Experience PNCA at Our November BFA Open House

News || Oct 23, 2017

Visiting a college’s campus to tour, engage in workshops, and having conversations is the best way to decide if a college is the right one for you. On this Saturday, come join us and experience, first-hand, how PNCA empowers students to reimagine what art and design can do in the world.

RSVP for this FREE event here. ⟶

*Event schedule and agenda items are subject to change. If you have questions about this day’s events, please contact our Admissions Office at 503.821.8972 or email admissions@pnca.edu.


12:00pm - 12:30pm - Check in & (optional) Early Portfolio Reviews
—Sign up for Sessions, Workshops, and (optional) post-event Portfolio Reviews and Campus Tours.

12:30pm - 1:00pm - Welcome
— Introduction with President Don Tuski, Anna Miltenberger, Director of Admissions, and PNCA Admissions Staff.

1:00 pm - 2:00pm - Tours

2:00 pm - 2:30pm - First Session: BFA Program Overviews

2:30pm - 3:00pm - Student Panel

3:00pm - 3:15pm - Break

3:15pm - 3:45pm - Second Session (sign up for this during check-in)
— Student Life at PNCA
— Financial Aid
— Application Process
— Introduction to PNCA's Inclusive Community Life
— PNCA Student Housing Experience
— Q&A Session

3:45pm - 4:45pm - Third Session: Interactive Workshops (sign up for this during check-in)
— Screen printing Workshop
— WACOM 2D Animation Workshop

4:45pm - Event Concludes (optional afternoon portfolio reviews, sign up for this during check in).


If you have any questions, contact our Admissions Office M-F, 9am to 5:00pm PST at 503-821-8972 or admissions@pnca.edu.

Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies at PNCA to Host Austin Graduate Portfolio Day

News || Oct 17, 2017

Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies at PNCA is proud to be hosting this year's Graduate Portfolio Day in Austin, TX.

This event is an opportunity for graduate candidates to get direct feedback from Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies representatives without needing to travel to the Pacific Northwest! Attendees will be able to meet one-on-one with graduate counselors and faculty from over 30 graduate programs across the country and receive personal guidance on how to strengthen your portfolio before applying.

What to Bring 
Representatives want to see up to 20 examples of your most recent work that showcases your scope of conceptualization, imagination, and talent. Bring original work when possible. Digital portfolios are encouraged when applicable.

Time, Location & Registration
— Saturday, November 18, 2017, 10AM-2PM
— AT&T Hotel & Conference Center, 1900 University Ave, Austin, TX
Registration for this event is not required but recommended. RSVP online ⟶

All Graduate Portfolio Days are free and open to the public, with a first-come, first-served format.

For more information contact Tyler Mackie, Director of Graduate Admissions at PNCA, at 503.821.8975 or email tmackie_admissions@pnca.edu.

Learn more about Graduate Portfolio Days ⟶

Laurel Reed Pavic on Alison Saar

News || Oct 05, 2017

Lead Faculty of Art History at PNCA, Laurel Reed Pavic, reviews of Alison Saar's exhibition Crepuscular Blue for Oregon ArtsWatch. 

Alison Saar: Racial history and its implications explains the process and thinking behind several of the works in Crepuscular Blue: Prints and Sculpture by Alison Saar from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation currently at the Center for Contemporary Culture (CCAC) at Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA). 

Pavic notes, "one of Saar’s great strengths [is] her navigation of multiple identities. This strength is a consistent touchstone in Saar’s work and was made abundantly clear in her lecture. ... The results are powerful and thought-provoking." 

Dr. Pavic's research deals with the shaping, manipulation, and presentation of cultural patrimony. Her research has been supported by the American Association of University Women, the Fulbright Program, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation. She teaches a variety of courses at PNCA including courses on the multiple, the history of printed matter, modernism, and protest art. She also writes for Oregon ArtsWatch.

PNCA Alumnus and Professor Emeritus Honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award

News Alumni || Oct 05, 2017

We'd like to extend our congratulations to PNCA alumnus and Professor Emeritus Arvie Smith for receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award as part of the newly relaunched 2017 Governor’s Arts Awards.

“Not only do the arts enrich our quality of life and local economies, arts education is key in fostering a spirit of creativity and innovation in our youth. The awards are a great way to celebrate Oregon’s artistic treasures and honor the impact they have had to our state.” Governor Kate Brown said during her recent announcement of the two artists and three organizations that won.

Arvie Smith as the first African American graduate of PNCA. He received his degree in 1986. 

The Portland Art Museum reviewed the awards in a recent article, The 2017 Governor’s Arts Awards Include Two Museum Nominees, published on September 14, 2017, and gives a heart-felt look into some of Arvie Smith's achievements as a lifelong artist and educator:

Arvie Smith is an artist, educator, and dedicated citizen engaged in building a more just, equitable, and connected community here in Portland and across Oregon.  Rooted in his African-American heritage and life experience, his impressive career in painting, teaching, and advocacy has spanned more than 40 years, and made an indelible mark on people of all ages throughout the state. After graduating with his BFA from the Pacific Northwest College of Art, he returned to teach art there for 25 years.  His paintings have been featured in dozens of exhibitions across the country, including the Museum’s recent APEX exhibition.  Smith’s paintings have sparked a series of critical dialogues about race, identity, and history within our museum and across our community at a particularly tumultuous time.

As an educator, Smith has been passionately dedicated to youth engagement and community impact—working with Self Enhancement Inc., Caldera Arts, Portland Public Schools, Rosemary Anderson High School, and youth from Multnomah County’s Donald E. Long Juvenile Center.  He was recently profiled in Portland Monthly, noted as “easily one of the city’s most technically skilled painters.”

You can find PAM's full article on the 2017 Governer's Arts Awards here. 

Graduate Symposium: Visualizing Resistance: Examining the Social Function of Art and Design

News || Sep 26, 2017

The six programs of the Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies at Pacific Northwest College of Art present the fall 2017 Graduate Symposium, "Visualizing Resistance: Examining the Social Functions of Art and Design," October 5 to 7, 2017. 

This event is free and open to the public, please RSVP here

Keynote lecture: Gregory Sholette

What is the role of art and design practice in the current political climate which is rife with conflict and regular crises? Over the course of this three-day event we will engage with critical debates both in and beyond the art world in order to contextualize and advocate for the art activist tradition that, in Gregory Sholette's words, "radically-and, at times, deliriously-entangles" the visual arts with political struggles. Gathering together a diverse group of interdisciplinary scholars, artists, activists, and educators, this symposium explores the past and present trajectories of activist/community/political/socially engaged art and design practice.

Events will include a roundtable discussion on “The Social Function of Art and Design: Visualizing Resistance and Building the New,” featuring Kris Cohen, author of Never Alone, Except for Now: Networked Life between Populations and Publics(Duke UP, 2017); a panel of artists and activists titled, “Revolutionary Objects, Do Things Matter?"; and a keynote address by Gregory Sholette, author of Delirium and Resistance: Activist Art and the Crisis of Capitalism (University of Chicago Press, 2017).


Thursday, October 5, 5–8pm
First Thursday opening reception for graduate exhibition

Friday, October 6, 9am-6:30pm
Individual program events
9–11am: Open air discussion with Andrew Santa Lucia at Applied Craft + Design MFA Studios
11:30am–1:30pm: Individual program meetings and lunch hour
1:30-2:45pm: MA in Critical Studies host reading & guided discussion of a work by Kris Cohen
3-5pm: MFA in Print Media print event in Watershed Print Studio
5-6:30pm: MFA in Collaborative Design hosts “Socrates Cafe” with Chris Phillips

Saturday, October 7, 10:30am-6:30pm
10:30am-12:30pm: Welcome + keynote lecture with Gregory Sholette
1:30-2:30pm: Low-Residency MFA in Visual Studies introduces performances byAlexandria Eregbu and manuel arturo abreu
2:30-3:45pm: Roundtable discussion “The Social Function of Art and Design: Visualizing Resistance and Building the New”
4-5:15pm: Panel: “Revolutionary Objects, Do Things Matter?”
5:15-6:30pm: Closing discussion and happy hour

Unnervingly Timely, Alison Saar’s Crepuscular Blue at CCA&C

News || Sep 22, 2017

The Oregonian reviews Alison Saar's new exhibition Crepuscular Blue at PNCA's Center for Contemporary Art & Culture, calling Muddy Water one of three new prints for the show, "unnervingly timely." The exhibition was curated by Paul Mullowney, who has a fine art printing studio in San Francisco as part of the Jordan D. Schnitzer Exhibition and Visiting Artist Lecture Series, which, in collaboration with the Center and PNCA's MFA in Print Media, brings an artist to the school for an exhibition of works drawn from the expansive print collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation.  

The O calls the exhibition a "comprehensive and incisive" look at Saar's oeuvre with 24 prints (three new) and sculptures from Saar’s gallery, L.A. Louver in Venice, California.  

Read the full article and hear an interview with Saar.

Make+Think+Code Workshops

News || Sep 19, 2017

Make+Think+Code, PNCA's center for art and technolgoy, presents a new series of workshops. These workshops are are open to the public, but do require pre-registration. Many are one or two session workshops that cover an ever-expanding range of topics that include introductions to projection mapping, to Unity, to creative coding and creating 3D assets in Blender. See the Make + Think + Code programs page for a full list of currently available workshops.

Spring ‘17 Advanced Graphic Novel Class Celebrates the Release of Their Comic Anthology

News || Sep 05, 2017

Congratulations to the students of our spring '17 Advanced Graphic Novel class and their instructor, Jonathan Hill, on the completion of their Unversed Comic Anthology project! 

Unversed is what happens when a group of the Pacific Northwest College of Art’s finest cartoonists dive into the unknown. Whether it’s navigating the dating world, learning to be your own person in the shadow of those that have come before you, or the unfolding of a new romance, Unversed is a collection of stories that navigate unfamiliar situations and explore the growth that comes from not knowing. This 180 page comic anthology took 4 months to complete, and was then successfully Kickstartered to fully fund the production of the final book. 

Participating Students:

Mackenzie Baker 
Shayla Charnett 
Hope Dibby 
Unah Denight 
Maria Frantz 
Clive Hawken 
Tandy Kunkle 
Vance Lump 
Conor MacBride
Seaerra Miller
Alex Yip

Jonathan and his cartoonists will be hosting a celebratory book release party on September 16, 2017 from 7-9pm at Books With Pictures comic book store at 1100 SE Division St, #103, Portland, OR 97414. All are welcome!

Observing Design Through Its Decay with Heidi Schwegler at Design Museum Mornings

News || Aug 31, 2017

“To see things again for the first time, that’s the point of art.”  - Heidi Schwegler

This past August, Chair of PNCA's MFA Applied Craft + Design program (offered joined with OCAC), Professor Heidi Schwegler was invited to speak at Design Museum Mornings monthly event about professional processes and how to inspire students to do the same.

Image: Heidi Schwegler, "Separation anxiety_05", 2014, glass, 8 x 17 x 10"

A fantastic exposé of Heidi's creative process and methodology, this online recap of August's Design Museum Mornings event is an intimate look into the mind of a working, professional artist, how they approach creative problem-solving, and the constant search for inspiration.


Design Museum Mornings is a monthly event series meant to inspire you before your day begins. Conducted by Design Museum Portland, each event will include a short presentation by a local thought-leader, free breakfast, and great people to wake up with. Design Museum Mornings purpose is to inspire and bring people of the the Design Museum Portland community closer together. These events are hosted and sponsored by various generous businesses of the Greater Portland area.

Images courtesy of Heidi Schwegler and Victor Dallons at the Portland Photographic Society.