Thursday, August 16, 2012

"Art is a medium to teach business skills" COMMERCIAL ART CLASS New Offering by Melissa Klein

One thing about Skills Center classes is that if they don't have the enrollment, they don't happen - and I feel so strongly that I will be giving students the skills that they need to be successful in life. Especially since the Artist Entrepreneur Summer Boot Camp rocked and the students had a really positive response to it. Everyone felt energized by the work that they were doing. And, it was FUN!!

Click on this for a pdf of the flyer


New Class offered at North Olympic Peninsula Skills Center
by Melissa Klein

905 West 9th Street Port Angeles, Washington 98363

Classes start Tuesday, September 2nd, 2012

Mon-Fri    12:30pm-3:15pm 
Mon-Fri    3:30pm-6:15pm
Beginners Welcome!!!
Submit form to Skills Center to register:

"What I wished I learned in high school."
When I graduated from college with a fancy art degree, I had no idea of how to make a living at it. Over the years, I've learned slowly, through trial and error as well as through taking marketing and business courses.  One thing that kept coming back to me through all of this is - "Why didn't I learn this in college? I could have learned it in high school even!" And it would have been so much easier!  

Skills for the "Real World"
Art is an effective medium to learn business skills because it develops personal expression and self-awareness, once the art is completed, presenting it and selling it in the marketplace requires all of the same skills sets that any entrepreneur needs to run their business. I tell students - "If you can explain your painting, then you can totally rock any interview." Students who completed my art class at Lincoln High School for example, the Fish on the Fence program with the Feiro Marine Center  tended to be better at presenting themselves and more professional - a critical skill for navigating the workplace and the "real world." Job opportunities for young people, (fast food anyone?) are limited in this area, so having entrepreneurial skills and being able to start their own business for many people is their best shot at earning a living wage. And many businesses, Boeing for example are stressing how they want to have a workforce that is creative and proactive. Art is a process of creative problem-solving.

Time to Develop Professional Skills
Having this class offered through the Skills Center where the classes are longer (almost 3 hours) gives time for students to develop both their artistic skills and products as well as learn how to sell the work that they create and run their own businesses. They are given the time to really focus and hone their craft to a professional level and interact with  community members and professional artists.

Eligible Students
Students entering 10th grade to age 21 who have not yet earned a high school diploma.  Students will earn 1.5 credit for high school in a semester. 

Training for both sides of your brain:
For many years, I have taught a combination of Special Education, remedial reading/Language arts and special education math. What I noticed was that the students who made the most progress with me - whether they were in Special Education or in regular education, were the ones who had me for an academic course AND an art course. It was because they were getting both sides of their brain stimulated and it showed in their test scores.

To learn more
Ron Craig, who is the new director at the Skills Center and Melissa Klein will be promoting the program and the Skills Center offerings during registration at Port Angeles High School on Monday 8/24 & Tuesday 8/25 from 8am-2pm. The NOPSC offers many other classes including: Culinary Arts, Composites, Digital Media, Cosmetology and Natural Resources. Visit for more information.