Faculty & Facilities

Our faculty embrace a cross-disciplinary approach to making and understanding work. They share an interest in collaboration, and like our students, the faculty represent a wide range of creative practices. We work in a dedicated and dynamic space where each student has their own studio. Individual studios are surrounded by community shops and workspaces.

Department Chair

Sara Huston

Program Head


Sara Huston is an artist, designer, educator, and curator. Her studio practice, The Last Attempt at Greatness which she started in 2009 with her partner John Paananen, is cross-disciplinary and engages design, craft, art, and architecture. Her work explores subjects of progress, expectation, liminality, perception, value and the intersection and language of art and design. Sara's work is aimed at provoking discourse and contemplation in the viewer or user in an attempt to disrupt conventional ways of thinking, induce reflection and challenge the boundaries of what is known.

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Mentor Student Relationship

MFA AC+D students work one on one with a different mentor each semester, meeting every week for 60 minutes to discuss their work and process.

The mentor-student relationship is personal and unique and is at the heart of the MFA AC+D program. This one-on-one relationship makes use of the knowledge transfer from mentor to student and creates a supportive environment for the candidate to conduct original research and develop new ideas. Mentors include PNCA faculty; Portland designers, architects, artists, and makers; curators and critics; entrepreneurs; as well as faculty from other academic institutions.

Studios and Collaborative Spaces

MFA AC+D students have twenty-four-hour access to the exclusive MFA studios at all times during their two years in the program.

Students have access to all labs, shops, libraries and equipment at the PNCA main campuses. Labs are staffed by highly qualified technicians able to provide students with technical assistance and instruction, with specialized equipment for Book Arts, Printmaking, Ceramics, Design, Fibers, Metals, Photography, and Wood. There are several different digital computer labs with professional-level color, large-format printing capabilities.

Each student is provided with opportunities to display work and learn preparatory and installation skills in professional level exhibition spaces.

Get in touch

Get in touch with MFA in Applied Craft + Design Chair, Sara Huston, to schedule a tour or to learn more.

Get in Touch