Alumni Stories & Careers

Our alumni go on to prestigious graduate schools and become exhibiting artists, printers in top studios, and important educators as well as writers, creative directors, and more. You'll prepare for life after PNCA by working alongside visiting master printers, exhibiting your work, and growing your professional network with visiting artists, curators, and writers.

Featured Alumni

Pat Boas ’98

Pat Boas is an award-winning artist and Director of the School of Art + Design at Portland State University. Boas' drawings, paintings, prints and digital projects explore the act of reading and the obliteration and confusion of meaning in language. Pat has been awarded a Bonnie Bronson Fellowship, Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Ford Family Foundation Golden Spot Award for Crow’s Shadow Artist Residency, and has been included in the Portland Biennial and the Oregon Biennial. Additionally, from 2002 to 2006, Boas was a contributing editor for Artweek and has been art critic for Artweek, and Art Papers.

Vanessa Kauffman Zimmerly '09

A native Oregonian, Vanessa Kauffman Zimmerly ‘09 is a writer, editor, and visual artist. After PNCA, she went on to earn her MA in Visual and Critical Studies at California College of the Arts. In addition to the collaborative publishing project, Volumes Volumes, she runs with Portland-based artist Mia Nolting, Vanessa works at Kelsey Street Press, a literary publisher in Berkeley, CA and is an editor at the leading West Coast publication for art criticism, Art Practical. Before serving as Communications Manager at the venerable Headlands Center for the Arts, Vanessa also worked at a number of fine letterpress studios in Portland and the Bay Area.

Derek Franklin ‘09

Derek Franklin is an artist and an Assistant Professor and Art Program Director at Marylhurst University in Portland. He went on from PNCA to receive his MFA from Rutgers University. Recent solo exhibitions include Gray Minstrel (Carl and Sloan Contemporary, Portland: 2015), Mending Capers (Thierry Goldberg, New York: 2015), and Meditation Furniture for Ten Minute Breaks (Document, Chicago: 2015). Franklin's works have also been presented in group exhibitions at Thierry Goldberg (New York: 2014), Andel31 (Copenhagen: 2014), Simone Subal Gallery (New York: 2013), and Soloway (New York: 2013). Franklin is a partner and director at the artist run space Soloway in Brooklyn, NY. Derek Franklin is represented by Thierry Goldberg in New York and Williamson Knight in Portland.

Micah and Hannah Fischer '13

Both Printmaking alumni, Micah and Hannah Fischer run fschco, focusing on creative direction, photography, and creative concepts. Their have done work for clients including Nike, Simple Bank, Urban Airship, Gerber Gear, and Weiden + Kennedy.


  • Artist
  • Printmaker
  • Educator
  • Creative Small Business Owner
  • Studio Manager



PNCA’s professional print publishing program brings artists to campus for printmaking residencies. Run in conjunction with the MFA in Print Media, Watershed also welcomes select undergraduate students to participate and provide support in the studio.

First Thursday Pop-up Shops

Every month students take advantage of the big audience of hundreds of visitors who come in to PNCA for First Thursday’s art walk around the Pearl District by setting up Pop-up Shops in the main corridor of our historic building.

Master Printer Visits

Students have the opportunity to work in the print studio alongside visiting master printers including Paul Mullowney and James Reid of Gemini.

Signal Fire Wide Open Studios

Signal Fire’s arts and ecology field institute invites students on trips to explore their studio practice in stunning wilderness locations, amidst an atmosphere of friendship and critical thinking.

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.