Adventures in Art: Students explore galleries, exhibits, and public artworks in Astoria and Portland

Renee McKitterick is a professional artist and an art instructor at LBCC. She teaches Ceramics, Design 3, and this spring she is teaching a Public Art class where students learn to write proposals, work in groups and design larger works for public spaces.

Linn-Benton public art students traveled to Astoria to attend an art opening at Clatsop Community College on April 5. The show featured artwork from Linn-Benton ceramics instructor Renee McKitterick, as well as artwork by artists Frank Boyden and Rich Bergeman. Boyden had a series of prints on display along with ceramic work, while Bergeman showcased prints of his infrared photography.

The artwork by McKitterick involved both ceramic vessels and wall installations. She spoke about some of the inspirations for her artwork before answering questions from the audience about her process and her decisions about how to install the wall installations. For this show, McKitterick was inspired by abstracted literary elements and forces of nature. When asked about how she balances teaching with her artmaking, McKitterick said she felt energized by her students and this fueled her work on the weekends.
The show “Empathies and Energies” is on display at the Royal Nebeker Gallery in Astoria through May 10.

The following day, McKitterick and her public art students traveled to Portland to visit the Portland Art Museum. The students explored the museum for a few hours before regrouping as a class and visiting some of Portland’s most famous works of public art.




“Fox Wheel” by Bruce Nauman is one of many works displayed in hte Portland Art Museum that students were given the opportunity to view.




(From left) Michael Bosch, Renee McKitterick, and Emma Spaulding




Laika Studios, a popular animation house based in Portland, is currently exhibiting their work at the Portland Museum of Art. Laika is the backbone behind such productions as “Boxtrolls,” “Kubo and the Two Strings,” “Coraline,” and other movies where much of the set is designed by hand.




Renee McKitterick’s installations are made from ceramic pieces that were shaped in her studio and her installation was more, ‘impromptu’, based on the gallery space that was available.




(From left) Bryce Smith, Emma Spaulding, and Renee McKitterick, discuss the exhibit, “Empathies and Energies” during its opening reception in Astoria. Students from the Public Art class travelled to see her work alongside others in a different environment.




After viewing works in Portland Art Museum, members of the Public Art class walked around Portland to critically assess parameters that currently exist between environment, art, and audience.

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