2012 ushers in the opening of two new graduate programs: a Low-Residency MFA in Visual Studies and an MA in Critical Theory and Creative Research (CT+CR). Modeled after the successful MFA in Visual Studies Program, the Low-Residency MFA is ideal for motivated students who can work independently, who desire a flexible structure and who enjoy the challenge and community of an immersive program. The MA CT+CR program combines the study of critical theory as a mode of socio-political critique and creative research as a process-driven form of inquiry, pushing both theory and research in new directions within the context of a 21st-century art school.
PNCA and the Powell Family collaborate to develop a student housing community, ArtHouse, on the North Park Blocks, cementing PNCA’s pivotal role in the city’s new “creative corridor.” ArtHouse is slated to open in Fall 2013.
In 2011, PNCA launches its third graduate degree program, the MFA in Collaborative Design. Using design thinking and methodologies, students cultivate an entrepreneurial and critical approach to meaningfully address the emerging challenges of the 21st century.
The College enters its Centennial year with an unprecedented 48% growth in enrollment, making Pacific Northwest College of Art the fastest-growing independent art school in the nation. In Fall 2009, PNCA launches its second graduate program, the MFA in Applied Craft and Design, in collaboration with Oregon College of Art and Craft. The MFA boasts a curriculum focused on the development of a strong artistic voice, the realization of work for a specific community or client, and the entrepreneurism that connects making a living with making a difference. It is the only joint degree of its kind in the nation.
The College continues discussions started in November 2008 with the Museum of Contemporary Craft on integration. A joint task force of Museum and College officials meets to further explore the integration. Together, the College and the Museum hold a series of Community Conversations, as the two institutions move forward with plans to integrate the Museum into PNCA.
The College acquires the 1916-era former U.S. Post Office building at 511 NW Broadway, at no cost from the federal government. Doubling the College’s space, the new building will support the PNCA+FIVE initiative and provide space for growing enrollment. Target move-in date is 2014.
Pacific Northwest College of Art announces the creation of a joint degree with Oregon College of Art and Craft. The joint MFA in Applied Craft and Design is the second MFA program at the College and is accepting 15 students for Fall 2009.
Hallie Ford, a long-time arts supporter and co-founder of the Ford Family Foundation, donates $15 million to PNCA; the largest gift to an arts organization in Oregon’s history. The gift helps the College establish The Ford Institute for Visual Education (FIVE), which extends PNCA’s intellectual and resource platform through the PNCA+FIVE Idea Studios series, exhibitions, symposia, and the development of a series of graduate programs, internationally renowned artists in residence and other programs, all of which enrich the environment for original thinking and creative enterprise.
In fall, the MFA in Visual Studies is launched. It is the first MFA in the College’s history.
After 22 years at the helm, College president Sally Lawrence retires. Through a year-long national search, Dr. Thomas Manley is appointed President.
The College moves into a 92,000-square-foot former warehouse located at 1241 NW Johnson Street. Redesigned by Holst Architecture, the building wins the Unbuilt Citation Award for Excellence in Design from the American Institute of Architects, and the Governor’s Livability Award.
Sally Lawrence is appointed President by the Board of Governors. The College becomes independently incorporated and receives separate IRS tax-exempt status from the Museum. Final agreements are reached with the Museum in the purchase price for the Hoffman Wing, continuing access to the library, transfer of endowment income and a date for vacating the building.
In response to the recommendations of the accrediting bodies, the Trustees of the Portland Art Museum establish a Board of Governors for PNCA in order to begin the process of developing a strong financial base and separating the College from the Museum, with the hopes of establishing the College as a major national and international driving force for the visual arts.
Student work continues to push new boundaries and a group of innovative artists emerges from the College, including Michael Brophy ’85, Paul Green ’85, Malia Jensen ’89, and Eric Stotik ’85.
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