News Archive

A Focal Point for the Arts

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.

Read more about Sactown Magazine‘s “Pushing the Envelope” and find out more about PNCA’s capital campaign CREATIVITY WORKS HERE supporting the College’s campus expansion to the North Park Blocks.


Posted on 07/27 at 03:31 PM

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Brenna Murphy ‘09 awarded Rhizome Commission

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.

Posted on 07/23 at 01:09 PM

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PNCA Faculty and Alumna Selected for Prestigious Printmaking Residency

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.


Posted on 07/23 at 11:10 AM

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