News Archive

Global Studios: China

Seven Pacific Northwest College of Art students are in China as part of the Global Studios: China program, now through June 11.

BFA student Yiu-hong Leung blogs about his Global Studios: China experience, along with MFA student “Wayne Bund”:

This short-term Global Studio is focused on the study of the contemporary art, design, society, politics, language and culture of China, led by PNCA Associate Professor of Photography, Wei Hsueh.

Photo of MFA student Wayne Bund visiting the Portland Classical Chinese Gardens in preparation for Global Studios: China by Yiu-hong Leung.

Posted on 05/27 at 04:40 PM

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BFA + MFA Thesis Exhibition 2009

Building on a century of educating the next generation of artists, Pacific Northwest College of Art celebrates the culmination of work by PNCA’s first graduating MFA class and the work of BFA students. Both thesis shows feature the work of Portland’s newest emerging artists.

BFA + MFA Thesis Exhibition
now through June 28
First Thursday Opening
6 pm, June 4
PNCA Swigert Commons
1241 N.W. Johnson St.
Stevens Studios
1432 N.W. Johnson St.

Please note that exhibition hours coincide with PNCA’s Summer Hours, now through the start of the Fall semester:

Main Campus Building, 1241 NW Johnson St.
8am–10pm, Monday–Thursday; 8am–7pm, Fridays; 9am–6pm, Saturdays; 1pm–6pm, Sundays

The Stevens Building, 1432 NW Johnson St.
Open according to the MFA and BFA Thesis Show hours, 10am-6pm, and Smart Works programs schedule. Call PNCA for more information, 503-226-4391.

Watch the BFA Focus Week Slideshow

Watch the MFA Focus Week Slideshow

Slideshow from Commencement and Thesis Exhibition opening

Posted on 05/26 at 09:07 AM

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PNCA Centennial Year Commencement

Pacific Northwest College of Art holds its Commencement May 24, featuring a Centennial Year Commencement address by PNCA Alumnus and award-winning Production Designer Michael Curry ’81.

Michael Curry is one of the world’s leading production designers, working widely in both conceptual and technical development with the foremost entertainment companies in the world such as Cirque du Soleil, the Metropolitan Opera, London’s Royal National Theatre, Disney Theatrical Productions, LA Opera, and Universal Pictures. He also collaborates regularly with directors such as Robert Lepage, Nicholas Hytner, Julie Taymor and William Friedken. 

Curry has been the recipient of many prestigious awards from his peers, including several awards for his puppet and costume work on Broadway, Olympic ceremonies, and his continuing innovations in the fields of visual effects and puppetry design.

He owns and operates Michael Curry Design, Inc., which designs and creates live-performance oriented dimensional characters and productions, such as those seen by world-wide audiences in the 1996 and 2002 Olympics opening and closing ceremonies, Superbowl 2000, and New York City’s 2000 millennium event. 

Currently, Curry is working on the production of LeRossignol @ the Paris Opera with Robert LePage, the 2010 Asian Games with the design team from the Bejing Summer Olympics, the 2010 World Cup Opening Ceremonies as well as Spiderman on Broadway directed by Julie Taymor and music by U2.

Commencement 2009
4 pm, May 24
Tiffany Center
1410 S.W. Morrison St.

Photo of Michael Curry courtesy of Michael Curry Design.

Posted on 05/22 at 10:34 AM

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Feldman Gallery Presents Black Market Type & Print Shop

Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) presents Black Market Type & Print Shop, an exhibit of a collection of 30 type-fonts extracted from the artwork of well-known artists that can be used by gallery visitors for art of their own making, organized by curator Joseph del Pesco.

Black Market Type & Print Shop features 30 different hand-drawn type samples, appropriated from exhibition catalogues and artist publications that feature the work of an array of renown contemporary artists.

The exhibition encourages the use of this typographic archive through a computer and photocopier, which will be available for gallery visitors to create their own work. The result: an interactive production environment or “print shop,” outputting a range of distributed media, from concert flyers to lost pet announcements, garage sale notices and other street-post ephemera. The featured type sets were created without the permission of the artists, and their use is limited to the exhibition and for non-commercial use only.

The Black Market Type & Print Shop was recently presented at Articule, an artist-run centre in Montréal and featured posters, using the type archive, by a range of artists including Portland-based Brad Adkins and Harrell Fletcher. The PNCA exhibition will include a new group of 15 artists working with the type archive, including Anne Walsh, Germaine Koh, Matt Keegan, and Arnold Kemp.

Joseph del Pesco is a contemporary art curator and curator-at-large for Artists Space, New York. He holds a master’s degree in curatorial practice from the California Colelge of the Arts in San Francisco and has curated exhibitions internationally. He’s also a contributor to various periodical publications including Proximity (Chicago), NUKE (Paris), Flash Art (Milan) and X-Tra (Los Angeles). Del Pesco lives in Oakland, California.

Black Market Type & Print Shop
May 7 through June 27
First Thursday Opening | 6:30pm, May 7
PNCA Main Campus Building, PNCA Feldman Gallery + Project Space
1241 N.W. Johnson St.

All photos by PNCA Student Thomas Wheeler Castillo ’09

Posted on 05/18 at 10:15 AM

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PNCA Alumna Thelma Johnson Streat Honored at 10th Annual Art Hop

Pacific Northwest College of Art Alumna Thelma Johnson Streat (1911-1959) was honored by arts non-profit Art on Alberta and a range of galleries during the 10th annual Art Hop on Alberta Street in Northeast Portland.

With Streat’s family in attendance, PNCA President Tom Manley addressed the large crowd that gathered to learn more about Streat’s innovative work. Internationally known in the mid-twentieth century for her visual and performance art, Streat attended PNCA—then known the Museum Art School—in the 1930s. An innovative painter, dancer, designer, and educator, Streat was the first African-American woman to have her work collected by the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Participating Alberta Street galleries included: Ampersand, Black United Fund, Grow, Guardino Gallery and Talisman.

Her artwork has been exhibited and collected by a number of well-known institutions and celebrities including Eleanor Roosevelt, Frank Lloyd Wright, Vincent Price and Roland Hayes. During her professional career as a Works Progress Administration (WPA) artist at San Francisco’s Pickle Factory, she worked with muralist Diego Rivera who became one of her most ardent supporters. Rivera said of Streat: “The work of Thelma Johnson Streat is in my opinion one of the most interesting manifestations in this country at the present. It is extremely evolved and sophisticated enough to reconquer the grace and purity of African and American art.”

“Art on Alberta”: is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote the Alberta Art District’s distinct cultural identity through art and educational activities.

Visit the Thelma Johnson Streat “Web site”: for more information about her life and work.

“Red Dots, Black Angel” 11.75“x15” by Thelma Johnson Streat

Posted on 05/15 at 03:42 PM

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PNCA Launches Centennial Year with Fundraising Gala

On May 9, Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) kicked off its Centennial celebration year as the region’s leading college of art and design. Over 400 guests attended the PNCA Centennial Gala: Black Tie Birthday Bash, a testament to the College’s extraordinary momentum and its long and rich history.

With a 360-degree view of the city from the eighth floor of the Machine Works Building, PNCA’s community of supporters demonstrated their commitment to the College by giving generously to its future. 

The Black Tie Birthday Bash and the Benefit Art Auction held earlier in the spring raised nearly $500,000 for PNCA’s Centennial Campaign for PNCA+FIVE, a $32 million effort to endow scholarships, professorships, and academic programs; acquire and renovate its campus, and support ongoing operations and strategic initiatives.

For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2009, donors have contributed more than $3 million, bringing the campaign total to more than $27 million. 

At the Centennial Gala, President Tom Manley announced that Campaign Chairman Lee Kelly ‘59 has bequeathed his Oregon City studio and garden as a permanent artist and residence center for PNCA. “This is an incredible gift from the heart from one of the College’s most distinguished alumni,” said Manley.

Harold and Arlene Schnitzer were the Honorary Chairs of PNCA’s Centennial Gala and PNCA board member Kathleen Lewis served as the Gala Committee Chair. In addition, PNCA presented its first Civic Imagination Award to the Honorable Vera Katz, Mayor of the City of Portland from 1992 to 2004. The award recognized Mrs. Katz’s instrumental role in shaping Portland’s civic and cultural landscape.

“Watch the Centennial Short Film”:, produced by Portland-based golightly films.

About PNCA
Since its founding in 1909, Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) has become a leader in innovative educational programming that connects students to a global perspective in the visual arts. The College offers Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in Communication Design, Illustration, Intermedia, General Fine Arts, Painting, Photography, Printmaking and Sculpture. In addition, the College offers a mentor-based MFA in Visual Studies and a new joint MFA in Applied Craft and Design with Oregon College of Art and Craft. PNCA has the oldest continuously running community arts education program in the Northwest. From its base in the heart of the Pearl district, PNCA is actively involved in Portland’s cultural programming through exhibitions and a vibrant public program of lectures and visiting artists from around the world. In conjunction with its Ford Institute for Visual Education (FIVE), the College is pleased to present PNCA + FIVE Idea Studios, which bring internationally renowned artists such as James Turrell, philosopher Jacques Rancière, art critic Saul Ostrow, and theorist Tom Zummer. Visit on-line for a full events calendar and to learn more about PNCA’s BFA degree, MFA in Visual Studies or Continuing Education courses for all ages and skill levels.

Posted on 05/11 at 02:33 PM

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Engaging: Community Conversations

The Pacific Northwest College of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Craft, and invited members of Oregon’s creative community engaged in a series of conversations in April about the anticipated integration of two of Portland’s most venerable institutions that have, in recent years, reinvented themselves to respond to changing educational and cultural needs.

Through these conversations, the community explored the broader concepts relevant to creating a more vibrant and expanded educational and cultural institution that will strengthen its contribution to the cultural voice and economic vitality of the region.

Community Conversations

Towards a New Future: Embracing the Vision
Wednesday, March 18, 6:30 pm
Museum of Contemporary Craft, 724 NW Davis St.


The Changing Dynamics of Craft and Design
Thursday, April 9, 6:30 pm
Pacific Northwest College of Art, Swigert Commons

Featuring: Andrew Wagner, Editor in Chief, American Craft magazine; Namita Gupta Wiggers, Curator, Museum of Contemporary Craft; JP Reuer, Chair of the MFA in Applied Craft and Design program, offered jointly by Oregon College of Art and Craft (OCAC) and Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA); and Karl Burkheimer, OCAC Wood Department Head.


Strengthening the Curriculum
Thursday, April 16, 6:30 pm
Pacific Northwest College of Art, Swigert Commons

Featuring: PNCA faculty members Rose Bond, Associate Professor, currently teaching in Time Arts and Moving Image Arts; Paul Missal, Professor, currently teaching in Observational Painting, Painting Techniques of the Old Masters; Victor Maldonado, Instructor, currently teaching in Theory & Practice: Art in Context, Professional Practices, Composition; and Bill Barrett, Executive Director of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD).


Redefining a Museum’s Role: A Cultural and Educational Resource
Thursday, April 23, 6:30 pm
Museum of Contemporary Craft

Featuring: Nan Curtis, PNCA Faculty, Multidisciplinary Artist and Independent Curator; Christina Olsen, Director of Education and Public Programs, the Portland Art Museum; Stephanie Snyder, John and Anne Hauberg Curator and Director of the Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery at Reed College; Linda Tesner, Director, The Ronna and Eric Hoffman Gallery of Contemporary Art at Lewis & Clark College.; Namita Wiggers, Curator, Museum of Contemporary Craft.


Creative Grid: Building Community Through Collaboration
Thursday, April 30, 6:30 pm
Pacific Northwest College of Art, Swigert Commons

Featuring: Victoria Frey, Executive Director, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA); Linda K. Johnson, Artist, Educator & Founder of the South Waterfront Artist in Residence Program; Elizabeth Leach, Owner, Elizabeth Leach Gallery; Tom Manley, President, Pacific Northwest College of Art.


Conversations begin at 6:30pm, and are moderated by Tim DuRoche, Community Programs Manager, Portland Center Stage.

“Museum of Contemporary Craft”:, 724 NW Davis St.
“Pacific Northwest College of Art”:, Swigert Commons, 1241 NW Johnson St.

Posted on 05/07 at 01:09 PM

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New Book Featuring PNCA Students and Faculty Work Explores The Green Zone

Learn more about the new book The Green Zone, a collaborative effort by Pacific Northwest College of Art Faculty Barry Sanders, Pacific Northwest College of Art President Tom Manley and PNCA Communication Design students.

In the book’s preface, “As Far as the Word Can See,” President Manley describes how PNCA collaborated with Sanders on the project and how the book affected the greater Portland community.

“While I was not surprised that so many PNCA faculty and students responded to Barry Sanders’ text (and even more enthusiastically to Barry Sanders) with seriousness and commitment, the prairie-fire sweep of their involvement and the growing momentum of the efforts did impress me,” Manley states in the book’s preface.

In conjunction with curricular studies inspired by early drafts of The Green Zone, PNCA hosted a “Focus the Nation”: conference in Spring 2008. PNCA “Communication Design”: students also contributed artwork, which appears in the book.

The Green Zone explores the environmental consequences of militarism and is “the first book to provide a comprehensive examination of the relationship between militarism and ecological destruction,” according to “AK Press”:, the book’s publisher.

“Read President Manley’s Preface”:

Posted on 05/01 at 11:07 AM

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