Creating at the Coast
By Erin J. Bernard
Published: 06/24/2012  Updated: 06/21/2019
Photo courtesy of Sitka Center for Art & Ecology

From painting and penciling to wool spinning and woodworking, summer art education opportunities abound on the Oregon Coast.

With its brilliant seasonal spreads of color and its generous allotment of dramatic lines, shapes and swirls, is it any wonder that Oregon's coastline so consistently captures the fancy of creative types? The Pacific beaches are chock-full of beauty just begging to be painted, photographed and pondered, and this summer, community arts organizations from Astoria to Newport are offering up an abundance of educational opportunities for sating the creative yen. The roster of courses is varied enough to accommodate artists of all age, experience and inclination, and the learning happens both in studio and right outdoors. Tap into Astoria's cultural heritage with a weekend weaving course, consider the complex beauty of the human form in a life drawing class, or hone your photography skills in time to capture a season of fantastic sunsets. Prefer to express yourself out loud? Test your mettle at a theater workshop or a tap dancing class, many of which culminate in live performances. Whether you've got an afternoon, a weekend, or an entire season to spare, these coastal organizations have your summer art agenda covered.



Astoria Fiber Arts Academy

What you'll learn: Astoria Fiber Arts, which falls under the umbrella of the Astoria Visual Arts, offers a wide variety of fiber arts education opportunities, from felt making and spinning to dyeing and wool preparation. Knitting, sewing and needlepoint instruction also available.
Summer picks: Hone your expertise throughout the warm-weather months with a 10-week beginning weaving class or rug weaving class. In a hurry? Learn to weave in a weekend with a two-day beginner's course. Classes are also available by appointment. Find out more: Call (503) 325-5598 or visit


Trail's End Art Association

What you'll learn: Trail's End offers both formal classes and informal weekly workshop sessions during which artists converge to practice their crafts in concert and to learn from each other. Subjects available include beginning and advanced watercolor, plein air painting, pastel and artistic creativity.
Summer picks: Each summer, a group of professional artists join Trail's End instructors to teach art classes to the public. Classes scheduled for this August include a variety of two- to five-day workshops on encaustic painting, landscape painting, water media design, watercolor and acrylic. Trail's End will also offer a two-week children's art camp at the end of July featuring puppetry, puppet making and fine art instruction. Find out more: Call (503) 717-9458 or visit


Tolovana Arts Colony

What you'll learn: Tolovana Arts Colony offers a rotating schedule of courses and workshops taught by local artists throughout the year, from visual and literary arts to dance, fitness and special interest instruction.
Summer picks: Summer term, which begins July 7, will include courses in dance and fitness, painting and drawing. A summer workshop titled "Eat, Paint, Connect" will offer participants a food and arts experience, accelerate painting techniques and connect participants with a mystical realm. Find out more: Call (503) 368-7222 or visit


The Hoffman Center

What you'll learn: The Hoffman Center offers artistic inspiration and instruction in many mediums, from workshops to a visiting writer's series to live performances. Classes are available in writing, clay, life drawing, letterpress and other visual arts.
Summer picks: Try your hand at plein air writing during an August 25 outdoor workshop that brings together nature, writing and art, or drop into a weekly life drawing course. The center also houses a fully equipped clay studio all summer long with on-site firing available. Children's art and music camp is set for the end of July and theater camp starts in early August. Find out more: Call (503) 368-3846 or visit


The Sitka Center for Art and Ecology

What you'll learn: The Sitka Center will offer a total of 108 workshops in 2012 alone, and the learning opportunities run the gamut from painting and drawing to photography to wood carving to writing. The center also features an annual art invitational and an artist-in-residence program.
Summer picks: Sharpen your creative eye at a three-day photography workshop or a two-day beginning drawing workshop. Find out more:
Call (541) 994-5845 or visit


Tillamook Association for the Performing Arts

What you'll learn: TAPA brings the joy of theater to Tillamook County by putting on five full annual shows and one musical selection per year, with additional workshop opportunities available.
Summer picks: A weekly class on acting and scene study is available every Sunday this summer at the Tillamook Theater. A children's workshop titled "Starlite Academy" is set for July 16-20; the workshop will expose children to the magic of theater and culminate in two end-of-week performances. Find out more: Call (503) 842-6305 or visit


Lincoln City Cultural Center

What you'll learn: The LCCC offers an ongoing and eclectic roster of art opportunities, including ceramics, sculpture, life drawing, music and dance classes.
Summer picks: This summer, the center will offer a painting workshop titled "The Magic of Koi" July 14-15, "Let There Be Arts" summer art workshops for children in late July and early August, a summer dance camp, and a weeklong children's theater camp June 25-30. Walk-in and make-and-take ceramics classes are also available. Find out more: Call (541) 994-9994 or visit


Visual and Performing Arts Centers

What you'll learn: The centers offer theater camps and a variety of art workshops throughout the year, plus monthly exhibits at the Runyan Gallery, the Upstairs Gallery and the Coastal Oregon Visual Artists Showcase.
Summer picks: Free community art classes are offered through the Yaquina Art Association Monday-Thursday at the Visual Arts Center. Those looking for a challenge are also invited to try their hand at encaustic painting with beginning and intermediate workshops August 11-12. Summer performing arts picks include a theater camp. Find out more: Call (541) 265-6569
or (541) 265-6540
Creating at the Coast