Pacific Northwest College of Art

Founded in 1909, we are a century-old art and design school with our eyes firmly on the future.

Reimagining what art and design can do in the world

PNCA is the only art and design college located in one of the most progressive cities in the United States. For all of its one hundred-plus years, PNCA has nurtured the talent in its students for radically reimagining everything, transforming the lives of our students and everyone they touch. Our studios and galleries continue to give rise to a vibrant community of innovators and culture-makers who shape the cultural landscape.

A dynamic cultural center in the heart of Portland

At the creative heart of Portland, PNCA is a center for communities of artists, designers, and scholars, presenting more free public programs and exhibitions in a given year than any other arts institution in the city.

Events Calendar

I walked into the school, and my life was never the same.

Arlene Schnitzer, alumna

Mission and Core Themes

Our Mission: We prepare students for a life of creative practice.

Our Four Core Themesintegrated throughout our curriculum and everything we dogive students the tools to thrive as creative people in the world.

Studio Practice
We teach young people necessary studio habits of mind and hand.

Critical Inquiry
We give students the tools to examine existing and emerging cultural, social and political conditions and to make informed judgments.

World View
We encourage understanding of diverse cultures and teach students to recognize the interconnectedness of both natural and human systems.

Professional Practice
We equip students with tools and best practices for optimal professional growth.


The artists of the Museum Art School, later Pacific Northwest College of Art, have shaped the visual arts landscape of the region for more than one hundred years. They have become the teachers, professional artists, gallery owners, and art museum curators who have filled the galleries and molded young artists while making Portland the visual arts mecca that it is.


We empower students to reimagine what art and design can do in the world.

As artists and designers, radically reimagining everything is at the heart of what we do every day in the studio when we are at our best.

We challenge our students to think big and to extend their creative problem solving superpowers well beyond the traditional horizons of art and design.

Surround yourself with art and design

Come explore and experience how PNCA is dedicated to empowering students to reimagine what art and design can do in the world.