PNCA Press Center

MFA in Applied Craft and Design Open Studios

Release date: 11/29/12

November 29, 2012

Lisa Radon, Communications Specialist
Pacific Northwest College of Art, 971 255 5528

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

MFA in Applied Craft and Design Open Studios
Unique joint Pacific Northwest College of Art and Oregon College of Art and Craft program

Open Studios
Friday, December 7, 6-9pm

Open House
Saturday, December 8, 1-3pm

Portland, OR – November 29, 2012 – Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) and Oregon College of Art and Craft welcome the public to an Open Studios event for the Masters of Fine Art in Applied Craft and Design program on Friday, December 7, 2012 from 6pm-9pm. The public is invited to meet students, faculty, staff, and mentors and see the range of projects on which MFA candidates are working in the bustling open studios located in the Bison Building (421 NE 10th Avenue), a former warehouse in Portland’s Central Eastside. Projects range from installation art to hand dyed fibers to modern craft furniture.

On Saturday, December 8, from 1-3pm, prospective students are invited to and Open House meet MFA AC+D Chair JP Reuer to find out more about the unique MFA in Applied Craft and Design program. The application deadline for the program is February 1. More information about the program and information about application can be found on the program’s website:

The 2014 MFA candidates in the Applied Craft and Design program recently collaborated on a product development project. The students created Center + Nest, a tabletop piece featuring a hand-crafted wooden base, six ceramic bowls of Northwest-sourced porcelain and Cassius Basaltic stoneware, and hand-made beeswax candles. The students began the year with a two-week design build project, building a community bike hub for North Portland’s New Columbia neighborhood.

The Applied Craft and Design Studio is housed in a dramatic 11,000 square foot former warehouse space. Each student has a dedicated individual work space, as well as use of over 3000 square feet of work areas including a wood shop, a welding and metal working area, a kiln and ceramics area, a computer lab housed in an Airstream trailer, a critique space, and a small kitchen.

Connecting design thinking to design doing, Oregon College of Art and Craft and Pacific Northwest College of Art have collaborated to create a unique MFA Program grounded in hands-on making, entrepreneurial strategies, and social and environmental engagement. Combining a mentor-based approach with an exceptional visiting artists program, students work one-on-one with nationally and internationally recognized designers, makers, and scholars in a self-directed curriculum that challenges them to bring to life the full strength of their ideas and skills. Encouraging a cross-disciplinary studio environment in which the workshop is a lab to collaboratively explore design and making processes, the Program welcomes students from a wide range of creative backgrounds to make original work with an applied purpose. With a curriculum focused on the development of a strong artistic voice, the realization of work for a specific community or client, and entrepreneurism that connects making a living with making a difference, the MFA in Applied Craft and Design is the only graduate program of its kind.

This event is sponsored by BLICK Art Materials.

With over 200 years of combined experience, Oregon College of Art and Craft and Pacific Northwest College of Art’s joint MFA in Applied Craft and Design fosters a new, forward-thinking model of art and design education that gives students access to the resources of both colleges. The unique, two-year program merges the highest level of craft with design practice and entrepreneurial strategies. The program is designed for students eager to explore the fusion of tradition, innovation, and practice with design theory and hands-on making.

As Oregon’s flagship college of art and design since 1909, Pacific Northwest College of Art has helped shape Oregon’s visual arts landscape for more than a century. PNCA students study with award-winning faculty in small classes. In the last seven years, PNCA has doubled both the student body and full-time faculty, quadrupled its endowment, and added innovative undergraduate and graduate programs. PNCA is now embarking on its boldest venture yet by establishing the Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design as an anchor for the College’s vision of a new campus home on Portland’s North Park Blocks. Focusing on the transformative power of creativity, the capital campaign, Creativity Works Here, was launched in June 2012 with a lead gift from The Harold & Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation of $5 million. PNCA’s new home will be a bustling hub for creativity and entrepreneurship, reflecting the influential role of art and design in our 21st century economy – both in Portland and beyond. For more information, visit

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