Program Description

Work across disciplines to make work that is socially and ecologically impactful.

Never before have ecological issues been more pressing. In this interdisciplinary minor, you’ll develop a broad understanding of those ecological issues and their relationship to the social, political, cultural, and economic systems that impact the future of humanity, other species, and our shared planet. You'll understand how your own work as an artist or a designer can comment on, interact with, and impact the world.

Here in the Pacific Northwest, with the forest, the Columbia River Gorge, the Pacific Ocean, and the mountains so nearby, we are deeply aware of the natural world, its persistence and fragility, and how important the health of the planet is to our own. And here in Portland, a city that is politically progressive, ecologically-minded, and forward-thinking on social issues, we are embedded in a network of like-minded artists, designers, scholars, and organizations with whom you will collaborate and share inspiration.

You will receive guidance and support through individual meetings with the Department Head. You can also participate in group activities including exhibitions, guest speakers, guided hikes, and other community pursuits.

Life in the Program

Being involved in the Art + Ecology minor at PNCA has brought to light many aspects of neoliberalism, climate change, environmental decline, capitalism, and cultural conflict that I may not have considered prior. But more than that, this curriculum has emphasized their close intertwining and just how complex these issues really are.

Lehuahuakea Fernandez

Student Work

The Art & Ecology minor...granted me vocabulary, histories, and solutions involving environmental studies. Environmental degradation, so closely linked to politics, can feel daunting– but the Art & Ecology minor helped me feel like there are things I can do to make positive change.

Marguerite Bailey

Get in touch

For more information, please contact Ryan Pierce at

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