Foundation Year

In your Foundation Year, you’ll be immersed from day one in media and making of all kinds, from drawing and two- and three-dimensional design to digital tools and time-based media. You’ll delve into the histories of art, culture, and ideas to develop a toolkit for critical thinking you can apply to your own work as well as the work of others.

Like every new student you’ll take the First Year Seminar which is designed to help you find your way in your new community while developing skills and habits to thrive at PNCA and beyond. Through presentations, hands-on projects, discussions, and field trips, you’ll learn the ins and outs of the college, the city, and all of the resources available to you for your studies and your creative practice.

The classroom and life skills you develop during this first year experience are key to both your success at PNCA and to a lifetime of creative practice. 



If you are a first-time freshman, you'll be introduced to your First Year Mentor (your instructor for First Year Seminar) during New Student Orientation. Your First Year Mentor is your go-to person for guidance and questions for your entire Foundation Year. During the second semester of the Foundation Year, students who haven’t done so already, declare their major. Soon after you declare your major, you will be connected to your Program Advisor, the Lead Faculty in your major or another full-time faculty member who teaches in your major.


First-Year Seminar
Basic Drawing  
Visual Elements: 2D 
Digital Tools
3D Design 
Time Arts 
Studio Elective
Exploring Visual Culture
Writing in Context 
Liberal Arts Elective 


Roy Tomlinson

Roy Tomlinson, Director of Foundation 

MFA University of California, Berkeley
BFA San Francisco Art Institute

Tomlinson, a native of Seattle, is a painter and interdisciplinary artist. He was awarded the Eisner Prize from the University of California at Berkeley, and is the recipient of a Gottlieb Foundation Grant. His work has been exhibited at the Oakland Museum, Mills College Art Museum, Oakland Art Gallery, San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery, and Friesen Gallery in Seattle. His solo exhibitions in San Francisco include Stephen Wirtz Gallery, Gallery 16, Miller/Brown Gallery, and SFMOMA Artist Gallery. His work has been published in Eleven Eleven, ZYZZYVA, Inquiring Mind, and Micro Publishing News. Tomlinson lived in the Bay Area for many years and taught in the painting department at the California College of the Arts before joining the faculty at PNCA. 

Join Now for Fall 2018

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