By Amanda Adams
Pravina McClure, a long-time Rogue Valley resident, knows her life has been blessed with many advantages and wants to give something back to the local community.
McClure, a part-time art instructor at Rogue Community College, will teach a “portrait intensive class,” as she calls it, that will be devoted to giving back.
“I would love to give a personal art piece to someone who ordinarily wouldn’t have art in their life,” McClure said. “Everyone loves a portrait. The human face and body capture us. We are obsessed by it, having seen it from birth.”
The final class project will be devoted to the give back theme, according to McClure. She is seeking disadvantaged members from the community to model for RCC art students. All portraits are pre-accepted to the student art show and then given to the portrait’s subject.
The 1-credit course will be held at the Riverside campus from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. over the course of three Saturdays during spring term. Although the classes are long, McClure promises a “long and leisurely lunch break” and plans to take students to the Rogue Gallery.
Student artists will use models, mirrors, and photos taken of each other and themselves to draw facial features and construct the human head. Students will practice drawing the face from different angles, such as side profile, ¾ view, and a straight view, McClure said.
Projects starts with pencil, McClure said, but once students have the basic proportion and composition outlined, wherever they want to go in terms of medium (chalk or pastel, for example) are acceptable.
McClure has been an artist her whole life but finally pushed herself to get her graduate degree to teach from SOU in 2007. She said after getting a Bachelor of Arts in her 20s, she “gypsied around the world doing odd jobs.” She lived an “adventurous, hands-on life,” even building a homestead in the mountains, but found what she “really, really wanted to do” when she enrolled in the Ashland Academy of Arts. At that point, she sold everything — including her house in Ashland — to go back to school.
“I said, ‘I don’t care what the economy or family is saying, I’m gonna do exactly what I want to do!’”
McClure, who was hired by RCC last spring, is inspired and taught by her students and takes pride in helping them achieve what she calls their “a-ha!” moment. “I’d rather hang an ‘a-ha!’ piece than a print any day,” McClure said.
McClure urges students to sign up quickly, as classes in Medford fill up quickly. She also welcomes suggestions regarding the “give back portrait project.”
For more information or ideas regarding the project, email Pravina McClure: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her in room A8 at the Riverside campus.