In the September Issue of Portland Monthly, Camille Grigsby-Rocca pens an article tracing PNCA’s “decade-long ascent” and growing influence as part of a national art-college boom in art school enrollment.
The piece opens, “Imagine the corner of NW Broadway and Hoyt Street, two years from now: hundreds of students and professors swarm through the Pacific Northwest College of Art’s Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design. The former post office gleams after a $15 million renovation guided by acclaimed architect Brad Cloepfil. With sweeping marble floors and natural light pouring in, the school’s flagship building becomes the elbow in the arm connecting Old Town and the Pearl District.”
Read “Painting a Broader Canvas” in the current issue of Portland Monthly.
Here are some of the facts outlined in the article:
- PNCA has doubled its student body since 2004, with a current student body of 600 students.
- PNCA’s operating budget has more than doubled and its endowment has grown form $1.6 million to more than $13 million since 2000.
- PNCA continues to show signs of growth, from forming a partnership with the Museum of Contemporary Craft in 2009, and the most recent announcement of ArtHouse, a new student housing project at the site of the former Powell’s Technical Books.
The article also points to PNCA’s success in attracting national talent to be a part of Portland’s growing, “creative palette.” Grigsby-Rocca writes, “And Kavin Buck recently joined PNCA as Vice President of Enrollment Services, leaving his own 5,000-square-foot gallery in Inglewood and a long term career at the UCLA School of Arts and Architecture.”
Tomi Douglas Anderson, a culture policy advisor to Mayor Sam Adams is quoted in closing, “Art schools produce students with rigorous skills and fresh perspectives. They invest in ideas and ask ‘What’s next?’”
Even though summer is still in full swing, the new class of students in the MFA in Applied Craft Design program are already working at full speed. Led by Butch Anthony and Jack Sanders, the students have embarked on a two week project which will culminate in a public endeavor. In true design build fashion, the new students are responsible for all aspects of the project from conception, to designing models, to laboriously building the final pieces. This year’s Design Build is focusing on creating a public bike repair show and community hub for a park in North Portland.
Check in on their progress (they only have two weeks to finish!) on the ACD blog.
Last year, AC+D students installed a library and reading center at the Donald E. Long Juvenile Detention Center. You can read all about the project here.
DK Row of The Oregonian profiles MFA in Applied Craft and Design candidate Eric Trine ‘13 and his entrepreneurial ambition to grow his own one-man handcrafted furniture design business.
Trine graces the front page of The Oregonian’s Business Section in an article that traces his motivation to become a “maker of things.” After growing up in California, and then studying at Biola University, Trine decided to focus in studio art. He started working for his father’s business, Champion Power Equipment. Eventualy Trine realized he wanted to sharpen his abilities at craft and design.
Read Row’s article profiling an outstanding student in the MFA in Applied Craft and Design program.
Row writes that Trine “heard about the graduate program offered by PNCA and OCAC and was intrigued. The fact the program was in Portland—long-regarded as a craft epicenter—was also a pull.”
“Now living in Portland, Trine moved his one-man operation here last year to pursue a master’s degree in applied craft and design in a program offered jointly by the Pacific Northwest College of Art and the Oregon College of Art & Craft.”
Photo by Eric Trine MFA ‘13.
PNCA’s campaign to transform the former Federal Building at 511 NW Broadway on the North Park Blocks into the new Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design is not the only project in the US to make brilliant use of an aging federal asset.
In the article “Pushing the Envelope,” Sactown Magazine looks at buildings created during the New Deal and the lasting legacy they have as the US Postal Service contracts in size. It outlines a surprising pattern of taking the empty buildings left behind and converting them into centers for culture, such as museums, theaters, and universities. The article calls out PNCA’s efforts to transform the old 1918 post office into a cultural treasure for Portland and “a focal point for the arts.”
“From small towns to big cities, local governments and private developers are recognizing the extraordinary potential in converting these historic, elegant structures into community assets, such as museums, theaters and universities, that have the power to change the face of their downtowns.”
PNCA’s Creativity Works Here capital campaign kicked off this spring with a $5 million lead gift from the Harold and Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation. The College’s campus expansion to the North Park Blocks—just blocks from our partner Museum of Contemporary Craft and the Powell family’s new ArtHouse PNCA student housing—will transform not only the North Park Blocks but the cultural fabric of Portland.
Other buildings discussed in the Sactown Magazine piece include a 1933 Beverly Hills Post Office being turned into a performing arts complex, Nashville’s 1934 post office becoming the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, and the city of Las Vegas turning a 1933 post office and courthouse into the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement.
Rhizome has awarded Brenna Murphy ‘09 a grant through their annual Commissions Program to support her project Expanding Labyrinth. She will receive $4800 to support a daily meditative practice of creating net art.
This year over 300 proposals were submitted by artists from around the world. The jury included Hans Ulrich Obrist, co-director of Exhibitions and Programmes and Director of International Projects at the Serpentine Gallery, London; Jonathan Lethem, author of The Ecstasy of Influence; Caitlin Jones, Executive Director of Western Front; Renny Gleeson of Weiden + Kennedy; and Lauren Cornell, Executive Director of Rhizome.
“At its core, this project is a lifestyle,” Murphy said in her Rhizome Commission Proposal about her practice of engaging in “meditative computer mind work mode for large chunks of time.” The $4800 supports Murphy’s goal of “expanding my labyrinth while publicly exploring the creative-spiritual uses of the personal computer.”
Watch an Alumni Profile video on Oregon Painting Society, a group with roots at PNCA that Murphy helped form.
Brenna Murphy has been busy since graduating in 2009. She traveled to the Tate where Oregon Painting Society performed there for No Soul For Sale. She was interviewed by Maurizo Cattelan for MUSEMAGAZINE.IT. And she has been featured on Rhizome before.
On the Expanding Labyrinth Proposal page, Murphy writes, “[f]or the past two years, I have been steadily weaving a digital labyrinth for meditation and exploration. The labyrinth is carved into the shared netscape through a series of linked web pages that contain talismanic arrangements of images, videos and sounds. All of the work is generated from my daily creative experimentation with computer graphics programs. For me, graphics programs are spiritual tools that allow one to psychedelically engage with the fabric of reality. I’m deeply committed to pushing the innovative possibilities inherent in these contemporary folk art tools. My labyrinth of pages is an active public record of my explorations. I propose to direct a rhizome commission toward the expansion of this project over the course of the next year. I am requesting a monthly salary to support me in this full time endeavor.”
Read more about Murphy’s project on the Rhizome website.
Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts honors MFA in Visual Studies Chair Arnold J. Kemp and PNCA alumna Pat Boas with a “Golden Spot” residency. The residency, made possible with funding from The Ford Family Foundation, supports Oregon mid-career visual artists.
These two PNCA community members are no stranger to honors and accolades. Kemp was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to study at the Adrian Piper Research Archive in Berlin. Boas was named the 2012 Bonnie Bronson Fellow.
The mission of Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts is to provide educational, social, and economic opportunities for Native Americans through artistic development. With an emphasis on contemporary, fine-art printmaking, they also function as a venue to practice traditional Native American art practices, weaving, bead working and regalia making, of the Plateau region. Located near Pendleton, Oregon, Crow’s Shadow was founded by James Lavadour and friends in 1992.
The “Golden Spot” residency program is being funded through a grant from The Ford Family Foundation. Crow’s Shadow offers three two-week printmaking residencies for Oregon mid-career visual artists. Artists in residence are guided by a Tamarind Master Printer to create limited editions of fine-art, hand-pulled prints that Crow’s Shadow publishes, exhibits and sells.
Andy Lonnquist MFA ‘12 was awarded honorable mention in the International Sculpture Center’s 2012 Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award program.
Lonnquist’s work will be recognized in the 2012 October issue of Sculpture magazine, as well as on the www.sculpture.org website. This achievement points to the success that graduate students at PNCA have around creating rigorous work and engaging in a vital design and craft history.
There were an exceptional number of nominees with 434 students from over 174 college and universities, world-wide. The jury included Donna Dennis, Winifred Lutz, and Joseph Becherer, and they reviewed more than 1,300 images of student work to make their selections.
At its 10th annual gala, PNCA announced the launch of a $15 million philanthropic campaign, CREATIVITY WORKS HERE, in support of its strategic move to renovate the historic former federal post office at 511 NW Broadway and to anchor the PNCA campus on the North Park Blocks in downtown Portland.
PNCA announced a significant gift of $5 million from The Harold & Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation to name the renovated building the Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design. The gift is the largest from an alumna or alumnus in the school’s 103-year history. Arlene Schnitzer will serve as an honorary co-chair for the campaign, along with Dorothy ‘Dolly’ Lemelson, a longtime supporter who has established a major scholarship program at PNCA and is a Visionary sponsor for the College’s annual gala to support its Annual Fund.
Supporters have committed more than $6.5 million to the Campaign to date. Gifts include $500,000 from the late Ernie Swigert in honor of former PNCA president Sally Lawrence, $100,000 from the late Ed Cauduro, who established the Ed Cauduro Scholars at PNCA in 2008 with a gift of $1,000,000 through the Oregon Community Foundation, and a planning award of $50,000 from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. PNCA also has received a $740,000 grant from the Portland Development Commission for project planning and design.
Acclaimed architect Brad Cloepfil and his firm, Allied Works Architecture, revealed a dramatic design for the adaptive reuse, which is anticipated to cost $30 million and be completed during the 2014-15 academic year. The overall project will be funded through a combination of private philanthropy, tax credits, financing, and grants.
“This is an historic moment for the College and for the City of Portland,” said Ann Edlen, Chair of the PNCA Board of Governors. “We are extraordinarily grateful for Arlene’s support and leadership in this transformational effort. This gift, coming from a committed alumna, validates all that we believe about the power of a PNCA education to change the world with creative and design thinking and making. I am also pleased to announce that the project has 100% participation from our talented and dedicated Board of Governors.”
Read the press release for more information.
At its 10th annual gala, PNCA announced that it had received a gift to its permanent art collection of an important work by alumnus Lee Kelly ‘59. The Ford Family Foundation gave the College a special, one-time gift to acquire Kelly’s Memory 99 as part of the Foundation’s evolving Visual Arts program established to honor the interests and memory of one of its co-founders, Mrs. Hallie Ford. Memory 99 is intended to be installed in the North Park Blocks in proximity to PNCA’s Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design (511 NW Broadway) for which the College announced a capital campaign and lead gift of $5 million from The Harold & Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation.
Memory 99 is one of Kelly’s most well known architectural sculptures, a complex, direct-weld work created out of Cor-Ten steel that is 23 feet wide, 11 feet high, and over six feet in depth. The Portland Art Museum installed the massive Memory 99 at the entrance to its Lee Kelly retrospective exhibition in 2010.
Read the press release for more information.
On Saturday, June 2, Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) held its 10th annual Gala, Transformation. Donors and sponsors contributed more than $465,000 in sponsorships and gifts to support the PNCA Annual Fund, a new record that surpassed last year’s Gala total by more than $25,000. Contributions to the PNCA Annual Fund provide vital support for PNCA’s students, faculty, and free public exhibitions and lectures.
Read the full press release for more detail.
PNCA is proud to announce that Faculty member Ellen Lesperance and alumna Michelle Ross ‘87 are two of three Oregon visual artists named 2012 Hallie Ford Fellows by The Ford Family Foundation. The recipients named are awarded $25,000 each for demonstrating excellence in their work and exhibiting significant potential for future accomplishments. This is the third year that The Ford Family Foundation has been awarding the Hallie Ford Fellowships and the second time PNCA faculty and alumni have been awarded the fellowship.
The Museum of Contemporary Craft, in partnership with The Ford Family Foundation, will present an exhibition of the work of the Hallie Ford Fellows in Visual Arts. This exhibition is scheduled to open January 24th, 2013 and run through the Fall of 2012 at both Oregon and out-of-state museum.
About Ellen Lesperance
Ellen Lesperance is an Assistant Professor, teaching in Foundation, Intermedia, and Painting. Lesperance has exhibited her work in venues including The Seattle Art Museum; Monya Rowe Gallery, New York City; Ambach & Rice Gallery, Los Angeles; PS122, New York City; Artists Space, New York City; Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Portland; and Samson Projects, Boston. Her work has appeared in publications such as The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Tema Celeste, USArt, and Art Monthly. In 2010 she received The Betty Bowen Award and was a MacDowell Colony Artist-in-Residence. She is represented by Ambach & Rice Gallery, Los Angeles. In 2012 her work in memory of slain activist/artist Pippa Bacca was featured in a solo exhibition at Frieze New York.
About Michelle Ross
Michelle Ross mentors in the MFA in Applied Craft and Design program and teaches painting and drawing at Oregon College of Art and Craft. She was recently a visiting artist at the American Academy in Rome. In 2004 she received an Oregon Arts Commission Fellowship, and in 2003 her work was represented in the Portland Art Museum’s “Oregon Biennial”, “Ulterior Motives: Current NW Abstraction” at the Art Gym at Marylhurst University and the West Coast issue of New American Paintings. Her work traverses the history of abstraction, design, decoration and the love of language. She received her BFA from PNCA in 1987 and is represented locally by Elizabeth Leach Gallery.
About the Hallie Ford Fellows
Those eligible are practicing visual artists currently producing works of art; full-time residents of Oregon for at least 36 months prior to the application deadline who are legal residents of Oregon 30 years of age or older at the time of application who have evidenced, through appropriate documentation, seven (7) or more years of active professional participation in their medium and are not enrolled in a degree-seeking program, either part-time or full-time at the time of application or during the successive grant period.
Museum of Contemporary Craft in partnership with Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) is pleased to announce that Namita Gupta Wiggers has been appointed director and chief curator of the Museum. Wiggers was hired as curator in 2004 to raise the national and international profile of the historic institution as it moved to its new location in the North Park Blocks, and to develop a vision for a new kind of museum focused on craft.
As a leader in the critical reconsideration of craft in America, Wiggers brings a broad, long-term vision of Museum of Contemporary Craft as a museum of influence. “Namita is a very gifted curator with a world-class reputation. She is also a thought-leader on craft and design and an effective administrator with the strategic thinking skills and day-to-day savvy to realize an ambitious vision for the Museum,” says Tom Manley, president, PNCA and CEO of Museum of Contemporary Craft. “Her appointment is effective July 1st and coincides with the arrival of PNCA’s new academic dean, Mark Takiguchi, who is coming from California College of the Arts. This brings the College a new opportunity to strengthen the ties between the Museum and PNCA curricula, and thus enhances curatorial studies opportunities for both graduate and undergraduate students.”
Read the press release for a full description of this exciting announcement.
PNCA will be open the following hours until Fall Semester
In the latest Wall Street Journal, Peter Plagens asks whether Portland may be the nation’s next “art capital.” If the answer is yes, it puts PNCA in a good position, as Plagens’ piece points to the important role that PNCA, its faculty, and alumni play in the region. Plagens writes about the Mayoral Candidates Forum hosted by PNCA’s MFA in Collaborative Design program and moderated by program Chair Peter Schoonmaker. Plagens also mentions Guggenheim Fellow and Chair of the MFA in Visual Studies Arnold J. Kemp in comments about the role teaching artists play in the arts ecosystem in Portland.
Plagens visited FalseFront gallery to view an exhibition curated by PNCA’s Laura Hughes MFA ‘10 (Visual Studies), and calls faculty member Crystal Schenk’s Artifacts of Memory exhibition at Linfield College “a truly poetic stunner.”
In his article, Plagens, who received pointers from PORT‘s Jeff Jahn, focuses on the role that alternative spaces play in Portland (in addition to the academic galleries), writing that they are “less about art’s being—art objects displayed and for sale—than they are about artists becoming . . . ” This notion could be applied to PNCA and Portland’s larger arts community as well. As Plagens notes, artists like Storm Tharp, who recently completed a portfolio as a visiting artist with PNCA’s Printmaking Department, are here because Portland gives artists the space to do the work they need to do. Becoming “Our Next Art Capital” may be hyperbole, but there’s something happening here, and PNCA is in the thick of it.
At the 2012 Commencement ceremony, PNCA will be proud to graduate over 100 undergraduate and 25 graduate students from nine undergraduate and two graduate programs. The 2012 Commencement Address will be delivered by Congressman Earl Blumenauer.
About Earl Blumenauer
A lifelong resident of Portland, Oregon, Congressman Earl Blumenauer (OR-3) has devoted his career to public service.
While still a student at Lewis & Clark College, Blumenauer spearheaded the effort to lower the voting age both in Oregon and at the national level. He was elected to the Oregon Legislature in 1972, where he served three terms and chaired the House Education and Revenue Committee in 1977-78.
He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1996, creating a unique role as Congress’ chief spokesperson for Livable Communities: places where people are safe, healthy, and economically secure.
A leading environmental advocate both in Oregon and in Congress, Congressman Blumenauer has authored and co-sponsored legislation to preserve and protect public lands, shift the nation’s energy policy towards renewable energy and energy efficiency, curb global warming, and clean our nation’s water bodies. He has worked on specific bills such as The Little Sandy Protection Act (2001), which enhances and protects the Bull Run Watershed Management Unit, the source of drinking water for the Portland metropolitan area.
The first winner of the Pacific Northwest College of Art Graphic Literature Award at the 2012 Oregon Book Awards is Joe Sacco, for his book, Footnotes in Gaza.
Sacco’s Footnotes was among an impressive list of work including PNCA alumna Aidan Koch’s ‘09 (Illustration) The Whale, Graham Annable’s The Book of Grickle, Sarah Oleksy’s Ivy, and Greg Rucka’s Stumptown.
Published in 2009, Footnotes in Gaza is a journalistic graphic novel about two bloody incidents during the Suez War. The book describes the author’s quest to find out what happened in Khan Younis and Rafah in November 1956.
The Graphic Literature Award was created in April 2011 during a week that included a visit to PNCA by award-winning graphic novelist Art Spiegelman, author of Maus. Read more about the creation of the award here.
In 2008, PNCA’s Feldman Gallery + Project Space exhibited a retrospective of Sacco’s work. In the Oregonian, Brian Libby noted, “Sacco’s work—mostly simple black-and-white, storyboard-like renderings in this show—brings alive the everyday reality of living amid violence. It’s not about the violence toward him but instead the consequences for the innocent.”
PNCA’s Illustration program fuses professional practice with personal vision, pushing students to develop the hybrid skill-sets needed to flourish in today’s dynamic, multi-media marketplace. Learn more about the Illustration program’s students and faculty on the Illustration Tumblr site. Read more about Koch’s The Whale here.
The Powell family in collaboration with PNCA is set to build ArtHouse, a new PNCA student community project on the Powell-owned property adjacent to the North Park Blocks. PNCA’s enrollment has doubled since 2004 to nearly 600 students and is expected to reach 1000 by 2018. The 7-story, 55,000 square feet building, in the location of the former Powell’s Technical Books, will operate as art on different scales: from building as art, designed by Thomas Robinson, to spaces that showcase art, to places to make art. The building is planned for the Fall 2013 class.
Read news coverage of ArtHouse from the Daily Journal of Commerce.
Samantha Mash ‘13 has been selected to receive a $1,000 Nancy Lee Rhodes Roberts Scholarship Award for her work submitted to the Society of Illustrators Student Scholarship Competition. Her piece, Sculpture, depicts the back of a figure with mysterious horns and claws shrouded in the mystery of transformation. This award places her work among the best student work in the country for this school year.
Mash’s winning illustration is modeled after something she saw in the Museum of Contemporary Craft during a class visit.
“My Visual Vocabulary class went to the Museum of Contemporary Craft last semester,” mentions Mash, “and our instructor Martin French asked us to make an illustration inspired by one of the pieces on display. I decided to emulate the ceramic sculpture Untitled #5 by Manuel Izquierdo by taking his abstract form and turning it into a human figure.”
Back in February, it was announced that Mash, Sera Stanton ‘12, and Jeffrey Versoi ‘13 had work accepted into the prestigious and highly competitive Society of Illustrators Student Scholarship Competition. Open to all BFA illustration students across the country, 200+ images are juried into the show from over 7,000 entries.
“It feels really bizarre” says Versoi of learning that he was awarded this honor. “I’ve only learned last semester how prestigious this society is, and its just a real huge honor now. A real bizarre, huge honor.”
In speaking about her approach to illustration, Mash cites a relentless process.
“I draw a lot and from all those sketches I turn a few into fleshed-out pieces,” says Mash. “I normally sketch traditionally with graphite on paper and then scan this into the computer where I digitally paint and draw on top of the scan. It is sort of a long process and can take up to twenty hours or more on some illustrations, but I like how meticulous this method makes me.”
PNCA’s Illustration program fuses professional practice with personal vision, pushing students to develop the hybrid skill-set needed to flourish in today’s dynamic, multi-media marketplace. Learn more about the Illustration program’s current students and faculty on the Illustration Tumblr site.
PNCA faculty member Daniel Duford has been featured in ArtForum’s 500 words. He discusses his latest ceramic pieces, which are featured in the exhibition “Portland2012: A Biennial of Contemporary Art,” on view at the White Box.
“Vessels, myth, the written word, and narrative are my foundations,” Duford professes. “Because of my work with comics, I learned the value of sequential imagery. I see comic cells like ceramic shards that possess a physical dimension—they can be manipulated and assembled, spatially, to enrich a narrative and connect it to other physical objects.”
Duford has been a vital part of the PNCA community for years. He has taught a variety of classes including a Graphic Novel Intensive and upper division classes such as Senior Critique Seminar and Theory and Practice. His work will be exhibited in the Museum as part of an inaugural Hallie Ford Fellows exhibition in January 2013.
Read a profile of Duford on UNTITLED. See what he had to say about Museum of Contemporary Craft’s exhibition on Ai Weiwei. Relax into his essay on hand digging for clay from the Generations: Betty Feves publication.
The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation has awarded a Fellowship in the Fine Arts to PNCA’s MFA in Visual Studies Chair, Arnold J. Kemp. Kemp holds a combined BA/BFA from Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. And he holds an MFA from Stanford University. From 1991 to 2006, Kemp lived and worked in San Francisco where he participated in four significant solo exhibitions and many groups shows while also working as a curator for the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (1993–2003). Kemp’s proposal for the Fellowship includes doing research at the Adrian Piper Research Archive in Berlin and making work based on that research.
Kemp is among a diverse group of 181 scholars, artists, and scientists awarded fellowships in the Foundation’s eighty-eighth annual competition for the United States and Canada. Appointed on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise, the successful candidates were chosen from a group of almost 3,000 applicants.