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portfolio A M A G A Z I N E F O R T H E PAT R O N S , A LU M N I , A N D F R I E N D S O F PAC I F I C N O R T H W E S T C O L L E G E O F A R T Issue #2 | October 2019





PNCA BOARD OF GOVERNORS Board Leadership Scott D. Musch, Chair and Treasurer Eloise Damrosch, Vice Chair John Bishop, Secretary Dr. Christopher Maples, PNCA Interim President

Board Members Anthony Belluschi

Kathryn Moseley, Student Governor

Kay Campbell

David Savinar

Nick Ehlen

Sally Schoolmaster, Faculty Governor

MK Guth, Faculty Governor

Al Solheim

Jason Halstead

Lauren Stumpf MFA ’16, Alumna Governor

Linda Hutchins ’88

Vanessa Triplett

Zeljka Carol Kekez

Sherrie Wolf ’74, Alumna Governor

Nolan Lienhart

PORTFOLIO MAGAZINE is produced by the Office of Development & the Office of Communications and Design at PNCA Cover: Sharita Towne (PNCA faculty) Community Message Marquee. 2019. Wood, LED lights, marquee letters

Dear patrons, alumni and friends of PNCA,


As Interim President of PNCA, I am pleased to introduce the second issue of PORTFOLIO. It is energizing to be immersed in this thought-provoking community of creative expression. Within the pages of this magazine, PNCA’s vibrancy emerges.

Total Enrollment Undergraduate Students

While the nation celebrates National Art & Humanities Month, we advocate for the arts, design, and humanities every day. This Fall brings another strong incoming class, welcoming 192 undergraduate and 55 graduate students. PNCA is also working with former professors of Oregon College of Art and Craft to complete the teach out for 30 of their students. PNCA is honored to have received a Creative Heights grant from the Oregon Community Foundation to create installations to cover “Chieftain” heads carved into the travertine above the eight doorways in our main corridor. The Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies will present a symposium, Art and Environmental Justice, exploring the interplay of environmentalism, social justice, design, education, and the arts on November 22-23. Upcoming exhibitions, Organize Your Own: The Politics and Poetics of Self-Determination Movements, featuring new work by contemporary artists and poets responding to the history of the mandate from the Black Power Movement, and no. NOT EVER., a multi-media, interdisciplinary installation that provides an anti-racist, anti-fascist framework for understanding the current rise of white nationalism, presented by the Center for Contemporary Art & Culture, are sure to be thought-provoking. Faculty, students, staff, alumni, patrons, our extended PNCA family–collectively, we are advocates and activists in our intentions to bring about social change through creativity. Your voices are an ongoing validation of the work we do every day. What a community of extraordinary people! I’m delighted to be here.

Christopher Maples, Ph.D. Interim President

Graduate Students OCAC teach out students Received apps from all states


countries around the world international students

Exchange students


NEW MINORS Minors expand the curriculum at PNCA, allowing us to be more responsive to the needs of our students. Now in addition to our Art and Ecology minor, we’re introducing seven new minors including Game, Fashion, Art History, Ceramics, Creative Writing, Drawing, and Graphic Design. Students can now bring focus to their interests through the intentional selection of targeted classes with a conferred minor.

HALLIE FORD SCHOOL OF GRADUATE STUDIES KBOO ART FOCUS PNCA’s Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies launches a KBOO Art Focus Fellowship this fall. Working with Joseph Gallivan, Art Focus host, the first Fellow, Kristin Derryberry, will be the occasional guest host of this long-running art interview program.

Design by Portland fashion designer Adam Arnold who is teaching in PNCA's new Fashion minor. Photographer: Kendra Barber. Model: Nata Sarafinchan. Stylist: Kevin Smith-Aguilar



5 OREGON COMMUNITY FOUNDATION GENEROUSLY SUPPORTS PNCA EQUITY PROJECT PNCA is honored to have been awarded a Creative Heights grant from the Oregon Community Foundation in the amount of $100,000 to support commissioning eight Indigenous artists, including lead artist Sara Siestreem, to create installations to cover “Chieftain” heads carved into the travertine above the eight doorways in the corridor of PNCA’s main campus building. This affirmation of PNCA as a leader in the community and the recognition of our shared values of equity, inclusion, and justice is significant. It is our desire that this investment in works by Indigenous artists will generate informed conversation and further actions to move us toward a more just and equitable future.

NEW MAJOR This fall sees the launch of PNCA’s new BFA in Interactive Design, a major at the intersection of digital media, material objects, design systems, and human interaction. Interactive Design students research, design, prototype, and build mobile experiences, social networks, apps, games, wearable devices - any and all things where experience and interaction with a user are central.

INTERNATIONAL OFFICE PNCA’s International Office connects PNCA to the world with international study exchanges and excursions. We are also a proud member of Cumulus: International Association of Universities and Colleges of Art, Design, and Media, which is the only global association to serve art and design education and research. With 257 members from 54 countries, PNCA is one of only 15 members to be admitted from the United States! In May, for the first time, PNCA is making space in a global studios trip to Berlin for friends of the college. Contact Quyen Le for more information at or phone 503-821-8909.


HUSTON APPOINTED PROGRAM HEAD Sara Huston has been appointed Program Head of the MFA Applied Craft + Design program. Huston is an artist, designer, educator, and curator. She is one half of The Last Attempt at Greatness, an interdisciplinary avant-garde studio she established in 2008 with her partner John Paananen that engages design, craft, art and architecture. Huston is also a curator and member of the League of Women Designers.

OPEN LIFE DRAWING PNCA’s Community Education department once again welcomes the public to Open Life Drawing sessions every Sunday 5:30-8:30pm through December 15. Open to adults 18+, these sessions are facilitated but uninstructed and welcome artists with all levels of experience. Sessions are $10 for community members and free for PNCA students/faculty/staff with valid ID. Drawing horses and easels are provided; bring your choice of materials.


SHARITA TOWNE Sharita Towne is having quite a year. She was juried into the Portland2019 Biennial. Then in September, PICA was awarded a $100,000 Creative Heights grant from the Oregon Community Foundation to support production of her latest project. Lisa Radon sat down with Towne to ask her about her multidisciplinary practice spanning art, Black life, and activism.

Sharita Towne: At this particular moment, I'm thinking of my art practice as building an infrastructure to do the work that I want to do while also doing the work that I want to do. Using the city and place as form to create lively spaces where Black people can both see the work but also contribute their own work is of interest to me. I’m using place as form, and also print and video in a way that honors Black life and dignity and Black wonder and Black reverie. It is a project about Black life.

In looking back over your work, one of the things that struck me was that idea of diaspora as being an overarching concern. Absolutely, it is. I think that there is a very local and insular aspect, like I work very closely with my family. I've just this month digitized VHS tapes for my aunt's archive, my Aunt Cissy Clara Harris. And so it's a process to sit there with her and look at these tapes that she recorded 30 years ago and say, “What do you think about these

being included in an artwork?” I try to be accountable and excavate within my own family and my own trajectory of Blackness from the South and then down in the desert in Arizona and up to Oregon. I excavate those steps in a much larger, global kind of identity of Blackness and diaspora. I think of it as a coming to know who we are. Family photos and our stories actually shake loose the things that we're willing to say to the next generation.



7 I've learned so much from my Aunt Cissy and what she's willing to say about being a Black child, born in Arizona. What she's able to remember about my grandmother. It's an excavating and a coming to know who we are as well as coming to an understanding of the fabric of the city structure or the fabric of a community. With the idea of diaspora and movement and displacement, you're also talking about building place or thinking about place as form. I'm interested in the way that Black people both stay put and move through space and make place. That can be by force or by choice. I'm interested in both. A lot of us here in the Pacific Northwest, it's both. It's by force and by choice. I've heard a lot of stories about people that literally fled places of violence in the lower Mississippi area and plains and in New Orleans and Louisiana and Alabama and Texas. There's a really big contingent of Black people here in the Pacific Northwest from Arkansas, Alabama, and Texas. They were leaving violent places. But there was also a choice there to dream of what it would be like to be elsewhere. So I think there's both reckoning with the violent past and present that pushes and forces people around. But also celebrating their choice and the things that they PACIFIC NORTHWEST COLLEGE OF ART

infuse into places out of joy and in forging community. Using place as form is recognizing a Black spacial imaginary, the way that we are social in public space and share and invite our community and other's community to just partake and being in public space, the Black way of going about that. And there are a multitude of ways. There's a contemporary moment of Black people, Black artists asking what does it look like to actually restructure and repair the community we live in as form. There is this idea of traversing back and forth between the hyperspecific, your family, specifically your auntie as the family archivist, and at the same time generalizing to the neighborhood, to the city, to the country, and then through to your international projects. It almost feels like oscillating waves, from a bird's eye view to landing and back again. I think at this particular moment, I'm wanting to just collapse it. When I work with people at a former concentration camp in Germany or in Sahrawi refugee camps, I see a set of families and people. Working with my family I think keeps me accountable to people and their actual needs and desires and dreams and regrets and the trauma that they've experienced. I just try

to step into those situations in a thoughtful way, in the same way that I do with my family. A project you did in Brazil involved a T-shirt with a quote printed on it, “We're born dark, mulatto, dusty brown, blue-Black, among others, but becoming Black is an achievement.” That’s a quote from Léila Gonzalez, who some have called the Audre Lorde of Afro-Brazilian Black feminism. She was just such a powerhouse and a loud speaker for a growing movement at the time in Brazil of Black pride. I think that's one of the things I really love about living in diaspora or just acknowledging that we live in diaspora, because there are things in Brazil that I learned about being a Black person in the US. There are certain things within diaspora that don't survive at their origin, but they survive elsewhere. So getting pieces of yourself that have been sprinkled around and have survived or morphed in different ways gives this really kind of complex puzzle. It takes work for a lot of Black Brazilians to just understand that the society that they were born into, grew up in, just condemned Blackness so that people don't want to be Black.


Installation view: Sharita Towne, Portland2019 Biennial, Disjecta.

Brazil had the "branqueamento" program in the 30s. They paid Polish people and Germans and Portuguese to come because they thought, "We're too Black. To catch up with the rest of the world, we need to have this "branqueamento" program, this whitening. Almost a 100 years later, that's still very much a thing. To be Black as being an achievement is just like, it's an achievement to step inside and accept every part of yourself. And, step collectively into a Black collectivity in Brazil. For me the phrase “becoming Black is an achievement,” gets at that for

You mentioned work that you did as part of your Humboldt project that you worked with students at Jefferson High. different individuals every day as we become more and more ourselves— it is an achievement every day. It’s an achievement to let the white supremacy of the service industry or any given institution, any work setting, just roll right off your back and say it has nothing to do with me. There are other joys to be had and achievements in understanding and accepting and celebrating Blackness.

The Humboldt project was a neighborhood residency for a year. It was really a year of being present in these classes with high school students, with seniors, and getting a sense of what they're interested in and geeking out on things together and understanding the isolation that you feel in gentrification. Unpacking that isolation through documents and history. PORTFOLIO


9 I think it's very common when working with high school students and young college students to underestimate how much they can bear in terms of historical burden. I think that it's really important sometimes to ask them what they're thinking or feeling and then help them unpack that in a larger social, political context. You know, Audre Lorde says our feelings are our kind of most genuine pathways to knowledge, right? We recorded young people in this Airstream podcast trailer. They made their own little popup radio shows and talked about gentrification. Because at Jefferson High, the seniors that just graduated this year, it's not unlikely that they will be the last majority Black class anywhere in the state of Oregon, ever, if we don't make an effort to address and arrest gentrification. There will never be a majority Black class again. There were so many young people that we talked to who said I came to Jeff because it's a sanctuary. It's the only sanctuary for Black youth in this place. What do we do to both honor their choice as a political choice, but also make sure they can still make that choice? That they can still find a Black place to study and learn and be.


That sort of transitions into thinking about the artist as activist. What do you think art’s role is in activism or what is the artist's role in activism or organizing? I struggle with this question so much. I think on one of the last grant applications I put something like, "artist-activist as curator" as one of the things that I'm trying to think through in a project. But, I hate the way that how quickly some of our words fail us. Me, I feel failed by the ways that the things that end up coming out of my mouth about the intersection of art and activism just feel very flat. They feel like almost ashes in my mouth of how urgent the thing actually is, and the way that it can turn into these weird catchphrases that can get kind of incorporated into nothing actually happening. So I really struggle with talking about the role of an artist and activism or the role of an activist in art. It seems like educating has been core to you over time. What is your relationship to teaching and its relationship to your practice? I think that teaching relates to my practice in that I'm interested in people coming together as co-researchers and co-investigators. Thinking of a classroom much more than this one-way road where I'm

the expert, as much more of an experiential research lab in itself. I think that sometimes that's the way that I end up positing some of my projects and my art. There's some amount of needing to become a researcher, to reflect and take in a lot of the history of a thing. So, in that way there is, I think, a collapse between my art practice and what I do in classrooms. There's a certain amount of co-investigation and questions that we can pull out of each other that I find very interesting. Collaboration or working community have been important to your work. Yes, working alongside other people in different capacities and collectively deciding or collectively delivering an experience to a collective is very important to my work. There is this quote from a documentary on Violeta Parra when she's in exile in Paris, and the interviewer asks her, “Violeta, you do music and textile and sculpture and painting. If you could only do one, what would you do?” And she said, “I would just choose to be with the people. That's what I would choose. It's for them and from them that I do all these things.”

10 BOARD SPOTLIGHT ELOISE DAMROSCH What inspired Eloise Damrosch to bring her decades of experience in arts leadership to PNCA’s Board of Governors upon her retirement from the Regional Arts and Culture Council? Multiple organizations sought her expertise following her retirement, and we were thrilled she joined PNCA’s Board of Governors in 2018. Many people know Damrosch as the longtime Executive Director of RACC as well as public art director (1987-2004) of RACC and its predecessor organization, The Metropolitan Arts Commission. What some may not know is that Damrosch holds undergraduate and Master’s degrees in Art History and taught for 12 years at OSU Cascades in Bend. It’s no coincidence that during her tenure as Executive Director, among many other projects that have immeasurably strengthened the arts in the region, RACC launched The Right Brain Initiative for integrated arts education. Today, Eloise serves as Vice Chair of PNCA’s Board and leads the Board Development Committee.

Garrick Imatani

PORTLAND BIENNIAL Once again, PNCA alumni, faculty, and friends are heavily represented in the list of artists juried into the Portland2019 Biennial, a survey of Portland art. The exhibition runs through November 3, 2019. We're so proud of these members of the PNCA community including:

Demian DinéYazhi ‘14 with their project R.I.S.E.: Radical Indigenous Survivance & Empowerment, Ka'ila Farrell-Smith ‘04, Anthony Hudson ‘13, rubén garcía marrufo MFA ‘18, Lou Watson ‘15, and faculty members Garrick Imatani, Sara Siestreem, and Sharita Towne.





Still from Daniela Repas's "Mnemonics"

DANIELA REPAS Daniela Repas has been awarded a prestigious Princess Grace Award Graduate Film Scholarship. Princess Grace awards support extraordinary artists in theater, dance, and film. Repas holds a BFA in Intermedia from PNCA in 2008 and is currently a candidate in the MFA in Visual Studies


program. As an undergraduate student, she was a recipient of a Dorothy Lemelson Scholarship at PNCA. And she has been a participant in PNCA's biennial Boundary Crossings Institute of Animated Arts. Her debut short film, Mnemonics, which she wrote,

directed, and animated, delves into the catalogued memories of a Bosnian refugee, brought to life in beautifully animated drawings. The animated and live action short won a number of awards and was selected for inclusion in several film festivals.


ALUMNI ELLENA BASADA MA '19 A graduate of PNCA's MA in Critical Studies program, Ellena Basada has been awarded a J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship to teach and conduct research in Germany. Basada will be teaching English in an urban school with a large immigrant and refugee population. In addition, Basada will be undertaking a research project on club culture in Berlin, identifying the space of the club as a commons. The Fulbright Program is devoted to increasing mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Fulbright is the world's largest and most diverse international educational exchange program.

Ka’ila Farrell-Smith




The New York Times review of New Order: Art and Technology in the Twenty-First Century at MoMA highlights "Xenix" (2013) by Tabor Robak as one of the two most significant works in the show. Robak's recent solo show, Mental, at VON AMMON CO. was reviewed in Artforum.

(Chiloquin, Klamath, and Modoc) has been awarded a Fields Artist Fellowship from the Oregon Community Foundation and Oregon Humanities. Farrell-Smith received $100,000 supporting her studio development and her youth mentorship in her tribal community.

The Portland Art Museum has been awarded a $75,000 Oregon Community Foundation Creative Heights grant to support the production of Takahiro Yamamoto's work, opacity of performance.








The Director of the Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies at PNCA, MK Guth opens a new solo exhibition, Menu, at Cristin Tierney Gallery in New York. Menu is an exhibition of handmade books of instructions with titles such as “Dinner to Tell a Joke” and “Menu for Getting What You Want.” Menu runs through Saturday, October 26. Guth was recently interviewed by Joseph Gallivan on KBOO’s Art Focus talking about her practice and projects as well as the state of the arts in the region.

Garrick Imatani, PNCA Foundation Chair, recently completed Witness, a project in collaboration with the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde centering on the Tomanowos meteorite. The meteorite, culturally significant to the Clackamas for countless years, was removed from its site by settlers, eventually ending up at the American Museum of Natural History. “This extraterrestrial object, not even of this planet, becomes this container for the very fraught politics of this area of the Northwest,” Imatani said. The project was originally commissioned as a public art project for the University of Oregon’s Straub Hall and was presented as well at the Chachalu Museum and Cultural Center at Grand Ronde.

Alumna and awardwinning artist Michelle Ross returns to PNCA as a faculty member as part of PNCA’s teach out of students from the recently closed Oregon College of Art and Craft.

Congratulations to Martin French, who recently received the 2019 Patrick Nagel Award for Excellence from the Society of Illustrators Los Angeles for a poster he created for the Harlem Urban Dance Festival. French is Chair of Design Arts, Department Head of Illustration, and Associate Professor in Illustration at PNCA. Two of French's posters have been selected for the Bolivia Poster Biennial 2019 to be exhibited in La Paz opening in November. Three of his posters were selected for the 2020 Graphis International Poster Annual Exhibition. And two posters were selected for the Mexico Poster Biennial at the El Museo Arocena in Mexico City.


Michelle Ross

Martin French


Greatest thanks to our family of friends, supporters, and donors. We often talk about the cultural impacts of PNCA, the ways our alumni and faculty shape culture in significant ways. You help make it happen! Your

generosity allows us to fulfill our mission of preparing students for bright and creative futures, transforming their lives and the lives of all of those they touch along the way.

George Johanson '50 in his studio with Christopher Camcam '19 and Olivia Harwood '21, the first two recipients of the Phyllis and George Johanson Scholarship.

COMPLETING THE CIRCLE. ALUMNI GIFT ESTABLISHES THE PHYLLIS AND GEORGE JOHANSON ENDOWED SCHOLARSHIP This past Spring, alumnus and former faculty member George Johanson '50 made a generous gift to PNCA to establish the Phyllis and George Johanson Endowed Scholarship. Each year the endowment will provide significant scholarship support to exceptional painting students. In its first year, Phyllis and George Johanson Scholarships were awarded

to senior Christopher Camcam and junior Olivia Harwood. In describing why he established the scholarship, Johanson said, "Years ago when I attended what was then the Museum Art School, I was lucky enough to be the recipient of a couple of full tuition scholarships. This scholarship is my way of paying

back the financial aid that meant so much to me. The art school gave me much more than a technical basis on which to build an art career. It also helped form my outlook on life in very fundamental ways. It feels good to play some part in helping future generations of artists get the schooling they need to begin to find their way." PORTFOLIO


15 ANNA B. CROCKER SOCIETY WELCOMES DAVE HOLT! Throughout his life, Dave Holt has invested in and supported the arts – as a collector and presenter, a volunteer leader of PNCA and Seattle Art Commission boards, and a strong advocate for artists – student, professional and avocational makers. If you ask Dave about his arts passion, he’ll tell you that “the arts and artists contribute toward a well-lived life and benefiting society at large.” This deep appreciation for the arts is what lead to Dave to include a provision in his estate plan for PNCA to receive select pieces from his personal art collection. Proceeds from the sale of these pieces will establish an endowed scholarship program at PNCA in Dave’s name. Each year, donors who have planned for named endowed scholarship funds at PNCA, and those giving in other ways, help pave the way for the college to attract the best students. Thank you Dave!


Dave Holt

The Anna B. Crocker Society is made up of generous PNCA supporters who have furthered their financial and philanthropic goals by including the College in their estate plans. There are many creative options that can help you and your family meet personal short-term and long-term financial needs at tax time, and achieve your philanthropic interests and goals. Here is sample bequest language you can use in your estate document: I give, devise, bequeath, ______ (insert dollar amount or item of property to be donated) to Pacific Northwest College of Art.

Last month, PNCA friend and supporter, Paula Madden, hosted a group of 15 for a tour of the Michael Curry Design studio. She was the lucky winning bidder of the trip at PNCA’s 2019 Gala thanks to Curry '81, who once again contributed this unique experience. The guests enjoyed an exclusive tour led by long-time Curry staffer and PNCA alumnus, Tyler Stuart ’11, MFA Visual Studies, who gave a behind the scenes look at how the magical creations come to life. Curry, 81’ is an international production designer specializing in transformational scenery, large-scale puppetry, costuming, and character design whose clients includes The Walt Disney Company, Cirque du Soleil, the Olympic Committee, and the Metropolitan Opera.

Image courtesy of Michael Curry Design

WE’D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU Contact us with questions about how you can support our students! Candace Horter VP for Advancement 503-490-6842 PACIFIC NORTHWEST COLLEGE OF ART

Lauren Creany Director of Individual Giving 503-821-8923

Luann Whorton Sr. Director of Development Services 503-823-8955

Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design 511 NW Broadway, Portland, OR 97209 503.821.8955

UNLIMITED 2019 This 3rd annual alumni salon exhibition. The exhibition opens on First Thursday, October 3 from 5-8pm at PLACE (735 NW 18th Ave) and will be on view until October 25.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT LECTURES Nearly every Wednesday evening at 6:30pm throughout the Fall semester at PNCA the public is invited to inspiring lectures by leading artists and designers. The Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies Visiting Artist Lecture Series brings influential artists, writers, critics, and scholars to campus, and the Design Lecture Series presents internationally recognized design thinkers. See all events at


2019 GRADUATE SYMPOSIUM The Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies is excited to welcome Macarena GómezBarris to present a public lecture on her work and research as part of the 2019 Graduate Symposium: Art and Environmental Justice.

PNCA’s Center for Contemporary Art & Culture in partnership with the Albert Solheim Library presents two impactful exhibitions opening November 7, 2019 ORGANIZE YOUR OWN: The Politics and Poetics of Self-Determination Movements is an exhibition and event series inspired by the dispossessed and working-class white activists in Chicago and Philadelphia during the 1960s and 1970s who sought to organize their own communities against racism. NO. NOT EVER. is organized by If You Don’t They Will, a Seattle-based collaboration that provides concrete and creative strategies to counter white nationalism.

Profile for PNCA

PNCA PORTFOLIO Issue #2 October 2019  

A magazine for the patrons, alumni, and friends of Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon. The table of contents for Portfoli...

PNCA PORTFOLIO Issue #2 October 2019  

A magazine for the patrons, alumni, and friends of Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon. The table of contents for Portfoli...

Profile for pnca