PNCA Press Center

PNCA Spring 2010 Commencement to Advance 86 Graduates and Grant Two Honorary Degrees

Release date: 05/18/10


Leslie Miller, External Relations Specialist
Pacific Northwest College of Art 503 821 8959

Becca Biggs, Director of Communications and Public Programs
Pacific Northwest College of Art 971 255 5511

PNCA Spring 2010 Commencement to Advance 86 Graduates and Grant Two Honorary Degrees

PORTLAND, OR — May 18, 2010 — Pacific Northwest College of Art will proudly confer degrees to the graduating class of 2010 at the Commencement Ceremony to be held on May 23 at Tiffany Center. The class of 2010 includes 71 Bachelor of Fine Arts undergraduates working in eight different disciplines and 15 Master of Fine Arts graduates in Visual Studies. PNCA President Emerita Sally C. Lawrence will deliver the commencement address. Lawrence and the late artist Thelma Johnson Streat will be awarded Doctor of Art Honoris Causa Degrees to honor their individual accomplishments and affiliations with PNCA.

Sally Lawrence is celebrated on behalf of her long professional association with the College, which spanned 20 years, beginning in 1981. Her era as President of PNCA was initiated the same year that the College’s name was changed from the Museum Art School to Pacific Northwest College of Art and was highlighted by the 1998 move to PNCA’s present campus in the Pearl District.

Thelma Johnson Streat (1911-1959) was a painter, dancer, designer and educator, internationally known in the mid-twentieth century for her visual and performance art. She is an early alumna of the College having taken classes at Pacific Northwest College of Art, then known as the Museum Art School, during 1934-35. She began her professional career as a Works Progress Administration (WPA) artist at San Francisco’s Pickle Factory, and worked with muralist Diego Rivera who became one of her most ardent supporters. Streat went on to be the first African-American woman to have her work in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

The PNCA graduating class of 2010 presents their Thesis Exhibitions in three locations from May 23-June 26. The Thesis Exhibition represents a culmination of each student’s study that demonstrates a significant body of independent creative work. BFA students will show their work in both PNCA Swigert Commons and PNCA Cornelia and William T.C. Stevens Studios. The MFA Exhibition will take place at the Goldsmith Building in Old Town. All three buildings will host a special First Thursday event to present the exhibition to the public on June 3, 6-9 pm.

About Pacific Northwest College of Art
Since its founding in 1909, Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) has become a leader in innovative educational programs that connect students to a global perspective in the visual arts and design. In addition to its nine Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees, PNCA offers graduate education with an MFA in Visual Studies, as well as an MFA in Applied Craft and Design developed in collaboration with the Oregon College of Art and Craft.

PNCA is actively involved in Portland’s cultural life through exhibitions and a vibrant public program of lectures and internationally recognized visiting artists, designers and creative thinkers. With the support of PNCA+FIVE (Ford Institute for Visual Education), the College has a partnership with the nationally acclaimed Museum of Contemporary Craft. For more information, visit

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