• Morgan Walker

    Associate Professor and Lead Faculty in Painting & Drawing, Printmaking

    MFA 1995 University of Oregon (Painting and Printmaking) 

    BFA 1993 PNCA (Printmaking)
JD 1982 Tulane University School of Law (Law)
BA 1979 Washington and Lee University (Philosophy)

    Morgan Walker was born and spent his early life in rural Louisiana. His mother left off the study of English Literature with one year remaining on a scholarship to Sophie Newcomb College to marry his father, a rodeo cowboy who raised Brahman-cross cattle and later became a pioneer catfish farmer. His maternal grandfather, a lifelong Shriner, took him to any carnivals and circuses that passed through the parish. The paternal grandfather for whom he was named was a small-town businessman and farmer (cotton, sugarcane, oranges) with a distinctive wooden leg. His grandmother was a well-known breeder of show horses, dairy cattle, and rhesus monkeys. Morgan’s great-grandparents include a distiller of undocumented spirits, two Confederate soldiers, a French Quarter shopkeeper, and a professional fortune-teller who roamed Louisiana and East Texas in a horse-drawn wagon. After an early education in the cattle and catfish businesses he was sent away to study philosophy and law. It was during this period that he studied with the Chinese painter I-Hsiung Ju and worked as a line-handler on the Mississippi River (Port of New Orleans), heavy equipment operator in a gravel mine, and other professions including cook, bartender, and meat cutter. As a Fulbright Fellow (Fine Art) to the United Kingdom he spent significant time working in London, as did his brother D.H. Walker (film) and uncle Lestarjet Martin (architecture). This family peculiarity has never been adequately explained. Originally arriving in Oregon after traversing the North American continent by bicycle, he settled here to paint, raise a family, and play the ukulele.

  • Barry Pelzner

    Associate Professor in Foundation, Painting

    BFA 1977 PNCA
    Art Students League of New York (studied with Robert Beverly Hale) 1974-75
    MAT 1970 Reed College
    BA 1968 Reed College

    Barry Pelzner has taught Drawing, Painting and Anatomy at PNCA for more than 30 years. His work is exhibited extensively in the region and is in many corporate and public collections, including a 50-foot wall relief at the Department of Human Resources Building on the Capitol Mall in Salem, Oregon. He is represented in Portland by Froelick Gallery.

  • Modou Dieng

    Associate Professor in Painting and Drawing

    MFA 2006 San Francisco Art Institute (Painting, New Genres)
    BFA 1995 École Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Senegal (Painting)

    Modou Dieng is a multidisciplinary artist working in mixed media, painting, photography, and installation. Dieng’s interests lie in conceptualizing visions of contemporary life constituted by a mix of humanity, topography and pastiche of forms.

    Dieng evokes a city’s continuously changing facade, as well as its hybrid character and eclectic combination. His work deals with urban history, race, social status, gender, cosmopolitanism, and belonging. He has exhibited with numerous galleries and museums including: Steve Turner Gallery (Los Angeles); Pascal Polar Gallery (Brussels); Dakar Biennale (Dakar); Carousel du Louvre (Paris); Sarah Lawrence College (NY); UMass (Boston); Museum of Contemporary African and Diaspora Art (Brooklyn); and Casa Encendida (Madrid). Dieng has conducted workshops and conferences at several institutions including: Brown University, University of West Florida, Université Catholique de Louvain, The Fire Station, Denison University, and Ohio University. He is the founder and curator of Worksound Gallery (Portland, OR).

  • Daniela Molnar

    Assistant Professor in Foundation, Painting & Drawing, Liberal Arts, Intermedia, MFA Visual Studies


    Daniela Naomi Molnar works in a range of forms including painting, art direction, design, site-specific intervention, a collaborative poetry/visual art project, writing, activism, and teaching. She grew up in the New York City area, a daughter of immigrants, and now lives in Portland, Oregon.

    She is a founding member of the Board of Directors, a backcountry guide, and an all-around integral part of Signal Fire, an organization increasing the cultural value of the natural world by providing opportunities for artists to engage with public wild lands. She is Art Editor for The Bear Deluxe Magazine, a publication devoted to exploring environmental issues through the arts, and Founding Co-Editor of Leaf Litter, Signal Fire’s art and literary journal.

    Daniela is the Founding Director of the Art + Ecology program and a full-time Associate Professor at the Pacific Northwest College of Art, where she has been teaching undergraduate and graduate students about painting, drawing, environmental issues, visual culture, critical theory, and pedagogy since 2007.

    Artist Statement

    Bill McKibben has written that we have been born into a world that no longer exists. Given that, how do we find our place? How do we visualize the embodied experience of living on a damaged planet? How can art help us understand who we are and where we are? How can art have ecological, spiritual, political, and social agency? Daniela Molnar’s work is informed by these questions and by a deep ecological worldview. It is inspired equally by science, sensory experience, traditional cultural/spiritual knowledge, and contemporary theorists.

    Her paintings rely on an intense engagement with color, provoking phenomenological reflection and sensory awareness. They aim to involve viewers directly in their bodily experience of time and place while also engaging with the intractable, intersectional questions provoked by the (Mis)Anthropocene.

    Collaborative work is an integral part of her practice in the form of art direction, editing, site-specific projects, developing and leading backcountry residencies with Signal Fire, teaching, and activism. All of these exchanges are ways of building and learning from an ecological system. She understands an ecological system as the vast web of relationships that one is enmeshed in — all the things that give life, that we relate to and depend on.

    She hopes to inspire a fuller comprehension of the profound interconnectedness of our planet. Daniela aims to provoke a willingness to engage — bodily and conceptually — with the shared planetary sociopolitical and ecological challenges we face.



    MA 2006 University of California at Santa Cruz (Science Illustration)
    BA 2000 The Evergreen State College (Art and Environmental Studies)

  • Michael Lazarus

    Assistant Professor in Foundation, Painting & Drawing

    MFA 1994 School of Visual Arts (Visual Arts)
    BFA 1992 Rhode Island School of Design (Painting)

    Michael Lazarus works with a variety of materials, using carefully crafted color choices, patterns, and a vocabulary of pared down imagery to create paintings with a dynamic and powerful presence. Lazarus has shown nationally and internationally, including at Feature, Andrea Rosen, and PS1 in New York, NY; Marc Fox, Acme, and Sister in Los Angeles, CA; and Elizabeth Leach and Adams and Ollman in Portland, OR. His work has been written about in Art in America, Artforum, Flash Art, The New York Times, and The Los Angeles Times, among others.
    more information at:

    Michael Lazarus teaches in the Foundation Department, Painting Department, and as a Mentor in the MFA Visual Studies program.

  • Roy Tomlinson

    Director of Foundation; Associate Professor in Painting & Drawing

    MFA University of California, Berkeley 

    BFA San Francisco Art Institute

    Roy 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. Tomlinson has also exhibited throughout the Portland Oregon area including a solo exhibition funded by a McGeady award at the Center for Contemporary Art & Culture at the Pacific Northwest College of Art. His work has been published in Eleven Eleven, ZYZZYVA, Inquiring Mind, and Micro Publishing News among other publications. Tomlinson lived in the Bay Area for many years and taught in the Painting and Graduate departments at the California College of the Arts before joining the faculty at PNCA. He is now the Foundation Program Director and teaches in the Foundation, Painting, BFA Thesis, and Graduate programs at PNCA.

  • Ardis DeFreece

    Assistant Professor in Foundation; Painting & Drawing

    BA Art – Mount St. Mary’s College, Los Angeles, CA
    MFA Visual Studies, PNCA
    Studied classical drawing methods at Charles Cecil Studios, an atelier in Florence, Italy

    Foundation Faculty – PNCA
    Painting & Drawing Faculty – PNCA