighting

Apple computers in the photography computer studio

Art History

Sylvania boasts a state-of-the-art classroom for Art History instruction. Digital projection on three screens, comfortable terraced seats and tables, and appropriate lighting create the perfect atmosphere for viewing art images and films. Unlike traditional large lecture halls, the intimate size of the room promotes dynamic classroom discussion.

Art History students easily access digital art images for study and review using the ARTstor Digital Library of almost 1 million images related to art, architecture, and other academic disciplines. The PCC Library collects books, journals, and DVDs in the area of Fine Art. In addition to ARTstor, the PCC Library subscribes to a wealth of database resources for researching art, including JSTOR, Grove’s Dictionary of Art Online, and Oxford Art Online. With traditional media, the Sylvania Visual Resources Library has a searchable catalog of more than 50,000 slides.

Students working together in an art history classroom

Sculpture studio

Student working in the sculpture studioSylvania has over 10,000 square feet of facilities dedicated to sculpture and ceramics, including the main studio, tool room, an outbuilding for stone and metal, woodshop, indoor storage rooms, and an outdoor work area. These teaching arenas allow us to teach from an extensive curriculum which includes stone carving, mold making, figure sculpture, wood carving and construction, mixed media, welding, introductory bronze casting, and ceramics.

Stone carving tools
  • Downdraft tables for dustless carving
  • Horizontal air compressor with 120-gallon tank, automatic tank drain, and airline dryer
  • Additional 120-gallon tank plumbed
  • 16 fully plumbed, compressed air work stations including 4 outside in a covered work
  • An area with newly poured 10 x 14-foot concrete pad
  • A wet cutting diamond band saw
  • ICS gas-powered, diamond chain saw
  • 700 lb capacity hydraulic cart
  • Bosch hammer drill
Welding tools
  • 5 oxy-acetylene stations on a manifold system
  • Welders: 2 MIG welders, 1 stick welder, two 4 ‘x 4’ rolling 1/2″ plate top tables with locking casters, cutting table, and 3/4″ plate table
  • Cutting: Plasma cutter, oxyacetylene torches, horizontal band saw, bolt cutters, metal chop saw, 10 gauge UniShear, bandsaw, jigsaw
  • Forming and shaping: Imperial wheeling machine, extensive set of over 40 dogs for the anvil, extensive set of over 40 hammers for forming, a heating station with a rosebud coal forge, one 4′ x 4′ 1/2″ plate top tables with locking casters, vice
  • Grinding and polishing: Powerful downdraft systems for extraction of dust and fumes, two 2′ x 4′ downdraft tables, belt/disc sander for metal hooked up to the downdraft system, portable shop vac for metal/fumes

Workstations and tools in the sculpture studio

Wood and mixed media tools
  • Stationary equipment: 2 band saws, belt/disc sander, scroll saw, compound sliding miter saw, drill press, planer
  • Handheld equipment: Router, 6 power hand drills, 5 angle grinders, 2 die grinders, circular saw, palm, and orbital sanders, 2 jigsaws, 2 flexible shafts
  • Hand tools and accessories: 40 well-kept gouges, chisels, veiners, rasps, wooden mallets, a full set of Forstner bits, auger bits, hole saws, mortising jig, dado blades, etc.
Bronze casting tools
  • Centrifugal casting machine
  • Investment casting
  • Portable foundry

Students outside casting bronze and wearing protective gear

Ceramics studio

The Sylvania Ceramics studio features 5 different kinds of kilns to attend to a well-rounded assortment of curricular offerings. Facilities include a sizeable main studio, glaze pantry, indoor kiln room, outdoor kiln building, and an outdoor kiln yard of some 2000 square feet.

Main studio
  • Handbuilding area with 3 large tables
  • 13 Shimpo VL whisper wheels
  • 13 Versa bats with custom-made ABS plastic inserts
  • 4 Lockerbie kick wheels
  • Northstar super slab roller
  • Scott Creek 4″ extruder
  • 7 cone 10 commercial clay bodies, with options for both throwing and hand building, ranging from porcelain to dark brown
  • Fully stocked glaze pantry and mixing area
  • Electric scale, 4 triple-beam scales
  • Glazing area with over 15 class glazes available to all students, also raku glazes, flashing slips, and underglazes

Outdoor clay studio and firing area

Kilns and firing
  • 2 Skutt Model 1027 computer kilns for bisque firing
  • 1 larger Skutt Model 1227 computer kiln for bisque firing
  • Fully covered outdoor kiln yard
  • 20 cu ft Geil gas kiln for cone 10 reduction
  • 28 cu ft Bailey gas kiln for cone 10 oxidation
  • 18 cu ft Gas Soda Kiln
  • 20 cu ft train/bourry hybrid wood fire kiln
  • Laguna Raku Kiln, Model 28, custom enclosed and ventilated reduction chamber

Three ceramics kilns

Other miscellaneous equipment
  • Peter Pugger pug mill for recycling clay – both dark and light clay available
  • Ball mill
  • Laguna spray booth and Geil spray gun
  • Sandblaster
  • Bench grinder, Dremel, other finishing tools
  • Full library of Ceramics Monthly magazine for reference, along with Ceramics Art and Perception and The Studio Potter
  • A small library of reference books, images, and videos for research
  • Hyper glaze calculation program

The Printmaking area at Sylvania features a spacious, open floor studio with abundant natural light. The studio is equipped for intaglio and relief processes, including traditional Japanese woodblock printmaking, oil-based woodblock, and mono-printing. Facilities available include three tabletop etching presses, a vertical etching tank, a ventilated hood, aquatint box, 40 shelf drying rack, flat files, and tearing/mounting area. The Printmaking studio fosters a collective learning experience and free flow between different methods of making impressions while addressing imaginative approaches to solving formal, technical, and conceptual problems.

General studio equipment
  • 8 steel workbenches, 32″ high
  • 20 adjustable height stools
  • 2 light tables, 16″ x 20″
  • 3 LED, 5 diopter magnification desk lights
  • 46 Flat files, 26″ x 36″
Etching, printing, and drying equipment
  • Takach tabletop etching press, bed size 30″ x 60″
  • Takach tabletop etching press, bed size 30″ x 48″
  • Takach tabletop etching press, bed size 18″ x 36″
  • Schwede LLC aquatint box and a hot plate, 12″ x 18″
  • Vertical etching system for etching copper plates with ferric chloride
  • Ventilated hood housing 2 hot plates, 18″ x 24″ and 12″ x 18″
  • Two large glass work surfaces, 4′ x 8′ and one small glass work surface 2′ x 8′
  • Drying rack with 40 shelves, 22.5″ x 31″

Printmaking studio Printmaking studio