Students learn how art can work hand-in-hand with Oregon communities
The mission of OSU Extension Service essentially is to understand the needs of Oregon communities then develop collaborative partnerships to find ways to solve community challenges with research-based solutions. Historically, much of the outreach has been based in agriculture, but that has been changing. This blog introduces you to Extension Reconsidered.
Extension Reconsidered (ExtRe), an Outreach and Engagement initiative introduced at OSU in 2014, addresses community needs via the arts, humanities, design and humanitarian engineering. By working with new and traditional partners, ExtRe explores the ways in which the OSU Extension Service can evolve to best support the people of Oregon.
In fall 2015, the Art 406 course was offered for the first time. The course — a partnership between OSU Extension and the College of Liberal Arts — teaches both arts engagement methods and studio art techniques in a single class. The course is designed as a collaborative arts experience that engages and supports OSU arts students, Tillamook High School students and the Tillamook County Pioneer Museum.
The innovative course involved mentoring partnerships between the OSU and Tillamook students and culminated in a joint art exhibit curated by all the students at the Pioneer Museum. Coastal identities experienced as residents of Tillamook and the Oregon Coast emerged as themes in many of the high school students’ art pieces.
In tune with OSU’s Marine Studies Initiative, the OSU students built on a tradition of arts involvement in coastal discussions. They took part in the State of the Coast conference, which brings together communities of people that live, work or study the Oregon coast. Through their participation as artists, resulting work and subsequent inspiration, the OSU students contribute to the evolving understanding of Oregon’s coastal environment.
OSU plans to offer Art 406 again in spring 2016.
To learn more about the innovative approach Extension Reconsidered takes to engage and serve the needs of communities, talk with Charles Robinson. We’ll be hearing more from him as we approach the dates of the maker fair in April. Charles works with the College of Liberal Arts, the Division of Outreach & Engagement, the Graduate School and The CO.