PNCA Press Center

Sarah McNeil’s Topoanalysis at PNCA’s Feldman Gallery

Release date: 05/23/13

May 23, 2013

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

Sarah McNeil’s Topoanalysis at PNCA’s Feldman Gallery

Opening Reception
Wednesday, June 19, 6-8pm
Philip Feldman Gallery
Pacific Northwest College of Art
1241 NW Johnson, Portland

Thursday, June 20, 6:30pm
Museum of Contemporary Craft
724 NW Davis Street, Portland

Portland, OR—May 23, 2013—The Feldman Gallery at Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) presents Topoanalysis, an immersive installation by Sarah McNeil, June 15 through August 4, 2013. McNeil is the summer visiting artist for PNCA’s Low-Residency MFA in Visual Studies program. The installation consists of a forest of miniature tree sculptures and a projected stop-motion animation of an unconventional futuristic house. The Feldman Gallery will host an opening reception for McNeil on Wednesday, June 19 from 6-8pm.

Topoanalysis is named for Gaston Bachelard’s term for, “the systematic psychological study of the sites of our intimate lives.” And it was inspired by the artist’s curiosity about whether nonconforming architecture alters or influences the inhabitants.

McNeil will deliver a lecture as part of PNCA’s Graduate Visiting Artist Lecture Series on June 20, 2013 at 6:30pm at Museum of Contemporary Craft, 724 NW Davis Street.

Sarah McNeil is a story-teller whose work combines sculptural installation and contemporary animation. Growing up in a family of antique auctioneers in a small town on the coast of Maine, she inherited a collector’s love of handcrafted objects, historic artifacts, and the richly layered narratives behind them. She received her BFA in printmaking from the Maine College of Art and an MFA from The Mount Royal School of Art at the Maryland Institute College of Art. McNeil comes to PNCA fresh from residencies at the Vermont Studio Center as well as three months in Prague where she studied traditional Czech puppetry and puppet animation.

PNCA’s Feldman Gallery + Project Space is the centerpiece of a total of eight galleries on the main PNCA campus and in satellite locations. Dedicated to bringing national and international contemporary artists to Portland, PNCA’s Feldman Gallery features six exhibitions of national/international artists annually and is free to the public seven days a week. The Feldman Gallery is also an educational resource for local schools and organizations; several school groups visit the gallery throughout the year to view new exhibitions.

Rooted in critical investigation and rigorous, self-disciplined creative practice, the Low-Residency MFA in Visual Studies is ideal for artists, teachers, and others who want to further their studio practice while maintaining other life or professional responsibilities. Based on the successful model of PNCA’s MFA in Visual Studies, this mentor-based program takes place over three or four consecutive years. During intensive eight-week summer sessions and short winter retreats, students gather for seminars, critiques, studio practice, and visiting artist lectures. The fall and spring of each year are periods of deep contemplation and high productivity, when Low-Residency students work off-site, incorporating into their work the ideas and insights gained during a summer of concentrated studio practice, dialogue, research, and writing. The program’s multifaceted structure emphasizes PNCA’s educational philosophy of independent inquiry and cross-disciplinary exchange. The Low-Residency program is perfect for motivated students who work well on their own, desire a flexible structure, and enjoy the challenge and community of an immersive program.

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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