News Archive

Launch of Behind the Curtain

Going live tomorrow, Behind the Curtain is a new Hack Oregon website that will feature a searchable library of visualizations for the entire database of Oregon Elections. This project, designed to make campaign finance date more accessible to the public, was initiated in a class in PNCA’s MFA in Collaborative Design program. As the Willamette Week reports, Behind the Curtain uses Oregon Elections Division data, ” to create easy-to-understand visuals of candidates’ funding sources.” Hack Oregon hosts a public launch party Thursday, October 30, from 6:30 to 9 pm at Crowd Compass, 2505 SE 11th Ave., Suite 300.



Posted on 10/29 at 01:40 PM

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Tom Manley on Speaking Freely

President Tom Manley recently spoke with Sheila Hamilton, host of the public affairs program on KINK.FM, Speaking Freely about PNCA’s new campus home on the North Park Blocks of Portland, Portland as a creative center, and the importance of creativity to the future of humanity and the planet.

“Throughout human history,” Manley says, “there is nothing more powerful in terms of human resources than creativity. … It’s our most powerful, most sustainable, and renewable resource.”

LISTEN: PNCA President Tom Manley interviewed by Sheila Hamilton on Speaking Freely, the public affairs program of 101.9 KINK.FM. October 5, 2014


Posted on 10/21 at 10:16 AM

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Design Week Portland and PNCA

We’re in the thick of Design Week Portland and PNCA programs, alumni, and students, are participating, doing talks, exhibitions, performances and volunteering for this annual event. This evening, Tuesday, the MFA in Applied Craft and Design program hosts a lecture by Susan S. Szenasy, publisher and editor-in-chief of Metropolis magazine. On Thursday, the MFA in Collaborative Design hosts a lecture by Allan Chochinov, Chair and co-founder of the SVA MFA in Products of Design Program on The Order of Things: Unpacking the Perils and Promises of Design and the Media. PNCA’s BridgeLab co-presents Creative Clubhouse #DWPDX, an event to bring together creative professionals and the resources they need to succeed, this Saturday at Holocene at from 2-7pm. On Thursday from 4-7pm PNCA’s Design Arts program hosts an exhibition/open house at R/West, 1430 SE 3rd Avenue. And on Thursday at 7pm, alum Calvin Ross Carl ‘08 is on a panel entitled Two Kinds of Makers: An Intersection, a One Grand Gallery. Meanwhile, PNCA Animated Arts students produced a 4-channel video installation for Revolution in the Landscape: Re-experience Halprin’s Fountains with the Society for Experiential Graphic Design. MFA in Visual Studies candidate, Micah Schmelzer, presented video work with Pure Surface at the Event dome at Pioneer Courthouse Square.

Posted on 10/07 at 12:20 PM

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Summerson Wins LG Art of Pixel Grand Prize

Last night John Summerson (‘15) was awarded the Grand Prize in LG’s Art of the Pixel competition for his work, “Painting from Life.” Chosen from 300 entries from nine of the nation’s top art schools, Summerson’s work garnered him a $5000 award while PNCA also received a $50,000 grant from LG to support arts education. Summerson attended the gala award ceremony in New York with his faculty mentor, Rose Bond. The event was also attended by event ambassador Neal Patrick Harris, Kevin Spacey, and Sarah Jessica Parker.

“It’s been a privilege and a thrill to be a part of the Art of the Pixel program and to support young artists and arts education,” said Harris. “I thought John’s piece was particularly clever. His choice of music as well as his decision to turn vibrant watercolors into stop-motion really came alive on LG’s new Ultra HD and OLED display technologies. It just goes to show that every artist, like each work of art, is unique.”  

John’s entry into the competition, “Painting from Life”:

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Posted on 09/17 at 11:11 AM

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Wall and Lesperance Finalists for CNAA’s

PNCA celebrates the inclusion of alumna and instructor Samantha Wall MFA ‘11 and faculty member, Ellen Lesperance in the list of 24 finalists for the 2015 Contemporary Northwest Art Awards. At the Portland Art Museum, the Contemporary Northwest Art Awards is an awards exhibition for contemporary art created in the greater northwest (Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana). The exhibition will open at the Museum in the fall of 2015.

The award recipients are honored with an exhibition in the Museum’s special exhibition galleries, a full-color catalogue, exhibition-related programming, and cash awards. One recipient is further recognized with the Arlene Schnitzer Prize in the amount of $10,000. The finalists are all recognized in the catalogue.


Posted on 09/05 at 10:22 AM

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M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust Awards PNCA Campaign Top-Off Grant

The Oregonian reports that M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust has awarded PNCA a $700,000 “top-off grant” to be delivered when the college raises the final $1.4 million for its capital campaign to make its new home in the former post office and federal office building at 511 N.W. Broadway. The award is intended to spur the remaining donations needed to meet the campaign’s goal of $15 million.


Posted on 09/04 at 11:03 AM

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Revealing Details of PNCA’s New Home

PNCA’s renovation of its new home, The Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design, is taking giant steps towards completion. The Portland Business Journal recently did a photo tour and captured some of the beautiful details. And if the power washing away of decades of grime hasn’t revealed which building will be PNCA’s new home, look for the 30 foot banner on Northeast side of the 511 Building.

Posted on 09/03 at 11:25 AM

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Stellar Month for PNCA Student

PNCA student John Summerson has had quite a month. First he was one of the prestigious Princess Grace award winners in the film category, PNCA’s third winner, receiving a significant monetary grant for his upcoming senior thesis project. Then late last week LG Electronics announced Summerson as a finalist in its Art of the Pixel new-media competition. His winning piece Painting From Life earned him $5000 as a finalist and a trip to New York City for the announcement of the grand prize by celebrity spokesperson Neil Patrick Harris.  In this by invitation-only contest, PNCA was one of only a handful of art schools selected for student submissions.

Posted on 09/03 at 11:15 AM

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President Manley on Better Bricks Panel

PNCA President Tom Manley was on a panel Friday morning for the Better Bricks Awards for commercial real estate. The Portland Business Journal quotes Manley on the challenges of public/private partnerships in real estate finance. “These kinds of deals take time,” he said. “They evolve, and in the words of Nelson Mandela, they look impossible until they are done.”

PNCA was awarded the Innovation in Project Finance of the Year award for its transformation of the former Federal Building at 511 NW Broadway into the Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design, scheduled to open February 2015 as the anchor of PNCA’s new North Park Blocks Campus. The project was facilitated by a PDC loan package of $20.3 million, approved in 2013. Construction on the project began in February of this year.

Posted on 08/25 at 03:14 PM

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The Passing of Ken Shores

The PNCA Community is saddened by the loss of Ken Shores, who passed away yesterday.

An accomplished artist and inveterate collector, Ken was the director of Museum of Contemporary Craft between 1964-68 and a beloved friend and mentor to students, colleagues and many others in the arts community. He established the ceramics program at Lewis and Clark College, helping to build a collection there and continued to make and encourage gifts to many other collections around Oregon, including important pieces to the Museum.

In 2008, Museum of Contemporary Craft presented the well received Generations: Ken Shores, a retrospective of his life and work, followed in 2010 by the MoCC/PNCA publication by Namita Wiggers, Clay Has the Last Word, which chronicled Shore’s contributions to ceramics and craft in general and also revealed his life-long passion for the alchemic process of making. In it he was quoted saying,  

“Clay, I think, is such a magical material…it’s a material that is so responsive, and has so much life in it. I don’t know of any other material that has that quality.” 

One might easily have said the same thing about Ken Shores. He will be missed.

Posted on 08/01 at 10:30 AM

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Tom Manley Op-Ed in The Oregonian

“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.


Posted on 07/03 at 05:32 PM

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2014 Gala Resounding Success

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.

Posted on 06/02 at 12:39 PM

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Award-winning ArtHouse

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.


Posted on 05/20 at 10:31 AM

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PNCA welcomes new Chair of MFA in Visual Studies—Peter Simensky

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.


Posted on 05/15 at 03:42 PM

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REC Fest Winners

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.



Posted on 04/28 at 09:58 AM

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Linda Wysong’s Eye River Complete

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.


Posted on 03/27 at 09:39 AM

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PNCA Starts Transformation

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.


Posted on 02/17 at 09:30 AM

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Take a hard hat tour of 511 Building

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.

Posted on 02/14 at 12:37 PM

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511 Transformation Launches

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.”


Posted on 02/03 at 09:35 AM

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Limited Edition Ink Named for PNCA’s Watershed

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.


Posted on 01/22 at 12:48 PM

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