Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Portland's Newest Landmark: P.N.C.A.

It is internationally well accepted that college students of both sexes can be the energetic forces of economic revitalization. Through education, ideally, students learn to harness their powers of creativity, become problem solvers, and gain enough confidence to reinvent the world.

Exterior of P.N.C.A.

Pacific Northwest College of Art, P.N.C.A., is superbly well-located in the beautiful Pearl District of Portland, one of the most unique and creative cities in the world. First of all, I would like to stress that I love P.N.C.A. and think it is the very best College of Art in the Pacific Northwest in state of Oregon.

View of Mount Hood

According to the website of the President Tom Manley, a leading force behind the expansion of the college, along with financial support from, among others, the ubiquitous Schnitzer real estate family, PNCA is the oldest full-time art school in the Pacific Northwest. It was also notably the first college of art and design in the region to launch graduate programs after receiving an endowment from the Ford lumber estate. 

This welcoming art college in Portland, Oregon, where students can major in Studio Arts, Media Arts, Design Arts, or Liberal Arts, has moved a few blocks towards the east side of the Pearl District started its first classes in a spectacular new building this term in February, 2015. It is an historic Federal Building gutted and refigured by award-winning architect Brad Cloepfil (CLOP'-fil) to work with modern technology, while preserving the desirable, original artistically carved marble and metal and stonework features in the impressive stone structure that has an awesome location and setting in prime Portland real estate.

 View from P.N.C.A.

The tall landmark main building of the College used to be the main Portland U.S. Post Office and the artists at P.N.C.A. can surely appreciate the effort that went into the beautiful building. In this era of obsolescence, it's heartening to find that an antique building can be revitalized with new life. It's a fine old building filled to the ceiling with marble walls and stairwells and a beautiful ceiling within the main front hallway.

P.N.C.A. has doubled the student body in the last seven years, tripled the faculty, preserved the collection of the Museum of Contemporary Craft, added seven new academic programs, and quadrupled the endowment. Each one of these is an achievement in an of itself. But these landmark changes serve to highlight this desirable college's growing and respected reputation in the northwest and the nation.

P.N.C.A. graduates are influential artists, entrepreneurs, entertainers, urban designers, and global citizens dedicated to exploring innovative ways of thinking, finding creative solutions and launching new businesses. PNCA has certainly made a difference to me.

Image result for interior of pnca
Interior Atrium of P.N.C.A.

Pacific Northwest College of Art (P.N.C.A.) currently offers Baccalaureate degree courses in Design Arts, Communcation Design, Illustration, Media Arts, Animated Arts, Studio Arts, Intermedia, Photography, Video & Sound, Painting, Printmaking, Sculpture, Liberal Arts, writing and others.

At the Graduate level, P.N.C.A. offers Master degrees (M.F.A.s) in Applied Craft & Design, Collaborative Design, Visual Studies, Critical Theory & Creative Research and has opportunities for Post-Baccalaureate Residencies.

The new main building of PNCA is called the Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design and is located in a chic area at 511 Northwest Broadway, a short walk away from the bus and train stations. Here's a video by architect Brad Cloepfil of the firm Allied Works explaining that the college was not meant to be pristine (although it is at the current time) but a catalyst for creativity. The impressive first floor and marble staircases make this college a compelling winner of a college for students from everywhere.

Another video here shows an early pre-construction phase and the gutted interior, but I believe the promise of the architect has been realized and the space is as beautiful as envisioned from all the reports I have heard.

Portland's Rose Garden

PNCA has certainly made an enormous difference to me and members of my family. Many gifted students and educators I've met there on my visits have impressed me with their vitality and creativity. Check out this college. Better yet, sign up for Continuing Education courses.

Near Bend in the Beautiful State of Oregon

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