Design Arts Apprenticeship Program for Teens

Lane Arts Council’s popular out-of-school program pairs students with design professionals for a unique arts learning experience

Lane Arts Council’s Design Arts Apprenticeship Program is back this fall to offer college and career readiness skills for Lane County middle and high school students. In addition to several sites in the Eugene-Springfield area, Lane Arts Council is also offering this program at the Opal Center in Cottage Grove. A virtual version of the program will also be available for students in rural communities to easily participate in this hands-on, professional skill-building opportunity. In-person sessions will follow OHA guidelines for safety including required masks and thorough sanitization, but students may also choose to attend virtual sessions.

The Design Arts Apprenticeship Program pairs 3-4 students with one professional mentor to delve into the design process. Students will participate in hands-on projects, develop a clear understanding the professional and business side of a career in design, and learn skills that will bolster college and career readiness. Students apprentice for 25 apprenticeship hours over a 10-week period in subjects such as graphic design, fashion design, furniture design, architecture, and product design.

In our most recent term, one group focused on designing sustainable housing solutions for unhoused members of the community. Mentor Trevor McClelland and his apprentices took inspiration from current designers working on this issue and discussed short-comings of some current models. Apprentices sketched ideas and made balsa-wood models individually, then decided as a group which elements they wanted to bring forward into the final design. The students then worked together to create a CAD rendering and, finally, to build out the frame with 2x4's.

“I am continually amazed at what students are learning and creating on their own during their apprenticeships. The program is uniquely suited for students to gain specific career skills and knowledge in design fields and creative industries that supports their success in any chosen career. They increase their knowledge of the creative process and confidence in their own abilities while learning what it takes to be a professional, working designer,” shared Lane Arts Council Interim Executive Director Stacey Ray.

For more information about the program, and to apply, visit Applications for fall term are due September 18th, 2020. This program is a partnership with the University of Oregon Department of Product Design and is supported in part by awards from the Oregon Community Foundation and WLS Spencer Foundation. In kind contributions are also provided by the Opal Center.

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