Alumni Stories & Careers

Our award-winning alumni make important cultural impacts as leading educators, important artists and activists, as well as successful entrepreneurs. Here, you'll prepare for life after PNCA by exhibiting your work, initiating curatorial projects, interning with art institutions and meet internationally exhibiting artists to lay the foundations for your network.

Featured Alumni

Richard Rezac ‘74

Chicago-based Richard Rezac has received fellowship grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Joan Mitchell Foundation, and the Tiffany Foundation, and in 2006, the Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome. He currently has an exhibition at the Renaissance Society bringing together twenty sculptures from the last two decades. Rezac’s sculpture has been shown nationally and internationally, most notably in a 2006 survey of his work at the Portland Art Museum. He has recently exhibited at James Harris Gallery, Seattle (2017), the DePaul Art Museum, Chicago (2016), Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin (2015), and Marc Foxx, Los Angeles (2015). He is an adjunct professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Jennifer Jako

Since 1998, Jako has run Fix Studio with her partner Christopher Bleiler. Fix Studio designs objects and environments with expertise in interior design, furniture/product design, graphic design. Since 2002, Jako and Bleiler also produce Show PDX, an exhibition of innovative furniture designs. Jako is also an AIDS activits, filmmaker, photographer, and lecturer. She is the co-director of the documentary film, Blood Lines, a portrait of HIV-positive youth.

Lucinda Parker

The Portland Art Museum honored Lucinda Parker with a mid-career retrospective in 1995, and the Boise Art Museum presented a one-person exhibition of her work in 2002. Parker went on to earn her MFA from Pratt Institute, New York. Major public collections include the Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University, the Portland Art Museum and the Seattle Art Museum. Public commissions can be found at the Oregon Convention Center, Portland City Hall, and a new federal courthouse in Bakersfield, California, among others. Lucinda Parker is represented by Russo Lee Gallery.

Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) Alumni and Professor Emeritus Arvie Smith posing in front of one of his brightly colored and energetic paintings.

Arvie Smith ‘86

Arvie Smith was the 2017 Governor’s Awards for the Arts Recipient. He showcased Construction Identity exhibition at the Portland Art Museum, completed design for 15'x25' mural in Alberta Commons. He was commissioned for a 11’x40’ mural one construction of Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare on MLK. He was also published on Portland Monthly for September 2017 and was nominated for 2017 Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptures Grant and US Artist Fellowship.


  • Painter/Fine Artist
  • Museum Curator
  • Preparator
  • Arts Administrator
  • Arts Consultant
  • Archivist
  • Educator
  • Collection Advisor
  • Art Restorer
  • Conservationist
  • Art Therapist
  • Costume Designer
  • Cultural Journalist
  • Scenic Artist
  • Studio Manager


Painting Club New York Trip

Each year the student-run Painting Club organizes and fundraises for a trip to New York (and in the past San Francisco and Los Angeles) where students go to galleries and museums.

Mural Commissions

Students have been awarded mural commissions from the Regional Arts and Culture Council, the Art + Science Initiative, and Open Signal as well as PNCA itself.

Off-campus Exhibitions

Students begin their exhibition careers while still in school. In addition to showing in the many student galleries throughout the campus, students make exhibitions at artist-run galleries and start their own curatorial projects.

Transition Projects Murals at Bud Clark Commons

Students have opportunities for service projects like Transition Projects Murals at Bud Clark Commons. Through the Offsite Projects course, Jamaali Roberts was one of the drivers of this project in collaboration with residents of Bud Clark which provides transitional housing and services for residents who have been experiencing homelessness.

Visit The Office of Career Design

Stop by the Office of Career Design to learn more about internships when you take a tour of campus.