“The job market will continue to favor creative thinkers: Guest opinion,” The Oregonian, 2 July 2014
In June, the White House held its first Maker Faire and asked individuals and organizations from across the nation to join the Obama administration in showcasing the cultural and economic importance of innovators who make things by applying their brains, their hands and their tools.
As the class of 2014 enters the workforce, we believe we have prepared our graduates with the skills that are critical to solving big problems and ensuring healthy economies. But if as a nation we’re not prioritizing creative making, and the tinkering, failing and reworking inherent in it, we’re failing to capitalize on all of our strengths. Nearly a decade ago in “A Whole New Mind,” Daniel Pink argued that the future belongs to creative, right-brain thinkers who bring to the table things that can’t be outsourced overseas or done faster by a computer.
A recent Americans for the Arts report, “Ready to Innovate,” indicated that U.S. employers rated creativity and innovation among the top five skills that will only increase in importance, and that stimulating them and enabling entrepreneurship are among the top 10 challenges for U.S. CEOs.
Students trained in the studio learn observation, experimentation, collaboration, problem solving, iteration, prototyping, critique and reframing. Each skill is directly applicable to arenas beyond the arts and belongs on any resume. To be able to create, fail and start over again and again is, as any entrepreneur will tell you, essential in the skillset for success.
Look at companies that thrive and you’ll see those that prize creativity throughout. Apple is known for a culture that incorporates design and user experience into every aspect of the way its products are engineered and built. Our homegrown Nike is propelled by innovative design, with its CEO Mark Parker keeping a sketchbook in which he records business ideas on the lefthand pages and sketches of imagined shoes on the right.
Portland provides a great example of creative people and enterprises feeding a vibrant economy. From makers of craft coffee and beer to award-winning chefs to designers of sportswear, to the creators of any number of artisanal products and inventions, this is a city that loves its makers. We proudly purchase their wares and show them off to our friends, all the while supporting a creative economy that draws more and more young entrepreneurs to this dynamic place that’s both inspirational and affordable.
Creativity lives in every person and is an element of every professional field, but as an educational outcome it is cultivated most purposefully in art and design studio programs. This ongoing process of producing creative thinkers enhances the world not only by supplying objects and works of interest and beauty and but by turning out problem solvers who will find answers to the most difficult and persistent problems we encounter.
PNCA’s 2014 Gala was a resounding success: a beautiful evening, a full house, and plenty of surprises. A greater number of supporters than ever before, including Mayor Hales, Congressman Blumenauer, and Commissioner Nick Fish, attended the sold-out Gala at Vigor Industrial on Swan Island. A highlight of the evening was a very special performance by k.d. lang in a stunning environment created by award-winning designer and alumnus, Michael Curry ‘81. In addition to funds raised for PNCA’s Annual Fund, numerous announcements were made throughout the evening of major gifts to the College’s Capital Campaign, CREATIVITY WORKS HERE, in support of our campus expansion to the North Park Blocks. One of the most dramatic gifts was that of Mark Edlen of $1 million to name the main corridor of the building after his wife and PNCA’s Board Chair, The Ann Payne Edlen Creative Corridor. PNCA looks forward to next year’s Gala which will be held at the College’s new home in the 511 Building, the Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design.
Big news recently for PNCA’s residence hall ArtHouse, which opened for students in the fall of 2013. First ArtHouse was awarded the green building LEED, Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, sliver certification for new construction.
Then this week the Daily Journal of Commerce recognized ArtHouse as one of the top new construction projects for the year. This six-story building, designed by Thomas Robinson of LEVER Architecture and located on the North Park Blocks, has many environmental-friendly features that also serve art students well including a
rain garden and patio in the center of the building, natural light pulled into the building through cutaways at the end of each corridor, expansive operable windows, generous bike parking and custom furniture made from wood salvaged from the site’s previous building. Arthouse is part of PNCA’s campus hub just a five minute walk from the new campus at the Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design and across the street from the College’s Museum of Contemporary Craft.
PNCA is pleased to welcome Peter Simensky as the incoming Chair of PNCA’s MFA in Visual Studies. Peter is an accomplished interdisciplinary artist and faculty member. He has extensive teaching experience from some of the top art programs in the country such as California College of the Arts, Stanford University and New York University. Most recently he has served as core faculty in the Interdisciplinary MFA programs at School of Art Institute of Chicago and at Maine College of Art. He will be moving from New York City to start the academic year in the MFA in Visual Studies program, one of the six graduate programs in PNCA’s Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies.
Simensky’s varied process-oriented practice demonstrates interest in the art object as trigger and emblem for forms of exchange. Situated in moments of slippage and interchange, his projects evince the volatility of art objects, which are on one level cash with which to trade and invest, and on the other, art—the mysterious objectification of reflection, imagination, desire, and promise. Simensky’s project Gold Dust can be found in the current Cabinet Magazine. As Simensky’s contribution, this issue comes sprinkled with gold dust. Simensky visited Cabinet’s offices on the day the issue arrived and scattered 7.9 grams of 24-karat gold over the magazines, an amount equal in value to the cost of printing the two pages allotted to his project.
Peter is an active and accomplished artist whose work has been featured in solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Museum 52, NY, The Swiss Institute, NY, and Project Row Houses, Houston. He has participated in numerous group shows in the US and Internationally at museums, institutions and galleries and brings a wealth of knowledge of contemporary art practices, people, and venues.
Congratulations to the two artists who tied for the audience award at REC Fest: John Summerson for Road Trip and Emily Wyant for Balloon Assassin.
REC Fest, formerly known as VideoFest, is an annual juried festival of time-based and moving image works sponsored by the Intermedia Department and presented this year at Hollywood Theater. From video to experimental sound, animation to performance, REC Fest encompasses a breadth of work made by current Pacific Northwest College of Art students of all levels and from all majors.
Faculty member Linda Wysong celebrates the final installation of her major public art project, Eye River, in Southeast Portland. Willamette Week art critic Richard Speer writes about the project which came to fruition through a couple of years of public process. Funded by “Percent for Art” program and a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Wysong’s series of three large sculptures, based on logging implements, are part of the city’s “Route to the River/Green Street” project.
In a Portland Tribune piece titled PNCA Starts Transformation, Jim Redden notes that even though construction has just begun, “renovation progress is everywhere,” including the removal of the dropped ceilings and the outdated heating and cooling system.
Join KGW and President Tom Manley as they take a behind the scenes hard hat tour of PNCA’s future home, the Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design. Construction has begun on the renovation of the 511 Broadway Building with a move in date of January 2015.
The Oregonian, in an article entitled, “Pacific Northwest College of Art begins work on new HQ, set to open in January 2015,” notes, “Contractors for the Pacific Northwest College of Art have started transforming the 511 Building and post office in Portland into the school’s new campus centerpiece.” The Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design will be the new PNCA campus flagship, located on Portland’s North Park Blocks along with the College’s Museum of Contemporary Craft and the ArtHouse student residence. Architect Brad Cloepfil is quoted as saying, “I think it will change everything, for the PNCA and for the city…. People will see it as not just a building full of art students, but as a piece of the community.”
PNCA’s new MFA in Print Media has collaborated with Gamblin Artists Colors to create a limited edition ink with a great backstory. Watershed Grey is named for PNCA’s new Watershed fine art print publishing house. A new story on UNTITLED traces the collaboration between MFA in Print Media Chair Matthew Letzelter and Gamblin.
Congratulations to all of the grant recipients of the new Precipice Fund, announced last night at the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA). Projects by PNCA faculty and alumni were included in the list of grantees from this new fund seeded by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and Portland’s Calligram Foundation. Among the recipients were faculty member Carl Diehl for Weird Shift Storefront; alumna Rebecca Peel ‘13 and current student Jonah Porter ‘15 for Amur Initiatives; Anna Gray ‘08 and Ryan Wilson Paulsen ‘08 for Not Too Distant Futures; and C.O.P.S., a free conceptual performance school co-founded by Sean Carney MFA ‘09 and faculty member, Michael Reinsch MFA ‘09.
In a collaboration between science and the arts, PNCA Animated Arts students Beryl Allee and John Summerson worked with scientists and publicists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to produce an animated short on the importance of shoreline habitat for salmon. You can read more about the the animated video, which was just released, in this Untitled article.
A number of PNCA faculty and alumni have been selected by guest curator Amanda Hunt of LAXART (LA) to participate in Portland2014 Biennial at Disjecta. Congratulations are in order for faculty members Modou Dieng, Ellen Lesperance, and Abra Ancliffe (Personal Libraries Library) as well as Alex Dolan ‘12, Devon Van Houten Maldonado ‘13, and Antonia Pinter (Publication Studio).
A historic partnership between Portland Development Commission and PNCA became a reality as the PDC commissioners enthusiastically supported a $20.3 million loan package for the renovation of the 511 building, the College’s future home. The public financing is one of PDC’s largest loan packages ever and is seen as key element in not only PNCA’s vision for a campus centered on the North Park Blocks but also as a key element in the revitalization of the Old Town/Chinatown neighborhood.
“If you’re looking for a catalytic project to kick things off in that part of Old Town, I mean I think this is as good as any and could be the first of many big projects that happen in that four or five square block area,” stated PDC executive director Patrick Quinton.
The financing is part of a $32 million renovation budget which includes a $15 million capital campaign—Creativity Works Here—which is now well over the $11 million mark.
Renovation of the building, known as the Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design, begins before the end of the year and PNCA will move into its new campus in January 2015.
PNCA moves one step closer to a North Park campus with the sale of the Main Campus Building to Seattle-based Security Properties. The College will continue to lease back the NW Johnson campus building until relocating to the new campus in January 2015. The net equity PNCA will realize from the $11.75 million sale is part of the financing structure for the $32 million construction project, which will transform the current federal building into the Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design. Work on the project is scheduled to begin this fall. Interest over PNCA’s transformative move is growing and the College’s capital campaign—Creativity Works Here—is well on its way of meeting the $15 million goal with recent gifts pushing the total over $11.2 million.
PNCA’s online magazine, UNTITLED, launches a series of exhibition reviews by students and alumni. RVW is an occasional series of reviews of Portland-based exhibitions. This week, Melody Rowell, MFA CD ’15, considers the recent Museum of Contemporary Craft Exhibition, Object Focus: The Bowl.
The academic year kicked off with the opening of PNCA’s first-ever student residence hall—ArtHouse. The striking aluminum-clad building marks the next step in the College’s North Park Blocks campus expansion and the media took notice including the Portland Tribune in the article Arts Campus Rises from Creative Thinking.
Along with the Portland Tribune article, the opening of ArtHouse garnered over 20 articles as well as broadcast coverage.
Pacific Northwest College of Art’s (PNCA) MA in Critical Theory and Creative Research Program is pleased to announce that Stéphanie Bertrand of Thessaloniki, Greece, and Nate Harrison of Brooklyn, New York, have been awarded first place in the 2013 Hannah Arendt Prize for original writing on Critical Theory and Creative Research for their essays “Dropouts” and “Immanence of Intervention, Revival of Critique,” respectively. The quality of their ideas and the level of writing were so high that the judges could not decide between them, and, thus, the two will share the prize and the $5,000 cash award. The competition elicited submissions from applicants hailing from 34 countries around the globe, and was determined by a distinguished roster of judges. This year’s theme was On Art and Disobedience; Or, What Is an Intervention?
You can read the full announcement and the winning essays on UNTITLED.
Along with Anne-Marie Oliver and Barry Sanders, Founding Co-chairs of the MA in Critical Theory and Creative Research at PNCA, the judges for 2013 included: Claire Bishop, Professor of Contemporary Art, Theory and Exhibition History, Graduate Center, The City University of New York; Judith Butler, Professor of Rhetoric and Comparative Literature, The University of California, Berkeley, and Hannah Arendt Professor of Philosophy, Europäische Universität für Interdisziplinäre Studien/EGS; Barbara Duden, Professor Emerita, Leibniz Universität Hannover; Julia Kristeva, Professor Emerita and Head of the École doctorale Langues, Littératures, Images, Université Paris Diderot, Paris 7, and recipient of the Hannah Arendt Award for Political Thought; Heike Kühn, Film Critic; and Martha Rosler, Artist and contributor to the Hannah Arendt Denkraum (on the occasion of Hannah Arendt’s 100th birthday).
The Hannah Arendt Prize in Critical Theory and Creative Research is an annual prize competition for those interested in the juncture of art and creative research and in the principles at the heart of the arts and humanities, including sense-based intelligence; the reality of singular, nonrepeatable phenomena; ethical vision; and consilience between inner and outer, nature and reason, thought and experience, subject and object, self and world.
As PNCA prepares for the upcoming academic year, we also take a moment to look back at the photo highlights from last year.
High school students from around the country have come to PNCA to spend 3 weeks working on developing new skills and building portfolios. Students study foundation skills and work in either Design and Illustration or Painting. Check out the photo blog