OCC Art Classes Attract Students for Various Reasons

Students of all ages continue to create art in many forms at Oakland Community College. The Auburn Hills campus is one of five campuses in Oakland County that make up the network for Michigan’s largest community college. It opened in 1965 and uses the land of a former Army Nike missile base.

A variety of art classes keep students returning semester after semester to the studios at the Auburn Hills campus:

  • Drawing
  • Sculpture
  • Ceramics
  • Jewelry
  • Stained Glass
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Woodworking
  • Painting


Krista Serda, an art major at OCC, took Oil Painting as an additional elective. She is working on a “landscape assignment” and selected to paint the image of a tree that stands on the grounds of the Auburn Hills campus. Krista likes to “sit under the shade of the tree to study.”

While many students are working toward an art major degree, others are working on their portfolios. Liz Williams is painting a desert scene from the Joshua Tree National Park in California. She wants to “build a portfolio” to transfer to an art school where portfolios are part of the application process.

Both Krista and Liz are in Jo Powers Oil Painting class. Ms. Powers teaches drawing and painting for the Oakland Community College Fine and Graphics Art Department.

In the same department, Jim Adair a General Motors retiree teaches advanced ceramics and all levels of wheel throwing. Using the potter’s wheel takes time to learn. Many of the students in Beginning Wheel Throwing were taking the class as a humanities requirement. However, others seemed to be enjoying the class “just for fun.”

OCC Auburn Hills is fortunate to have a wood fired kiln. Most ceramics classes use a gas or an electric kiln. The high heat of a kiln hardens the clay and melts the glaze on the pottery to a finished product. The wood fired kiln offers students the opportunity to work the kiln, stoke the fire, and feel a satisfaction that comes from the hands-on experience. It also produces a different look than a gas or an electric fired kiln. The wood kiln is used about once per semester and during special Field Study classes.

Fall semester classes are forming now at all five Oakland County campuses. Registration is open until August 31, 2011 with classes starting September 1st. All the details for new and returning students may be found at their web site: www.oaklandcc.edu

OCC has an annual enrollment that averages 74,000 students and 11% of all Oakland County high school graduates attend Oakland Community College. They offer over 100 two-year degree programs and host students from more than 80 countries.

By Michael Dwyer

About Michael Dwyer

Michael Dwyer is a freelance content provider. Michael writes about happenings in the Rochester area, travels across Michigan and destinations around the world. Contact him at michael@rochestermedia.com.

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